Members of the Council


Philippe Van Parijs – President

Is a doctor of philosophy (Oxford) and social sciences (Leuven) and a candidate in linguistics (Leuven). He is currently a visiting professor at UCLouvain and KU Leuven, after having founded and directed the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics at UCLouvain from 1991 to 2016. He is the author of Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World (Oxford 2011, translated into Dutch and German) and Belgium. Une utopie pour notre temps/ Een utopie voor onze tijd (Brussels/ Antwerp, 2018). Together with Alex Housen and Anna Sole-Mena, he is behind the launch of the Marnix Plan for a multilingual Brussels (2013).


Nadia Fadil – Vise president

She holds a doctorate in social sciences from the KU Leuven and has done post-doctoral stays in Florence (UIE), Berkeley and New York (Columbia). She is currently a professor at the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre of the KU Leuven. Her research focuses on Islam in Europe, with Brussels as the site of her fieldwork. She is co-author of Moroccan Migration in Belgium (Leuven, 2017), Secular Bodies, Affects and Emotions. European Configurations (London, 2018) and Radicalisation in Belgium and the Netherlands (London, 2019).


Anne Posma

Holds master’s degrees in modern literature (Montpellier) and Romance language and culture (Groningen), and a postgraduate diploma in business administration (Sorbonne). Since 2007, she has been co-responsible for the bilingual teacher training project at the Francisco Ferrer High School and since November 2019 she has also been pedagogical advisor for multilingual education at the Department of Public Education of the City of Brussels. In this capacity, she assists schools that wish to become “immersion schools”, starting with the Charles Buls primary school. Previously, she worked for the Dutch Embassy in Paris, for the translation agency Decryptos and as director of the pedagogical team of Interface 3, the Brussels training centre for women looking for work.


Fatima-Zohra Ait El Maâti- Vice president

Studied architecture at the KU Leuven (Brussel campus) and is currently doing a master’s degree in sociology at the VUB . In addition, she founded and leads the feminist art collective Imazi-Reine (Brussels) in 2019, collaborates with Muntpunt as Audiovisual Producer & Media Mentor, has started a mission as “social cultural and community worker” within vzw VOEM (Vereniging voor ontwikkeling en emancipatie van Moslims) and is a frequent speaker or presenter in French, Dutch and English. Her documentary “My grandmother is not a feminist” won an award at the New York Festival of Amazigh Film in 2020.


Hilde De Smedt- Le Foyer

Is a speech therapist. Since 1984, she has been working at Foyer vzw in Molenbeek, first as coordinator of the project “Onderwijs in Eigen Taal en Cultuur” in Dutch-speaking Brussels education, and since 2011 as coordinator of the project “Partners In Meertaligheid”, which is mainly aimed at families whose usual language is not that of the school and strives to develop both a solid linguistic diagonistic and family language policy for multilingual children. In addition, she is currently coordinating the European project “Planting Languages. Seeds of success” and is a board member of the Harmonious Bilingualism Network (HabilNet).


Laurence de Ruette

Has a master’s degree and an agrégation in foreign languages and literature (English-Dutch) from the University of Liège. Since 2004, she has been teaching English and Dutch at the Institut St Boniface, one of the first schools in Brussels to practice immersion teaching. Previously, she taught English and Dutch at CERAN (Spa) and worked as a translator and language teacher at Callataÿ & Wouters.


Laurence Mettewie

Has a Master’s degree in Literature (ULB) and a Doctorate in Literature (VUB). Since 2004, she has been professor of Dutch and Applied Linguistics at the University of Namur. Previously, she taught languages in secondary education and adult education. She has published numerous articles on multilingualism in the Belgian community context. In particular, she has studied the impact of socio-psychological factors on language acquisition, the context and outcomes of bilingual education and the multilingual needs of enterprises. She was one of the initiators of TIBEM (Tweetaligheid in Beweging-Bilinguisme en Mouvement) (2002-2018).


Nicole Wauters

Holds a Master’s degree in education sciences. She is an activist within the Changes for Equality movement and participates in the development of the “French as a language of learning” tests for the Office of the Minister of Education as well as in the work of the reference framework commission of the Pact for Excellence in Teaching.  From 2007 to 2018, she worked as a primary inspector in the municipalities of Schaerbeek and Evere. Prior to that, she worked for 25 years as a primary school teacher in a French-speaking school in Brussels and then for ten years as a pedagogical advisor at the secretariat of Catholic education (SEGEC). She is co-author of Voir l’école maternelle en grand (King Baudouin Foundation, 2019) and author of Langage et réussite scolaire. Pratiques d’enseignement et français de scolarisation’ (forthcoming).


Olivier Willocx

Has a degree in economics (ULB) and a degree in European law (Amsterdam). Since 2000, he has been CEO of BECI (Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry). He is also a member of the board of directors of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and


Piet Vervaecke

Studied speech therapy (Bruges) and political science (VUB). Since 2010 he has been director of the Onderwijscentrum Brussel, which he has coordinated since its creation in 2008 through the integration of Taalvaart, Schoolopbouwwerk Brussel, Nascholingscentrum Brussel and various organisations supporting Dutch-speaking education in Brussels. Previously he had already been working for the Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie within Taalvaart since 1993. On the Urban Education blog, he writes on the subject of education in the multilingual context of Brussels.


Rudi Janssens

Has a doctorate in sociology (VUB). After having been a researcher at the Centrum voor Statistiek en Operationeel and the Centrum voor Vrouwenstudies of the VUB, he is currently attached to BRIO, the VUB’s interdisciplinary centre for the study of Brussels. His work includes the Taalbarometer, an in-depth survey of the language situation in the Brussels region and in the Vlaamse Rand, to which we owe the bulk of what is known about the knowledge and use of languages in Brussels. His two most recent books are Meertaligheid als opdracht. Een analyse van de Brusselse taalsituatie op basis van taalbarometer 4 (VUB 2018) and De Rand vertaald. Een analyse van de Brusselse taalsituatie op basis van Taalbarometer 2 van de Vlaamse Rand (VUB 2019).

Sans Titre 1

Dirk Jacobs

Has a master’s degree in sociology (UGent) and a doctorate in social sciences (Utrecht). After having been a lecturer at the KU Brussel, he has been professor of sociology at the ULB since 2007, where he heads the interdisciplinary network of Brussels Studies (EBxl). From 2012 to 2017, he was awarded a major European research credit on the theme “Equal opportunities for migrant youth in educational systems with high levels of social and ethnic segregation”. He is notably the co-author of BruVoices, La cohésion sociale à Bruxelles selon ses habitants (King Baudouin Foundation, 2017) and Aller au-delà de la ségrégation scolaire (King Baudouin Foundation, 2018).

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Yvon Englert

Is a Doctor of Medicine (ULB), Doctor of Obstetrics (ULB) and holds an MBA in executive health (Rennes). He is currently prorector of the ULB after having been assistant, professor, dean, and finally rector from 2016 to September 2020. From 1996 to 2001, he was also the first president of the National Bioethics Committee. Together with Caroline Pauwels, Rector of the VUB, he launched a project for a multilingual secondary school in Brussels in April 2019. During the last academic year of his mandate as rector, which was declared a “multilingual year” and opened with a memorable trilingual performance with his VUB colleague, the ULB organised a multitude of activities promoting multilingualism.

Helena Van Driessche

Has a degree in Romance Philology (VUB). Since 2008 she has been the director of the Dutch-speaking Athénée de Woluwe St Pierre, a pioneering school in the field of immersion education on the Dutch side. Previously, she taught French and Spanish at the Technisch Instituut Anneessens, the Hoofdstedelijk Atheneum Karel Buls, the Gemeentelijk Atheneum Anderlecht and the Koninklijk Atheneum Asse. From 2000 to 2008, she was director of the Instituut Anneessens-Funck of the City of Brussels. She is a member of the STIMOB (Stimuleren van Meertalig Onderwijs in Brussel) and “Anderstalige Nieuwkomers” working group of the Scholengroep Brussel.


Aimée-Fidèle Mukunde

Has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in political communication (UAntwerpen). She is currently co-responsible for the Minderhedenforum in Brussels, having worked as project manager for projects for people of African origin at vzw COOD (Antwerp), as production assistant at A Woman’s View by Sihame El Kouakibi, as administrative assistant at SOS Kinderdorpen and as editor at VRT-MNM radio.


Olivia P’tito

Est juriste spécialisée en droit social (ULB) et en droit de l’environnement (USt Louis). Depuis 2013, elle est directrice générale de Bruxelles-Formation et à ce titre pilote la mise en place de la future Cité des langues. Depuis 2019, elle est également membre du Comité exécutif du Réseau international des Cités des métiers. Auparavant, elle a travaillé à la FGTB fédérale et dans les cabinets ministériels d’Elio Di Rupo et Laurette Onkelinx. Elle également été, de 2004 à 2013, membre du Parlement bruxellois, où elle a présidé les commissions de la formation et de l’environnement. Elle s’est impliquée dans diverses associations et structures d’économie sociale, en particulier à Molenbeek. 

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Wim Vandenbussche

He holds a Master’s degree and a doctorate in Germanic language and literature (VUB). Since 2006 he has been teaching at the VUB, now as a full professor of Dutch and general linguistics. He is also president of the onderzoekscentrum voor taalkunde and director of the Academisch Centrum voor Taalonderwijs. Previously, he was a doctoral and post-doctoral researcher at the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek. He is the co-author or coordinator of numerous books, including Taalpolitiek, taalplanning en taalgebruik in het Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (Ghent, 2007), Lower Class Language Use in the 19th Century (Berlin, 2007), The standardisation of minority languages (Berlin, 2015), Language Ecology for the 21st Century (Oslo, 2013), Historical multilingualism (Berlin, 2017) and Language Contact. An International Handbook (Berlin, 2019).


Gregor Chapelle

Est licencié en droit de l’UCLouvain et master in public policy de l’Université Harvard. Il est depuis 2011 le directeur général d’Actiris, après avoir été avocat au barreau de Bruxelles, associé chez McKinsey et échevin du travail à Forest. Il a également présidé la Fédération des étudiants francophones et Bruxelles Emergence – JobYourself.

Pv of the meetings


7 October: First meeting of the Brussels Council for Multilingualism

The Brussels Council for Multilingualism was officially installed in the Brussels Parliament on 26 September 2020 during the first Brussels Multilingualism Day.

During its first formal meeting, held on 7 October 2020, it held a number of meetings, including :

The full minutes of the meeting will be available upon request after approval by the Board at its next meeting (February 3, 2021).

3 February 2021: Second meeting of the Brussels Council for Multilingualism

During its second official meeting, held on 3 February, the Brussels Council for Multilingualism

The full minutes of the meeting will be available upon request after approval by the Council at its next meeting (June 2, 2021).


2 June 2021: Third meeting of the Brussels Council for Multilingualism

During its second official meeting, held on 3 February, the Brussels Council for Multilingualism

  • determined the follow-up of the "BeTalky" competition in the form of a privileged contact between a couple of members of the Council and each of the ten selected projects and of the organisation of an "aspiration day" next spring;
  • was informed of progress on the draft brochure on multilingualism in the school context;
  • discussed the preparation of the second Brussels Multilingualism Day (25 September 2021);
  • heard the report of the working group on the recognition of languages other than French and Dutch in the Brussels public administration;
  • approved the plan to complement the three annual meetings of the Council and the meetings of its working groups with a few online conversations with experts and other people who could provide the Council with useful food for thought

    The full minutes of the meeting will be available on request after approval by the Council at its next meeting (15 September 2021).



Rules of procedure

Brussels Council for Multilingualism

Internal rules of procedure
Règlement d’ordre intérieur/ Huishoudelijk reglement 

Approved by the Council on 7 October 2020

1. Mission 

Art. 1 

The “Brussels Council for Multilingualism”, hereinafter referred to as “the Council”, is a body set up by the Minister for the Promotion of Multilingualism in the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, hereinafter referred to as “the Minister”, in accordance with his Policy Note of 9 December 2019, with the aim of “bringing all relevant players to the table in order to develop a clear action plan on multilingualism”.  

Art. 2

In consultation with the Minister, the Council draws up strategic guidelines and helps develop a sustainable policy on all matters relating the promotion of multilingualism. It does so by sharing with policy makers both existing expertise and new insights stemming from the experience of its members. It thereby ensures that attention is continually paid to the topic of multilingualism in the Brussels Capital Region.

Art 3

The Council is committed to the central objective stated in the Minister’s Policy Note: to promote, among the entire Brussels population, the ability to communicate in French, Dutch and English, while recognizing the importance and added value of learning and transmitting all the native languages spoken in our cosmopolitan capital city, and ensuring a good command of at least one of the school languages.

Art. 4

The activity of the Council includes three pillars: 

– Policy advice: the Council formulates non-binding recommendations to guide future policy on multilingualism.

– Policy support: by being at the crossroads of research, practice and policy, the Council uses its expertise and networks to support government action in the service of multilingualism.   

– Information exchange: Council members are alert to what is happening on the ground and keep one another and policy makers informed about current and recent bottom-up projects.  

2. Membership 

Art. 5

The composition of the Council is guided by the following considerations:

– The Council consists of between 12 and 20 members.

– The members of the Council are appointed by the Minister on the basis of their expertise, experience and commitment to the cause of multilingualism in Brussels.

– The membership should be balanced and diverse in terms of gender, age, native languages, sectors, etc.

– The members of the Council are expected to have at least a passive knowledge of French, Dutch and English.

Article 6

Council members are appointed for a renewable term of three years. In the event of a member wishing to resign before the end of this term, the Minister must be informed in writing. The Minister may then appoint a new member, taking into account the considerations listed in article 5.

Article 7

The mandate of the members of the Council is not remunerated.

Art. 8

The members of the Council perform their duties in their personal capacity and in complete independence. It is expected that they should not represent their organisation but rather work together to promote multilingualism in Brussels. 

Art. 9

The Minister appoints a chairperson and a vice-chairperson among the members of the Council for a renewable term of three years.

3. Functioning 

Art. 10

The Council meets at least three times per year.

Art. 11

The chairperson shall draw up the agenda, issue the invitations and chair, open and close the meetings. If the chairperson is unable to attend, the vice-chairperson shall take over these tasks. In the absence of the latter, the oldest member shall chair the meeting. 

Art. 12

A member of the Cabinet of the Minister serves as secretary of the Council. The secretary attends the meetings, is responsible for their practical organisation, draws up the minutes and provides logistical support. The minutes contain an attendance list, important information shared during the meeting and all the decisions made. They do not attribute particular interventions to individual members. They are submitted for approval at the beginning of the following meeting. 

Art. 13

At least ten days before each meeting, the chairperson shall send its agenda to all members by e-mail or by letter, together with the minutes of the previous meeting and any other relevant document.

Art. 14

At the beginning of each calendar year, the Council draws up an Annual Report on the activities of the previous year. The report must be approved by the Council at one if its meetings and sent to the Minister no later than 30 April.

Article 15

The Minister is received by the Council at least once a year.

Art. 16

Depending on the agenda, the Council may, on an ad hoc basis, invite other persons to take part in its meetings. The Council may decide to set up working groups composed of Council members. Other persons may also be invited to these working groups on an ad hoc basis.

Article 17

If a vote has to be taken in the Council, this will be done by simple majority. 

Art. 18

Meetings of the Council shall not be public. The use of social media is restrained accordingly. 

Article 19

The recommendations of the Council, its annual report and a brief account of each of its meetings shall be made accessible online for the general public. The minutes, once approved, shall be available on request. Any proactive external communication on behalf of the Council shall be done in consultation with the Minister.

Art. 20

Council members and guests can express themselves in French, Dutch and English during the meetings. The agendas and minutes of the meetings will be provided in English, with parts in Dutch and French whenever convenient. Other documents that might be useful for the working of the Council will be provided in the language(s) in which they happen to be available. 

4. Final provision

Art. 21

These internal rules can be modified by agreement between the Council and the Minister. Proposals for amendments must be sent to the members of the Council at least ten days before the relevant meeting. If they are approved by the Council, they become effective once they are endorsed by the Minister.