MAI News

1/2018 –  MAI is to become not only a centre for international associations but also for citizens-a citizens’ participation centre

Maison des Associations Internationales MAI building corridor conference meeting rooms Firstly, our best wishes for the New Year from the team here at MAI to all our readers. In 2017 we achieved our target of filling the office space and creating a new incubator/flex office with the result that there is more going on in the building and more daily interaction among our tenants. In 2018 our target is to achieve the same for the conference centre. Read more 



7/11/2017 –In defence of Brussels: ‘If you actually know it, you probably love it’

Is there more to Brussels than bureaucracy? Read an article published by the Guardian and learn more about, as they say, the vibrant multicultural and fabulous city, where Audrey Hepburn was born. Read more



3/2017 – MAI is not just a physical resource centre, but also a knowledge centre and ideas factory 

All the permanent office space at MAI is currently let and we even have a waiting list. But, don’t be put off! There will always be rooms for co-working, shared office space, temporary work places for visitors. This is because the MAI must be open and support start-up international associations and new initiatives. Alongside permanent office space and facilities for meetings and conferences, incubating should become a third strand of our work. The MAI is responding to the increasing demands for greater flexibility in working and meeting spaces. More and more international associations are becoming “virtual” and doing without permanent staff and permanent offices. At the same time they need an official headquarters which the MAI provides with its arrangements for international associations to have a registered address here. This is not though always enough – it is necessary to… Read more


2/2017 – Strengthening public interest lobbying towards the EU: MAI helps to facilitate the process

Are you are aware that we are attempting to attract new international associations to Brussels? At the Maison des Associations Internationales we have a welcoming policy and practical measures to make the start-up process easier: space in a shared office free of charge for the first three months, followed by a flat monthly rate of 200 euros for rent and support, encouragement to share data bases, fundraising, website and social media development as well as knowledge of volunteering, internship and job creation schemes. Whatever the objective of the association many of the needs at the outset are the same and synergy in a shared office equipped to the standard of a fully… Read more


1/2017 – Providing start-up possibilities for International Associations: a new role for the MAI?

In this newsletter we provide an overview of the different possibilities we are trying out here at Maison des Associations Internationales (MAI) to make international associations feel really welcomed in Brussels. Why are the special offers and initiatives described below so necessary?
After all, as pointed in a presentation by UIA (Union of International Association) to an FAIB meeting on 16 March, there are already over 2,800 international associations in Brussels, and almost over twice the numbers of the nearest rivals such as London or Vienna.
This success is partly a product of history and the innovation of the Law of 1919 on international associations, partly because of the more recent need for associations, partly because of … Read more


4/2016 – Re-branding the MAI – an example of modern architecture

MAI was included in the Brussels Biennale of modern architecture ( ). The building by René Aerts and Paul Ramon dates from 1954.  For such an early example of post-war architecture the use of space and light and the façade with its different materials, varying depths fitting in well with older buildings are striking features. It is a rare example of modern architecture which largely preserves not just its structure, but many original fittings and furnishings. he building reflects a period of optimism, progress and internationalism in the run-up to EXPO 58, which we would do well to recapture at a time when globalization is under attack. At a public meeting on  4 October at the MAI and two follow-up visits for the general public, an interesting narrative was presented in a… Read more


3/2016 – Public Debates at the Maison des Associations Internationales

In the evening of Monday 29 August 2016 (18.30 – 20.30) the Maison des Associations Internationales in collaboration with the Municipality of Ixelles hosted a public debate – BREXIT and what future for European Citizenship? The panelists were Andrew Duff (Visiting Fellow at European Policy Centre), Philippe Cayla (President of Européens sans frontières) and Monica Frassoni (Co-chair of the European Green Party). The debate was moderated by Delphine Bourgeois (President of the Consultative Council on European Affairs of Ixelles). The public debate was part of a… Read more


2/2016 – Why not incubate your international association at the MAI?

Since starting at the MAI a year ago, I have been impressed by the amount of support for our work which comes from the Brussels Region. The Association Bureau set up by Visit Brusselswas launched at the Association Summit end of May. This provides the context with its One-stop shop for developing the MAI, which is a recognised partner: “the Association Bureau acts as a single point of contact for associations, steering them to the right direction to reach their business goals and connecting them to the right people, able to assist them with any information related to the setting up or… Read more


1/2016 – Why not make MAI home to your international association?

The MAI is best known as a conference centre but it is also has plenty of office space and is permanent home to a very interesting group of international associations covering all the diversity of the sector from consumer information to fair trade to migration. In the box, there is a list of our tenants. We also provide a postal address for 36 organisations. More is offered than just office space: there is a reception service, wifi, photocopying and a 20% reduction on use of the meeting rooms. Read more


4/2015 – Interview with Jean-Pierre Jacques, President of ADDE

In this newsletter we are featuring one of the main activities of MAI – its role as a venue for large-scale events organised by associations. This quarter there have been several such events in the areas of environment, public health and migration. ADDE (Association pour le droit des étrangers) is one of our most faithful customers. We wanted to know more about their activity and why they use MAI, particularly since with the migration and asylum crisis we can foresee more demands… Read more


3/2015 – Interview with the new Director of MAI, Tony Venables

You have been appointed recently as the new Director of MAI. What will you bring to the organisation? Tony Venables: It is early days still but I do hope MAI will benefit from my long experience of dealing with the European Institutions and knowledge of the world of associations. I began my career at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg before moving to Brussels where I worked for the EU in a department in the Council of Ministers’ secretariat dealing with relations with the European Parliament. Being a Eurocrat was not challenging enough so I left to build up BEUC (European Bureau of Consumer Unions), which is now one of the leading European NGOs. Whilst I was working for the consumers, a lot of other international associations were thinking about setting up in Brussels and asked me how we operated. These conversations led me to found ECAS (European citizen action service) which helps NGOs lobby the EU, fundraise and also create new European networks and associations round the EU Institutions. My work has been with associations and I am fascinated by this complex world…Read more


(Re)Discovering the MAI?

Dear friends and colleagues, We have great pleasure in sending you information about the services on offer here at the MAI: 1) our latest newsletter which shows that the team here are innovating and bringing in change; 2) a flyer explaining what MAI stands for as a one-stop shop for international associations 3) a link to our website providing more information about prices for conference rooms and office space. We are situated in the attractive Louise-Chatelain-Flagey area, one of the most welcoming and friendly parts of the Belgian capital.
Nowhere else in Brussels will you find such a flexible choice of large-scale conference facilities, smaller meeting rooms and office space at such affordable prices. Please let us know whether you wish to continue to receive our quarterly newsletter. If you have any questions about MAI and…Read more