Belgium Politics

Belgium Politics, Population and Geography

General information: In 1830 Belgium gained independence (before 1830 it was part of the Netherlands), during the First and Second World Wars it was occupied by Germany. In the last half century, Belgium has evolved into a prosperous, modern, technologically advanced European country. Member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings in the north of the country and the French-speaking Walloons in the south of the country have in recent years led to constitutional amendments giving these regions (Flanders and Wallonia) recognition and autonomy. See to know more about Belgium History.


Location: Western Europe, on the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands.
Geographical coordinates: 50° 50′ N. latitude, 4° 00′ E
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 30,510 km2; land surface area: 30,230 km2; water surface area: 280 km2
Comparative area: Approximately equal to the state of Maryland.
Land borders: total: 1,385 km; with neighboring states: with France 620 km, with Germany 167 km, with Luxembourg 148 km, with the Netherlands 450 km.
Coastline: 66 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: the border runs along the median line with neighboring countries; zone of exclusive right to fish: the border runs along the median line with neighboring countries (about 68 km from the coast); territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: temperate; winters are mild, summers are cool; rain, humidity, clouds.
Terrain: flat coastal plains in the northwest, hills in the central part, rocky mountains of the Ardennes massif in the southeast.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: North Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Botrange 694 m.
Natural resources: coal, natural gas.
Land use: arable land: 24%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 20%; forests and plantations: 21%; others: 34%.
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: Flooding threatening drained coastal lands protected from the sea by concrete dams.
Current environmental issues: as a result of human activities, the natural environment is strongly affected: there are such factors as urbanization, dense transport network, industry, intensive livestock and crop production; air and water pollution with implications for neighboring countries; ambiguities (now resolved) in the division of responsibilities between federal and regional authorities have hindered progress in addressing environmental problems.
International Environmental Treaties: Member: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1985, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1994, Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Antarctic seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Environmental change, Hazardous waste, Law of the sea, Marine pollution, Marine life conservation, Nuclear test ban, Ozone layer protection, Ship pollution, Tropical timber 1983, Tropical Wood 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”: crossroads of Western Europe; most Western European capitals are located within 1,000 km from Brussels, which is the seat of the main bodies of the EU and NATO.


Population: 10,258,762 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: Under 14 years old: 17.48% (male 916,957; female 876,029); 15 to 64 years old: 65.57% (male 3,390,145; female 3,336,908); over 65: 16.95% (male 709,212; female 1,029,511) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.16% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 10.74 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 10.1 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.97 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.05 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.02 male/female; over 65: 0.69 male/female; for the general population: 0.96 male/female (2000 est.).
Child mortality: 4.7 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 77.96 years; men: 74.63 years; women: 81.46 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.61 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.15% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 7,700 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Belgian; adjective: Belgian.
Ethnic groups: Flemings 58%, Walloons 31%, mixed or other 11%.
Believers: Catholics 75%, Protestants and others 25%.
Languages): Flemish 58%, French 32%, German 10%, the first two languages ​​are recognized as official.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 98%; men: no data; women: no data.


Common long form: Kingdom of Belgium;
conventional short form: Belgium; local long form: Royaume de Belgique/Ko-ninkrijk Belgie; local short form: Belgique/Belgie.
State structure: federal parliamentary democracy headed by a constitutional monarch.
Capital: Brussels.
Administrative division: 10 provinces: Antwerp, Walloon Brabant, East Flanders, West Flanders, Limburg, Liege, Luxembourg, Namur, Flemish Brabant, Hainaut; note: provinces do not include the Brussels-Capital Region.
Independence: from October 4, 1830 (until 1830 – as part of the Netherlands).
National holiday: Independence Day, 21 July (accession to the throne of King LEOPOLD I [LEOPOLD I] in 1831).
Constitution: adopted February 7, 1831, last revised July 14, 1993; Parliament adopted a package of amendments to the constitution, creating a federal state.
Legal system: civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts is allowed; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 pet; universal and mandatory.
chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); heir to the throne Prince PHILIPPE, son of the king;
head of the government: Prime Minister Guy VERHOFSTADT (since 13 July 1999);
Government: council of ministers appointed by the monarch and approved by parliament; elections: not held; hereditary monarchy; the prime minister is appointed by the monarch and approved by parliament; note: governing coalition: VLD, PRL, PS, SP, AGALEV and ECOLO.
Legislature: bicameral parliament, consisting of the Senate (71 seats; 40 members are elected by direct universal suffrage, 31 by indirect; members of the Senate are elected for a four-year term) and the House of Representatives (Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers, Chambre des Representants) (150 seats; deputies are directly elected on the basis of proportional representation for a period of four years); elections: Senate and House of Representatives – last held 13 June 1999 (next to be held in 2003); election results: Senate – distribution of votes between parties – VLD 15.4%, CVP 14.7%, PRL 10.6%, PS 9.7%, VB 9.4%, SP 8.9%, ECOL0 7.4 %, AGALEV 7.1%, PSC 6.0%, VU 5.1%; number of seats – VLD 11, CVP 10, PS 10, PRL 9, VB 6, SP 6, ECOLO 6, AGALEV 5, PSC 5, VU 3; House of Representatives – distribution of votes between parties – VLD 14.3%, CVP 14.1%, PS 10.2%, PRL 10.1%, VB 9.9%, SP 9.5%, ECOLO 7.4%, AGALEV 7.0%, PSC 5.9%, VU 5.6%; number of seats – VLD 23, CVP 22, PS 19, PRL 18, VB 15, SP 14, ECOLO 11, PSC 10, AGALEV 9, VU 8, FN 1; note: as a result of the revision of the constitution in 1993, which secured the transition to a federal state, Belgium currently has three levels of government (federal, regional and linguistic communities) with a complex mechanism for delimiting powers; thus there are actually six governments, each of which has its own legislative assembly. in Belgium, there are currently three levels of government (federal, regional and linguistic communities) with a complex mechanism for delimiting powers; thus there are actually six governments, each of which has its own legislative assembly. in Belgium, there are currently three levels of government (federal, regional and linguistic communities) with a complex mechanism for delimiting powers; thus there are actually six governments, each of which has its own legislative assembly.
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Hof van Cas-satie, Cour de Cassation), judges are appointed by the monarch for life.
Political parties and leaders: Green Party (Flemish) (AGALEV) (Dos GEYSELS [Dos GEYSELS]); Green Party (francophones) (ECOLO) (no chairman); Flemish Christian Democrats (Christian People’s Party) (CVP) (Stefan DE CLERCK, chairman); Flemish Liberal Democrats (VLD) (Karel DE GUCHT, chairman); Socialist Party (Flemish) (SP) (Patrick JANSSENS, chairman); Francophone Christian Democrats (PSC) (Joelle MILQUET, chairman); Liberal Reformist Party (francophones) (PRL) (Daniel DUCA-RME, chairman); Socialist Party (francophones) (PS) (Elio Dl RUPO, chairman); Front National (FN) (Daniel FERET); Flemish block (VB) (Frank VANHECKE [Frank VANHECKE]); Folk-suni (Volksunie, VU) (leader post is vacant); other small parties.
Political pressure groups and their leaders: Christian and socialist trade unions; Federation of Belgian Industry; numerous other associations uniting bankers, manufacturers, representatives of medium and small businesses, lawyers and doctors; there are various organizations that reflect the cultural interests of the Flemings and Walloons; there are various peace groups such as Pax Christi, as well as groups representing the interests of immigrants.
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Alexis REYN; office: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone: [1] (202) 333-6900; fax: {C (202) 333-3079; consulates general: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago.
US Diplomatic Mission: head of mission: ambassador – post is vacant; embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels; mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710; phone: [32] (2) 508-2111; fax: [32] (2) 511-2725.
Description of the flag: three identical vertical stripes of black (hoist side), yellow and red; The flag of France served as a model.

Belgium Politics