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    Belgium Government - 2003
    https://theodora.com/wfb2003/belgium/belgium_government.html
    SOURCE: 2003 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

      Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium
      conventional short form: Belgium
      local short form: Belgique/Belgie
      local long form: Royaume de Belgique/Koninkrijk Belgie


      Government type: federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch


      Capital: Brussels


      Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (French: provinces, singular - province; Dutch: provincien, singular - provincie) and 3 regions* (French: regions; Dutch: gewesten); Antwerpen, Brabant Wallon, Brussels* (Bruxelles), Flanders*, Hainaut, Liege, Limburg, Luxembourg, Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, Vlaams-Brabant, Wallonia*, West-Vlaanderen


      Independence: 4 October 1830 a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands; 21 July 1831 the ascension of King Leopold I to the throne


      National holiday: Independence Day, 21 July (1831)


      Constitution: 7 February 1831, last revised 14 July 1993; parliament approved a constitutional package creating a federal state


      Legal system: civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations


      Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory


      Executive branch: chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); Heir Apparent Prince PHILIPPE, son of the monarch
      head of government: Prime Minister Guy VERHOFSTADT (since 13 July 1999)
      cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch and approved by Parliament
      elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch and then approved by Parliament
      note: government coalition - VLD, MR, PS, SP, AGALEV, and ECOLO


      Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Dutch, Senat in French (71 seats; 40 members are directly elected by popular vote, 31 are indirectly elected; members serve four-year terms) and a Chamber of Deputies or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Dutch, Chambre des Representants in French (150 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
      elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held 18 June 2003 (next to be held in NA May 2007)
      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; this reality leaves six governments each with its own legislative assembly; for other acronyms of the listed parties see the Political parties and leaders entry
      election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - SP.A-Spirit 15.5%, VLD 15.4%, CD & V 12.7%, PS 12.8%, MR 12.1%, VB 9.4%, CDH 5.6%; seats by party - SP.A-Spirit 7, VLD 7, CD & V 6, PS 6, MR 5, VB 5, CDH 2, other 2 (note - there are also 31 indirectly elected senators); Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - VLD 15.4%, SP.A-Spirit 14.9%, CD & V 13.3%, PS 13.0%, VB 11.6%, MR 11.4%, CDH 5.5%, Ecolo 3.1%; seats by party - VLD 25, SP.A-Spirit 23, CD & V 21, PS 25, VB 18, MR 24, CDH 8 Ecolo 4, other 2


      Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie (in Dutch) or Cour de Cassation (in French) (judges are appointed for life by the monarch, although selected by the Government)


      Political parties and leaders: AGALEV (Flemish Greens) [Jos GEYSELS]; Christian Democrats and Flemish or CD & V [Stefaan DE CLERCK]; note - used to be the Flemish Christian Democrats or CVP; Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Philippe DEFEYT, Marc HORDES, Evelyne HUYTEBROECK]; Flemish Liberal Democrats or VLD [Karel DE GUCHT]; Francophone Humanist and Democratic Center of CDH (used to be Social Christian Party or PSC) [Joelle MILQUET]; Francophone Reformist Movement or MR (used to be Liberal Reformation Party or PRL) [Daniel DUCARME]; Francophone Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO]; National Front or FN [Daniel FERET]; New Flemish Alliance or NVA [Geert BOURGEOIS]; note - new party that emerged after the demise of the People's Union or VU; Social Progressive Alternative Party or SP.A [Steve STEVAERT]; note - was Flemish Socialist Party or SP; Spirit [Els VAN WEERT]; note - new party that emerged after the demise of the People's Union or VU; Vlaams Blok or VB [Frank VANHECKE]; other minor parties


      Political pressure groups and leaders: Christian and Socialist Trade Unions; Federation of Belgian Industries; numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as Pax Christi and groups representing immigrants


      International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC


      Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Franciskus VAN DAELE
      chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
      consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
      FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079
      telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900


      Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen Franklin BRAUER
      embassy: Regentlaan 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels
      mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710
      telephone: [32] (2) 508-2111
      FAX: [32] (2) 511-2725


      Flag description: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the design was based on the flag of France


      NOTE: The information regarding Belgium on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Government 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    https://theodora.com/wfb2003/belgium/belgium_government.html

    Revised 20-Sep-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)


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