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East Belgium: a serene border region

Kirche von St. Vith
Church of St. Vith

The inhabitants of the German-speaking Community see themselves as people in a Central European area with carefree access to three different countries (Germany, the Netherlands and Luxemburg). They identify with the German language and have a close connection to the German cultural area through the media and through daily cross-border contacts. At the same time, they appreciate the immediate vicinity of Walloon and Flemish people who enjoy a rather carefree way of life.

The people are loyal Belgians, who are generally devoted to the monarchy; they feel respected by the Belgian state since German is recognised as one of the three official and constitutional languages. The political autonomy of the German-speaking Community has significantly contributed to the fact that the German-speaking population regards itself as a full-fledged member of the Belgian state.

The inhabitants substantially use the standard German language in administration, schools, church life and social relations. In addition, dialects still play a part in social interactions:

  • in the canton of Eupen: Low Franconian and Rhenish Franconian,
  • in the canton of St. Vith: Moselle Franconian and Rhenish Franconian.

A minority of the population, mainly in the northern municipalities of Kelmis, Lontzen and Eupen, speaks French.

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