Bruges has been chosen as the host city for the European Congress of Junior Chamber International (JCI) in 2022. The theme of the conference ‘Food for generations’ fits in seamlessly with the activities of many Bruges and West Flemish companies.
For two years, JCI Bruges and JCI Houtland worked together closely with Visit Bruges Convention Bureau to prepare the bid for this major congress, one of the first to take place in the new Bruges Meeting and Convention Centre. “This will be a major boost for congress tourism in our city”, says Alderman for Tourism Philip Pierins.
Digital General Assembly
On Saturday 30 May, during the digital general assembly of JCI Europe, JCI Belgium presented its candidacy to host this European congress in 2022. 250 enthusiasts followed the virtual election online from their home. The theme, which was presented by members of JCI Houtland and JCI Bruges, was very well received.
In June 2022, Belgium will put forth its best effort to inspire approximately 2000 European JCI members to help create a better future for food, and to change the way we deal with food. The Bruges area is home to numerous companies focusing on innovation in agriculture, fisheries, food production, and food processing.
In keeping with its daily mission to strengthen the economic fabric, JCI wants this conference to offer innovative companies a platform to promote themselves. The intention is to work together with the industry to define trajectories around four themes: Sustainable Food Production, Nutrition, Gastronomy and Heritage.
Many European countries still think of Belgium as the country of beer, chips, chocolate and waffles. “We are proud of these culinary assets,” says Jonas Maes, leader of the team that will be realizing this project. “However, the four defined pillars will help us appeal to a wider audience and create a link with companies based in West Flanders. We are also integrating the annual network event B2BnB and invite partners such as De Hanze Business, Voka and Unizo to organize a business forum at the conference. Business and networking are in JCI’s DNA.”
Boost for congress tourism
“This congress will be a major boost for congress tourism in our city. We are proud that JCI chose Bruges as its destination”, says Alderman for Tourism Philip Pierins. “There was no reason for doubt,” says JCI Belgium’s national chairman Tom Staelens. “With the support of the national board of directors and following the advice of experts, a team of dedicated members has been working on this project for months.
The beating heart of the European Conference will be the new Bruges Meeting and Convention Centre, which is currently under construction.
New Meeting and Convention Centre
“We are honoured that JCI decided to host this event at our new Bruges Meeting and Convention Centre. This state-of-the-art venue will show participants from all over Europe that Bruges is the ideal congress destination”, says burgomaster Dirk De Fauw. In addition, several hotels and other venues, such as the Concertgebouw, will be used as venues for this beautiful conference.