Print :

The paradox of Belgian expertise in the Congo

by Xavier Zeebroek, deputy director at GRIP

29 September 2009


Belgium is a small country but has dwindling influence on the international chessboard, with the notable exception of Central Africa and principally the Congo, where it has been able to retain an expertise and influence far above its real economic and geostrategic weight in the region. This paradox is not due to the defense of special interests or political power games, which had long since been abandoned by Belgian politicians. Rather, a voluntarist cooperation development policy allows Belgium to shine on the international arena and to maintain an enviable status across Central Africa. This text has first been published in English in the book Belgium in the UN Security Council : Reflections on the 2007-2008 Membership (Jan Wouters, Edith Drieskens and Sven Biscop eds., Intersentia, Antwerp, 2009,

Key words: Belgium, UN, United Nations, Security Council, Congo, DRC, Central Africa.
Read more:

© 2012, GRIP • Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security
Rue de la Consolation 70, B-1030 Bruxelles - Tel.: +32.2.2418420 - Fax : +32.2.2451933
Web : - Email :
Reproduction of information from this site is authorised, except for commercial purposes, provided the source and the name of the author are acknowledged.