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The Justus Lipsius building is a building in Brusselsmarker (Belgiummarker) which has been the headquarters of the Council of the European Union since 1995. Unlike the European Parliamentmarker, visiting is restricted. However meetings are now broadcast on the internet and tours are possible on the annual open day.

Location

The main entrance on the Rue de la Loi
The building is located in the European quarter at Rue de la Loimarker 175 next to the Schuman roundaboutmarker and opposite the Berlaymont buildingmarker of the European Commissionmarker. To the west is Residence Palacemarker that is being extended for use as a Council summit building. To the south the building borders Jean Rey Squaremarker and Leopold Parkmarker. The facades bordering the square are being considered for renovation to improve their appearance.

To the north the building sits next to Schuman stationmarker (metro and regional rail) and there are plans for a new metro station to the south near Jean Rey square.

Architecture

Like most state buildings in the EU district its architecture is very modern and functional. Many architects, engineers and firms from several Member States of the European Union participated in that large-scale operation. The result was the "Justus Lipsius" building of the Council. It has a total surface of 215,000 m2 (with 24 km of corridors.), divided into three distinct but closely linked parts: the Conference Centre, the Secretariat and the substructure.

History

The building viewed from the south
In 1985, in response to an initiative by the Belgian Government, the Council took the decision to have a new building built, better suited to its needs, and to make the Belgian State's Regie der Gebouwen/Régie des Bâtiments the contracting authority. The foundation stone of the new building was laid in 1989 on land given by the host State, a site formerly crossed by the rue Juste Lipse/Justus Lipsiusstraat, which linked the Rue de la Loimarker/Wetstraat to the rue Belliardstraat. The official inauguration took place on 29 May 1995, under French Presidency.

The building is named after Justus Lipsius, a Flemish philologist and humanist, who previously lent his name to a street that was removed to make way for the large complex. The Council was previously housed in the Charlemagne buildingmarker located across the street (now renovated and housing the external relations departments of the Commission).

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