Jean Rey Square

Jean Rey Square (French: Place Jean Rey, Dutch: Jean Reyplein) is a square in the European Quarter of Brussels (Belgium) inaugurated in 2001. The headquarters of some of the major EU institutions are located on or close to this square, including those of the Council and the Parliament.

Place Jean Rey (in French)
Jean Reyplein (in Dutch)
Looking south-west towards Leopold Park, the House of European History and the European Parliament
LocationCity of Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
QuarterLeopold Quarter

Design and location

Jean Rey Square is paved with natural stone, bordered by plant boxes and benches facing 24 water jets in the centre which mirror the Maelbeek collector and storm basin below. Trees line the western side (not open to traffic) mirroring the axis starting at the entrance of Leopold Park across the street to the south. It is named after President of the European Commission Jean Rey and occupies a space between the Justus Lipsius building (headquarters of the Council of the European Union) and Leopold Park (next to the Espace Léopold of the European Parliament).


The square was included in plans for the Justus Lipsius building in 1984. Its construction was delayed due to controversies about the area around the Justus Lipsius, legal difficulties, and failed schemes such as plans to demolish a large residential area. Belgian authorities created the space in 2001, as it was thought their reputation would be tarnished if they did not manage to improve the foreboding image of the European quarter.[1] It was inaugurated at the start of the Belgian EU Presidency on 26 June 2001.[1]


Plans for the rebuilding of the quarter would see the renovation of Chaussée d’Etterbeek/Etterbeeksesteenweg into a tree-lined avenue. The renovated section would terminate at Jean Rey Square which would become a traffic island with the west side being turned into a road. This would remove the tree-lined area mirroring the entrance to Leopold Park but there would be trees lining the opposite sides of the road to the north, west and east, a new fountain in the south west corner and the possibility of a tram line cutting across the square following Chaussée d’Etterbeek/Etterbeeksesteenweg. The car park to the west would see new buildings built on it, as the east side has been.[2] The bland facade of the Justus Lipsius building, overlooking the square, is also to be renovated with the possibility of the lower floors being demolished to provide a visual link across the square between Leopold Park and the Berlaymont building.[3]

The Brussels transportation authority, STIB/MIVB has long to medium term plans to build a metro stop on Jean Rey Square. [4]

See also


  1. Demey, Thierry (2007). Brussels, capital of Europe. S. Strange (trans.). Brussels: Badeaux. p. 297–400. ISBN 2-9600414-2-9.
  2. Schéma directeur du quartier européen, Brussels-Capital Region
  3. Clerbaux, Bruno. "The European Quarter today: Assessment and prospects" (PDF). European Council of Spatial Planners. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  4. "STIB 2020 Plan: Étendre le réseau de manière à mieux couvrir la demande (pdf)" (PDF) (in French). 2004.

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