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State Structure

Belgium gained its independance in 1830. Via a number of institutional reforms (in 1970, 1980, 1988-89 and 1993), Belgium has evolved into a federal state. So it is that today, the first article of the Belgian Constitution states: "Belgium is a federal State which consists of Communities and Regions". This means that several bodies (the federal State, the Regions and the Communities) which are equal in law, now share the powers which were formerly controlled solely by the central State. The country is further divided into ten provinces and 589 cities and communes.

Federal Government

The federal State retains important areas of competence including: foreign affairs, defense, justice, finances, social security, important sectors of public health and domestic affairs, etc.

For more information, you can check the site of the  Belgian Federal Government or the sites of the Federal Public Services listed below.

  • Services of the Prime Minister
  • FPS Justice
  • FPS Interior Affairs
  • FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  • FPS Defence
  • FPS Finance
  • FPS Labour and Employment
  • FPS Social Security
  • FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment
  • FPS Transport
  • FPS Economy
  • FPS Information and Communication technology


Communities & Regions

Belgium has three Communities: the Flemish Community, the French Community and the German-speaking Community. Their powers are cultural and are bound to people (cultural issues, education, health and social assistance etc).

There are also three Regions, distinct from the Communities: the Flemish Region (5 Flemish provinces), the Brussels Capital Region (19 municipalities) and the Walloon Region (5 Walloon provinces). Their powers are bound to their geographical area (town and country planning, environment, housing, economic policy, employment, transport etc).

On the Flemish side there has been a 'merger' of the regional and community institutions: a single Council and a single Government exercise the powers of both the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community. On the French-speaking side, however, there is a Council and Government of the Walloon Region and a Council and Government of the French Community.


Provinces

  • Antwerp: http://www.provant.be or http://www.visitantwerpen.be
  • East Flanders: http://www.oost-vlaanderen.be
  • Flemish Brabant: http://www.vl-brabant.be
  • Hainaut: http://www.hainaut.be
  • Liège: http://www.prov-liege.be
  • Limburg: http://www.limburg.be
  • Luxembourg: http://www.province.luxembourg.be
  • Namur: http://www.province.namur.be
  • Walloon Brabant: http://www.brabantwallon.be
  • West Flanders: http://www.west-vlaanderen.be



  • Computer centra with information about local authorities (provincial government, cities...)
  • Cevi (Computer centre provinces East and West Flanders): http://www.cevi.be
  • Ciger (Computer centre provinces Namur and Luxembourg): http://www.ciger.be
  • Cipal (Computer centre provinces Antwerp and Limburg): http://www.cipal.be

 

 


Copyright © 1999-2005 Belgian Office Taipei
This page was last updated on Wednesday September 15, 2004