Council: Europa building

Council: Europa building

The Europa building of the Council of the EU
The Europa building is one of the most recent and magnificent examples of contemporary architecture in Brussels. The enormous cube is made up of 3 750 restored window frames and contains a glass lantern that, at night, is beautifully lit up by 374 LED tubes. This ‘House of the European Member States’, with its multicoloured interior, is the main seat of the European Council and of the Council of the EU, and is where meetings between EU ministers and heads of government are now held.

Philippe Samyn, the Europa building’s lead architect, sees it as the expression of a number of the values espoused by the EU. The façade thus consists of window frames from every EU country which signify both the diversity (‘United in diversity’) and the craftsmanship of every Member State, as well as the desire to promote sustainability. Thanks to the collection of rainwater, the use of solar panels across the whole area on the top of the building, and the optimised façade structure, the Europa building has been awarded the Valideo environmental certificate. The interior lantern, built in a shape that was necessary to avoid too much pressure being exerted on the ground and the underground metro tunnels, mainly contains meeting rooms and a large press room and press area.

The Belgian artist Georges Meurant has created a vibrant polychrome interior with an array of different coloured squares on the walls, doors, lifts and carpeting. The squares feature all the colours that appear on the flags of the 28 Member States.

In addition, the splendid Art Deco Résidence Palace, designed by the architect Michel Polak and constructed between 1922 and 1927, was incorporated into the project.

The Council is open to the public and offers individual or group visits. All visitor activities are free of charge. You can explore our Visitors’ Centre to learn about the Council's work and about the EU as a whole. Moreover, you can visit the Council buildings or meet our experts at information sessions. It is also possible to take part in a guided tour, which gives visitors the opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes at the Council.
Visits must be booked in advance. Information about the different types of visit and how to make a reservation can be found on the following pages:
Visitors’ Centre opening times: Monday to Friday: 10:30 – 16:00 (10:30 – 13:00 in August). The Visitors’ Centre is closed on certain Belgian public holidays and on official holidays of the EU institutions.

Practical information