About the foundation Flemings in the World

The foundation Flemings in the World (VIW) is an interest group set up for fellow countrymen who want to live or already live, work or stay abroad. VIW keeps in contact with thousands of expatriated Flemings through its worldwide and active network. The foundation offers its users a personal service and functions as their mouthpiece. Its existence is based on the philosophy which states that a community has a responsibility towards the members who have exceeded national borders. During the past decades, the foundation has grown out to be the symbol which safeguards and strengthens the mutual ties between Flanders, its emigrants and its expatriated countrymen.

The foundation communicates with its worldwide network of ten thousands of fellow countrymen abroad or possible emigrants who still live in Flanders through its website, the newsletter and the magazine. In addition, the foundation can rely on over 80 representatives, who gather around and are of service to countrymen on a local scale. On the one hand, the representatives are experienced antennas that share information. On the other hand, they are sensors that pass the needs and wishes of expatriated countrymen on to the secretary in Brussels. The foundation’s knowhow is build up through the people and every emigrated Fleming. The experience one emigrant has, can help another emigrant to acquire new insights. In short, fellow emigrants are the best suited advisors when it comes to explaining how living in a specific country or region works. For example, you are looking for a suitable school for your children in Adelaide, Australia? In that case, the opinion of a fellow countryman, the experienced advisor who went there before you, can mean the world. Because it is difficult to choose upon who’s interpretation of educational levels and differences you can rely. Another example, how do you pick a local dentist, stock broker, etc.? Guidance from a fellow countryman can really make a difference.

Personal service

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that you will run into Flemings everywhere and anywhere around the world. Building a relationship with a public, starts with acquiring the right data. Emigrated Flemings often present themselves as chameleons and adapt themselves to the utmost to the colour of their environment. Nevertheless, they sometimes need a GPS to point them in the right direction. VIW takes care of the Fleming who has international plans, offers him information and stimulates mutual contacts. The foundation stimulates these contacts through diverse initiatives which simplify and enrich the lives of migrating Flemings, such as offering help and advice with the administrative hassle that comes with moving, a smooth processing of files concerning pension or social security, taxation, education, etc. VIW advises, guides and offers important information.


The foundation lobbies for initiatives with involved authorities and public services which can make life easier for Flemings abroad and which can strengthen the bond between Flemish emigrants and Flanders. VIW guides Flemings to create a home out there in the world, but also connects them with their home in Flanders. An expat who is ‘carried’ by his homeland or region will take its values out into his new habitat the best he can. VIW is a recognised 
interlocutor for authorities with regard to the wishes and aspirations of emigrated Flemings. We strive for sufficient educational facilities involving the Dutch language and the Flemish culture. Education plays an important part in keeping a connection to Flanders and on top of that, the offered education ideally takes into account that there is a great chance that the emigrated children will enrol in Flemish school after a couple of years.

In addition to this, we strive towards the extension of the right to vote abroad. After all, there is no reason why our expats can vote for federal elections but not for regional elections.

If you still have any questions about VIW after this publication, you can visit our website www.viw.be where you can find a lot of additional interesting information. You can subscribe to the monthly newsletter, take out a subscription on the quarterly magazine or contact us for additional services. And last but not least, you will also find links to follow us on social media.

VIW vision and structure

Flemings in the World is an active networking foundation set up between Flemings all around the world. VIW wants to forge a bond between Flanders and all of the emigrated and expatriated Flemings in Europe and in all of the continents. It is pivotal to create as much useful contacts as possible on an economic, cultural, social and human level. VIW wants to uphold the positive image Flanders has abroad, and does this with the aid of emigrated Flemings. VIW wants to show young adults in Flanders that there are great possibilities in the vast world out there, within the international intellectual and working field.

In order to fully inform you about these possibilities, VIW uses two tracks and provides following means:

  • Quarterly magazine
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Services concerning emigration and re-emigration 
  • Database consisting of thousands of Flemings around the world 
  • Website www.viw.be
  • A network of VIW-representatives

The knowhow of the foundation Flemings in the World is built by its people, its representatives and every emigrated Fleming. They are called experienced experts. This term has somewhat of a euphemistic nature. But what if you are looking for a school for your children in Adelaide, Australia? Whose interpretation of the educational level and educational differences will you invoke? Or on which grounds do you choose a dentist, stock broker, etc.? A tip from a fellow countryman can help immensely. After all, you share the same roots and a similar frame of reference.


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