The “Justus Lipsius” Building
Since 1995, the Justus Lipsius building has been the main seat of the Council of the EU and of the General Secretariat of the Council. As of 2002, the building also started hosting European Council meetings. Between 2001 and 2006 the Justus Lipsius underwent alterations, to allow for the temporary hosting of these summits, accommodating delegations from new member states and press representatives attending the meetings. The European Council and the Council of the European Union cohabitate in the “Europa” building, but most of the services of the General Secretariat and technical level meetings will continue to be hosted by the “Justus Lipsius” Building. The existing press centre also remains in the Justus Lipsius building.
The Justus Lipsius was built over a road of the same name. The building is divided into two distinct parts:
- conference section: composed of the meeting rooms for the Council and its preparatory bodies, the press rooms, the restaurants and the offices of member states delegations
- secretariat section: houses the offices of the departments of the General Secretariat of the Council
Gross surface area: 227,278 sqm
Facilities: 17 conference rooms with at least 10 interpretation booths each, 5 other meeting rooms, 2 rooms for official meals, press centre, extended during summits with up to 600 seats in the atrium, 40,048 sqm of offices for the departments of the General Secretariat. In 2014, the General Secretariat of the Council organised 4,241 meetings for the Council, the European Council, and lower level bodies. It also organized 2,189 internal meetings, seminars or meetings with third countries.
The “Europa” building
The Europa building is the main seat of the European Council and the Council of the European Union. It hosts EU summits, multilateral summits and ministerial meetings. The national delegations and the President of the European Council also have their offices here. The construction of the Europa building was decided by EU leaders in 2004 to take account of EU enlargement and to host all summits in Brussels rather than in member states.
The Justus Lipsius building, which was planned in the late 1980s, was not originally conceived to host summits, which were organised outside Brussels at the time. In recent years, the summits have become the formats of utmost importance in the functioning of the European Union, and the number of such gatherings has steadily increased from the minimum 4 (as provided in the treaty) to 8 or 9 per year. In 2015, a record of 12 summits were organised.
The Europa building responds to the specific needs of the Council and the European Council, providing the necessary level of security, and reflects the concept of sustainable development, both in terms of the materials and technologies used.
The innovative design retains the historical part of the long standing Residence Palace block A, and builds onto it. The Residence Palace, a fine example of Art Deco, was built between 1922 and 1927 by architect Michel Polak.
Premises and equipment: 3 conference halls with at least 32 interpretation booths each, 10 other meeting rooms, 250 offices, including for the President of the European Council
Gross surface area: 70,646 sqm
The current capital of Romania is first documented as a human settlement on September 21, 1459, when ruler Vlad Tepes decided to reinforce an estate of landowners. The name of Dâmboviţa Citadel was also used in these times, but the name fell into disuse.
In 1862 Bucharest becomes the capital of the Romanian Principalities, in the wake of the unification of Moldavia with Wallachia. Most of the architectural heritage had been destroyed by a fire in 1847, however the modern era brought a new period of prosperity to the new capital. The architectural landscape and urban planning have brought international reputation to the city of Bucharest, to the extent to which the capital became known as Little Paris. Calea Victoriei, one of the most famous streets of the current city, would often be compared to the Champs-Élysées.
On December 1, 1918, as Transylvania joined the previously created Kingdom of Romania, Bucharest became the capital of the entire country. The interwar period was a propitious one for the development of the city, Bucharest becoming a cultural beacon for the whole of Romania. But following the Second World War, with the advent of the communist regime, most of the historical city lost its coordinates, at least in terms of architecture.
Nicolae Ceausescu’s megalomaniac projects wiped from the face of the Earth most of the town’s historical landmarks. The catastrophic earthquake of March 4, 1977, when Bucharest suffered further losses, further contributed to this. Today, the city is a mixture of old and new, of traditional and modern, East and West, granting it with originality and charm.
Palace of the Parliament
Building upon an older idea, the edifice of the Palace of the parliament was erected under Nicolae Ceausescu, in a period of great economic hardships. Ceausescu’s purpose was to gather, in one building, all the central bodies of the state, while providing for a seismically safe dwelling that could also withstand a nuclear attack.
The building is divided into three main categories: the area of the main halls, galleries and cabinets; the office area; the belvedere, with three rooms on each floor.
Gross surface area: 365,000 sqm (the largest administrative building worldwide, 3rd largest building worldwide in terms of volume; the heaviest and most expensive building in the world).
other dimensions of the building: length – 270 m, width – 245 m, height – 84 m (over 0 level), depth 16 m (under ground level), building footprint area – 73,615 sqm.
The building was built almost exclusively using Romanian materials, amongst which: 1,000,000 cubic metres of marble, 550,000 tons of cement, 700,000 tons of steel, 2,000,000 tons of sand, 1,000 tons of basalt, 900,000 cubic metres rich wood, 3,500 tons of crystal, 200,000 cubic metres of glass, 2,800 chandeliers, 220,000 square meters of carpets, 3,500 square meters of leather.
The entire construction is the result of the labour of over 100,000 workers. During peak construction times, more than 20,000 people worked round the clock, three shifts per day. Moreover, between years 1984 and 1990, 12,000 soldiers took part in the construction works.
When the 1989 Revolution took place, the building had been 60% finalized. The construction works continued, albeit at a much slower pace, from 1992 until 1996. Since 1994, the Chamber of Deputies has been hosted by the building, following the donation of the original seat of the institution, the Palace of the Chamber of Deputies, to the Romanian Orthodox Church. Since 2004, the Romanian Senate has also been functioning here, after being originally hosted in the former building of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party.
Facilities: 1,000 rooms, of which 440 offices, over 30 halls and lounges, 4 restaurants, 3 libraries, 2 underground parking lots, 1 concert hall. The names of the halls and lounges in the Palace of the Parliament were chosen after 1989, evoking important moments in the history of the Romanian people or internationally renowned personalities. Most are related to the Romanians’ desire for the Unification and the parliamentary history of Romania.
The city of Sibiu, located in Central Romania, will host the 2019 Summit, aimed at a broad discussion about the future of the European Union and the preparation of strategic priorities for the 2019-2024 period.
The first documentary record of the city of Sibiu can be found in 1191 in a church document from the Vatican, with the city of Sibiu appearing in this text under the name of Cibinium. Other official documents followed, with Sibiu showing up under various names: Hermannstadt and Villa Hermann. In 1366, Sibiu was declared a “city”. This is also the period when guilds appear and develop in Sibiu more than anywhere in the country, with 19 such organizations being known, for instance, in 1376. The first book printed in Romanian was published in this city, in 1544 (The Lutheran Catechism). In the following period, the city enjoys a period of fast-pace development, culminating, in 1692, with the city being designated as the capital of Transylvania, following the increasing Austrian influence. The Brukenthal Palace is the most important testimony of this peak period for the city. Sibiu also played an important role in preparing the Union in 1918, and right after the proclamation of the union of Transylvania with Romania, on December 1, 1918, Sibiu becomes, once again, the capital of the province, until the end of 1919.
In 2007, Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture, alongside Luxembourg, the first East European city to hold this title, and today it is one of the Romanian cities with the highest level of foreign investment.