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    Belgium Government - 2004
    https://immigration-usa.com/wfb2004/belgium/belgium_government.html
    SOURCE: 2004 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: provincies, 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
      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

      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:
      21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King Leopold I

      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 formally appointed by the monarch
      note: government coalition - VLD, MR, PS, SP.A-Spirit
      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

      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)
      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
      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
      elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held 18 May 2003 (next to be held no later than May 2007)

      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 Government; candidacies have to be submitted by the High Justice Council)

      Political parties and leaders:
      Christian Democrats and Flemish or CD & V [Yves LETERME]; Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Jean-Michel JAVAUX, Evelyne HUYTEBROECK, Claude BROUIR]; Flemish Liberal Democrats or VLD [Dirk STERCKX]; Flemish Socialist Party.Alternative or SP.A [Steve STEVAERT]; Francophone Humanist and Democratic Center of CDH [Joelle MILQUET]; Francophone Reformist Movement or MR [Antoine DUQUESNE]; Francophone Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO]; GROEN! (formerly AGALEV, Flemish Greens) [Vera DUA]; National Front or FN [Daniel FERET]; New Flemish Alliance or NVA [Geert BOURGEOIS]; Spirit [Els VAN WEERT]; note - new party now associated with SP.A; Vlaams Blok or VB [Frank VANHECKE]; other minor parties

      Political pressure groups and leaders:
      Christian, Socialist, and Liberal 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, 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, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, 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
      FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079
      consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
      telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900
      chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

      Diplomatic representation from the US:
      chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Brenda B. SCHOONOVER
      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 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Government 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Government 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    https://immigration-usa.com/wfb2004/belgium/belgium_government.html

    Revised 21-May-04
    Copyright © 2004 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)


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