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    Belgium Government 1997

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

      Data code BE

      Government type federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch

      National capital Brussels

      Administrative divisions 9 provinces (French: provinces, singular - province; Flemish: provincien,singular - provincie); Antwerpen, Brabant, Hainaut, Liege, Limburg, Luxembourg,Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, West-Vlaanderen
      note: constitutional reforms passed by Parliament in 1993 theoretically increasedthe number of provinces to 10 by splitting the province of Brabant into twonew provinces, Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant, but this has not beenconfirmed by the US Government

      Independence 4 October 1830 (from the Netherlands)

      National holiday National Day, 21 July (ascension of King LEOPOLD to the throne in 1831)

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

      Legal system civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicialreview 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)
      head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Luc DEHAENE (since 6 March 1992)
      cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the king and approved by Parliament
      elections: none; the king is a constitutional monarch; prime minister appointedby the king and then approved by Parliament

      Legislative branch bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Flemish, Senatin French (71 seats; 40 members are directly elected, 31 will be indirectlyelected at a later date; members serve four-year terms) and a Chamber of Deputiesor Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Flemish, Chambre des Representantsin French (150 seats; members are directly elected by proportional representationto serve four-year terms)
      elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held 21 May 1995 (next to be heldby the end of 1999)
      election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CVP 7, SP 6,VLD 6, VU 2, AGALEV 1, VB 3, PS 5, PRL 5, PSC 3, ECOLO 2; note - before the1995 elections, there were 184 seats; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - CVP 17.2%, PS 11.9%, SP 12.6%, VLD 13.1%, PRL 10.3%, PSC 7.7%,VB 7.8%, VU 4.7%, ECOLO 4.0%, AGALEV 4.4%, FN 2.3%; seats by party - CVP 29,PS 21, SP 20, VLD 21, PRL 18, PSC 12, VB 11, VU 5, ECOLO 6, AGALEV 5, FN 2;note - before the 1995 elections, there were 212 seats
      note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolutioninto a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional,and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; thisreality leaves six governments each with its own legislative assembly; forother acronyms of the listed parties see Political parties and leaders

      Judicial branch Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie in Flemish, Cour de Cassationin French, judges are appointed for life by the Belgian monarch

      Political parties and leaders Flemish Christian Democrats or CVP (Christian People's Party) [MarcVAN PEEL, president]; Francophone Christian Democrats or PSC (Social ChristianParty) [Gerard DEPREZ, president]; Flemish Socialist Party or SP [Louis TOBBACK,president]; Francophone Socialist Party or PS [Philippe BUSQUIN, president];Flemish Liberal Democrats or VLD [Herman DE CROO, president]; FrancophoneLiberal Reformation Party or PRL [Louis MICHEL, president]; Francophone DemocraticFront or FDF [Olivier MAINGAIN, president]; Volksunie or VU [Bert ANCIAUX,president]; Vlaams Blok or VB; National Front or FN [Frank VANHECKE, president];AGALEV (Flemish Greens) [no president]; ECOLO (Francophone Greens) [no president];other minor parties

      Political pressure groups and leaders Christian and Socialist Trade Unions; Federation of Belgian Industries;numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-classartisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations representthe cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups suchas the Flemish Action Committee Against Nuclear Weapons and Pax Christi

      International organization participation ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC,CE, CERN, EBRD, ECE, EIB, 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, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer),OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNPREDEP,UNRWA, UNTAES, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

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

      Diplomatic representation from the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Alan J. BLINKEN
      embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels
      mailing address: APO AE 09724, PSC 82, Box 002, Brussels
      telephone : [32] (2) 508-2111
      FAX: [32] (2) 511-2725

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

      NOTE: The information regarding Belgium on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Government 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Government 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
    Copyright © 2002 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)