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The regions

Article 3 of the Belgian Constitution

"Belgium comprises three regions: the Walloon Region, the Flemish Region and the Brussels Region."

The regions are responsible for territorial matters.
These include:

  • territorial planning
  • housing
  • landscaping and nature conservation
  • environment
  • agriculture and deep-sea fishing
  • water policy
  • economy
  • employment
  • energy policy
  • municipalities, provinces and intercommunal associations. Since January 2002, the regions have been responsible for the following matters:
    • public works and transport
    • international affairs and science policy

The Walloon Region comprises the German language area and the French language area. The area of the Flemish Region and the Dutch language area are identical. The territory of the Brussels Region corresponds to the bilingual territory of Brussels-Capital.

Some facts about the Walloon Region:

  • population: approx. 3,360,000 inhabitants
  • number of municipalities: 262 (including the nine municipalities of the German-speaking territory)
  • capital city with parliament and government: Namur
  • other important cities: Liège, Charleroi, Mons, Arlon, Wavre, Tournai, Nivelles, Verviers
  • The Walloon Parliament counts 75 members.
  • The Walloon Region has 9 ministers.

Some facts about the Flemish Region:

  • population: 5,973,000 inhabitants
  • number of municipalities: 308
  • capital with seat of parliament and government: Brussels
  • important cities: Antwerp, Ghent, Ostend, Bruges, Hasselt, Genk
  • The Flemish Parliament counts 124 members (Community and regional parliaments merged).
  • The Flemish government has 9 ministers (Community and regional governments merged).

Some facts about Brussels:

  • population: 965,000 inhabitants
  • number of municipalities: 19
  • Brussels is the smallest of Belgium's three regions.
  • The Brussels capital is home to French and Flemish speakers, although the majority of the population is made up of French speakers. Both language groups claim Brussels as "their" capital and have established important institutions there.
  • Brussels occupies an important national and international position as the capital of Belgium and the EU and as the headquarters of NATO. In federalised Belgium, a solution had to be found for Brussels that would do justice to its special position and be supported by both Flemish and French speakers.
  • In Brussels, both the French and the Flemish Community are responsible for exercising the Community's competences; for this purpose, complex, special and tailor-made structures were created for Brussels.
  • The Brussels Regional Parliament counts 89 members.
  • The government has 5 ministers and 3 state secretaries.
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