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    Belgium Government - 2002
    http://www.greekorthodoxchurch.org/wfb2002/belgium/belgium_government.html
    SOURCE: 2002 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 1 region* (French: region; Dutch: gewest); Antwerpen, Brabant Wallon, Brussels* (Bruxelles), Hainaut, Liege, Limburg, Luxembourg, Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, Vlaams-Brabant, 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; prime minister appointed by the monarch and then approved by Parliament
      note: government coalition - VLD, PRL, 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 13 June 1999 (next to be held in NA 2003)
      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 - VLD 15.4%, CVP 14.7%, PRL 10.6%, PS 9.7%, VB 9.4%, SP 8.9%, ECOLO 7.4%, AGALEV 7.1%, PSC 6.0%, VU 5.1%; seats by party - VLD 11, CVP 10, PS 10, PRL 9, VB 6, SP 6, ECOLO 6, AGALEV 5, PSC 5, VU 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - VLD 14.3%, CVP 14.1%, PS 10.2%, PRL 10.1%, VB 9.9%, SP 9.5%, ECOLO 7.4%, AGALEV 7.0%, PSC 5.9%, VU 5.6%; seats by party - VLD 23, CVP 22, PS 19, PRL 18, VB 15, SP 14, ECOLO 11, PSC 10, AGALEV 9, VU 8, FN 1

      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, president]; note - used to be the Flemish Christian Democrats or CVP; ECOLO (Francophone Greens) [no president; led by three person federal secretariat]; Flemish Liberal Democrats or VLD [Karel DE GUCHT, president]; Francophone Christian Democrats or PSC (Social Christian Party) [Joelle MILQUET, president]; Francophone Liberal Reformation Party or PRL [Daniel DUCARME, president]; Francophone Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO, president]; National Front or FN [Daniel FERET]; New Flemish Alliance or NVA [Geert BOURGEOIS]; note - split from Volksunie or VB; Social Progressive Alternative Party or SP.A [Patrick JANSSENS, president]; note - was Flemish Socialist Party or SP; Spirit [Annemie VAN DE CASTEELE]; note - split from Volksunie 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, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

      Diplomatic representation in the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Alexis REYN
      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: 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 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Government 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Government 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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