Belgium Government

What is the capital of Belgium?

Country Name Belgium
Full Country Name Kingdom of Belgium
Local - Long Royaume de Belgique (French)/Koninkrijk Belgie (Dutch)/Koenigreich Belgien (German)
Local - Short Belgique/Belgie/Belgien
Etymology- history of name the name derives from the Belgae, an ancient Celtic tribal confederation that inhabited an area between the English Channel and the west bank of the Rhine in the first centuries B.C.
Government Type federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Capital Name Brussels
Capital - geographic coordinate 50 50 N, 4 20 E
Capital Time Difference UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight Savings Time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Independence 4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne)
National Holiday Belgian National Day (ascension to the throne of King LEOPOLD I), 21 July (1831)
Constitution history: drafted 25 November 1830, approved 7 February 1831, entered into force 26 July 1831, revised 14 July 1993 (creating a federal state)

amendments: "revisions" proposed as declarations by the federal government in accord with the king or by Parliament followed by dissolution of Parliament and new elections; adoption requires two-thirds majority vote of a two-thirds quorum in both houses of the next elected Parliament; amended many times, last in 2014

Belgium Capital City Map

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Belgium Government and Politics

Who is the president of Belgium?

Executive Branch:

chief of state: King PHILIPPE (since 21 July 2013); Heir Apparent Princess ELISABETH (daughter of the monarch, born 25 October 2001)

head of government: Prime Minister Sophie WILMES (since 26 October 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Alexander DE CROO (since 27 October 2019), Koen GEENS (27 October 2019), Didier REYNDERS (since 27 October 2019), David CLARINVAL (30 November 2019)

cabinet: Council of Ministers formally appointed by the monarch

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch and approved by Parliament

Citizenship Criteria:

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Belgium

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Legal System:

civil law system based on the French Civil Code; note - Belgian law continues to be modified in conformance with the legislative norms mandated by the European Union; judicial review of legislative acts

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Legislative Branch:

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:

Senate or Senaat (in Dutch), Senat (in French) (60 seats; 50 members indirectly elected by the community and regional parliaments based on their election results, and 10 elected by the 50 other senators; members serve 5-year terms)

Chamber of Representatives or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers (in Dutch), Chambre des Representants (in French) (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections:

Senate - last held 26 May 2019 (next to be held in 2024)

Chamber of Representatives - last held on 26 May 2019 (next to be held in 2024); note - elections coincided with the EU elections

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition men 32, women 28, percent of women 46.7%

Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - N-VA 16.0%, VB 11.9%, PS 9.5%, CD&V 8.9%, PVDA+/PTB 8.62%, Open VLD 8.5%, MR 7.6%, SP.A 6.7%, Ecolo 6.1%, Groen 6.1%, CDH 3.7%, Defi 2.2%, PP 1.1%, other 20.1%; seats by party - N-VA 25, VB 18, PS 20, CD&V 12, PVDA+PTB 12, Open VLD 12, MR 14, SP.A 9, Ecolo 13, Groen 8, CDH 5, Defi 2; composition - men 86, women 64, percent of women 42.7%

note: the 1993 constitutional revision that further devolved Belgium into a federal state created three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six governments, each with its own legislative assembly; changes above occurred since the sixth state reform

Judicial Branch:

highest court(s): Constitutional Court or Grondwettelijk Hof in Dutch and Cour constitutionelle in French (consists of 12 judges - 6 Dutch-speaking and 6 French-speaking); Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie in Dutch and Cour de Cassation in French (court organized into 3 chambers: civil and commercial; criminal; social, fiscal, and armed forces; each chamber includes a Dutch division and a French division, each with a chairperson and 5-6 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Constitutional Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by Parliament; judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 70; Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by the High Council of Justice, a 44-member independent body of judicial and non-judicial members; judges appointed for life

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; regional courts; specialized courts for administrative, commercial, labor, immigration, and audit issues; magistrate's courts; justices of the peace

Regions or States:

3 regions (French: regions, singular - region; Dutch: gewesten, singular - gewest); Brussels-Capital Region, also known as Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch), Region de Bruxelles-Capitale (French long form), Bruxelles-Capitale (French short form); Flemish Region (Flanders), also known as Vlaams Gewest (Dutch long form), Vlaanderen (Dutch short form), Region Flamande (French long form), Flandre (French short form); Walloon Region (Wallonia), also known as Region Wallone (French long form), Wallonie (French short form), Waals Gewest (Dutch long form), Wallonie (Dutch short form)

note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; the 2012 sixth state reform transferred additional competencies from the federal state to the regions and linguistic communities

Political Parties and Leaders:

Flemish parties:

Christian Democratic and Flemish or CD&V [Wouter BEKE]

Flemish Liberals and Democrats or Open VLD [Gwendolyn RUTTEN]

Groen [Meyrem ALMACI] (formerly AGALEV, Flemish Greens)

New Flemish Alliance or N-VA [Bart DE WEVER]

Social Progressive Alternative or SP.A [John CROMBEZ and Stephanie VAN HOUTVEN]

Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) or VB [Tom VAN GRIEKEN]

Francophone parties:

Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Patrick DUPRIEZ and Zakia KHATTABI]

Francophone Federalist Democrats or Defi [Olivier MAINGAIN]

Humanist and Democratic Center or CDH [Benoit LUTGEN]

People's Party or PP [Mischael MODRIKAMEN]

Reform Movement or MR [Olivier CHASTEL]

Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO]

Workers' Party or PTB [Peter MERTENS]

other minor parties

International Law Organization Participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

International Organization Participation:

ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dirk Jozef M. WOUTERS (since 16 September 2016)

chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900

FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic Representation from US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Matthew LUSSENHOP (since 21 January 2017)

embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent [Regentlaan], B-1000 Brussels

mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710

telephone: [32] (2) 811-4000

FAX: [32] (2) 811-4500

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