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FAIB Socio-Economic Survey 2021

The Socio-Economic survey has been carried out regularly since the first edition in 1983 and aims at providing regulators and other stakeholders with a view on developments relating to INPAs. This survey started in 2019 by and was recently completed by the statistical department of an association, CIRFS, more specificaly by Candide Dufloucq ( and Anna Stein (

The questionnaire was sent to 1000 international associations having their operational headquarters in Belgium, selected on relevance criteria from the UIA database, categories “A” to “F” of the «Yearbook of International Organizations 2012-2013».

Here are the major findings:

  • As a sign of the stability of their presence in Belgium, date shows that 71% of INPAs have been operating in Belgium between 10 and 50 years and that 18% exist for more than 50 years.
  • 90% of INPAs are based in the Brussels-Capital region. Indeed, the associations prefer to operate in Brussels because of the neighbourhood of the EU Institutions and other international decision-making bodies.
  • Most international associations (80%) have chosen the AISBL status.
  • VAT registrations went from 67% in 2013 to 69% in 2019.
  • European Transparency Registrations reported by 76% of respondents.
  • Total estimated annual income of INPAs: € 3.5 billion - origin: 84% abroad, 11% Belgium, 5% EU;
  • Total estimated expenditure: € 3.5 billion, of which 84% spent in Belgium
  • Estimated direct employment: 36.082, including volunteers
  • Indirect employment (hotel, restaurant, service providers, etc.): +/- 1.191 per association / year
  • Office space occupied by INPAs: 637.000 m² representing 247m2 per association; of which 120.000 m² are allocated to meeting space, i.e., an average of 47m2 per association.

The report also contains many more interesting items, notably on the perception by INPAs of Brussels / Belgium as regards staff competence, administration, public transport, environment, availability of meeting / office space, telecommunications and plenty more.

The full document is available on our website under "Publications".

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