Brussels Capital Region
The Brussels Capital Region (French: Région de Bruxelles-Capitale) is one of the three regions of Belgium and consists of 19 municipalities, including the city of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Region is an enclave in Flanders with a total surface area of 161 km² and a population of 1 221 881 (1 January 2020). The entire urban area of Brussels, including suburbs outside the region itself, has about 1.8 million inhabitants, making it the largest conurbation in the country. Both the Flemish and French Community exercise their powers in the territory of the Brussels Capital Region.
|Region in Belgium|
- Population density
|1 218 255 (01/01/2020) |
|Prime Minister||Rudi Vervoort|
|Currency unit||Euro (EUR)|
|Time zone||UTC +1 (summer = +2)|
|Fesale Day||May 8|
Middle Ages and Brabant Duke
The area in which urban rights were applied was referred to as the Brussels onion. It then had a big bloom under the Duke Brabant and then rivaled heavily with Leuven. Both cities were alternately the capital of the Duchy. Brussels became more or less the capital of the Habsburg Netherlands and later the Southern Netherlands. By the end of Austrian time, it took over Leuven. Many families of property, as well as parts of the Austrian administration, settled there.
Brussels consolidated its capital function under the French regime for the first time. During the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, it was co-located with The Hague. In the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Brussels was the center of the rebels, where the Provisional Bewind settled.
The new Belgian State has considerably accelerated the development of Brussels. Before 1830, Brussels was a Brabantse, Dutch-speaking city. After its independence, it had a strong insurrection of French (fled revolutionaries and others), and Walloon officials, who attracted the young Belgian regime from the Walloon provinces to serve its national administration. This regime was dominated by higher civil society and the disadvantage. Only these groups had the right to vote at the time. They wished to develop the national institutions only in their own language, French. As a result, Dutch was radically banned from all the institutions and from the administration.
This linguistic discrimination coincided with serious social and political discrimination against workers and Flemish Dutch-speaking civil society. In the 19th century Brussels also experienced strong industrial development. This pressure from the state and the infiltration of Walloon and French forces has led to a rise in the people's franchise and the exorbitance of the people. However, the French-speaking people were the majority only around the mid-20th century in Brussels.
Together with this evolution, the metropolitan area also grew. At the beginning of the 19th century, there were only six municipalities around the capital. As urbanization and franchise began, surrounding municipalities were annexed. That was done at 10-year language counts. As soon as the number of French-speakers and bilinguals exceeded certain limits, the municipality concerned was added to the capital's area.
Since the 1960s, Brussels has become de facto the capital of the European Community, later of the European Union. Urban construction, such as demolition of existing buildings, sometimes whole areas, were allowed without taking sufficient account of aesthetic aspects. Valuable art decoys disappeared unless they were already protected. This architectural cacophony of old and new generation led to the creation of the term burglary.
Own Brussels institutions: agglomeration and region
Brussels only got its own political institutions relatively late, first with a Brussels Agglomerate Council, and then, ten years after the Flemish and Walloon regions (in 1989), with its own capital regional institutions: the Brussels Capital Parliament and the Brussels Capital Government. A legal framework was drawn up to protect the Flemish minority in Brussels (according to the most optimistic estimates, around 20% of the Brussels population, but less so if the election results of the Dutch-speaking parties are taken as a benchmark). For example, the Brussels regional government (as well as the federal government) has been set up as a joint, i.e. there are as many Dutch and French-speaking ministers (with the exception of the Prime Minister). Later, Flemings also received a guaranteed number of seats in the Brussels Capital Council, as otherwise their number of seats might be below a critical threshold.
In addition, the Flemish and French Community also exercise powers in the Brussels Region; these are the typical community competences, also known as 'personal matters' (e.g. culture). For the Flemish Community, these powers are vested in the Flemish Community Commission (VGC), the French Community at COCOF. There is a limited number of issues on which there is the Community Joint Committee.
The current institutional arrangements for the Brussels Capital Region are the result of numerous rounds of state reform, in which the French-speaking people are trying to turn Brussels into a fully-fledged region (une région-à-part entière), while the Flemings want to see Brussels more as a lower, intermediate form of government - a highly upgraded conurbation and even a city (with a merger of the 19 municipalities). The Brussels Region has a slightly different legal status from the Flemish and Walloon regions.
The current Brussels Capital Region coincides with the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital and the Brussels-Capital arrondissement, which includes 18 other municipalities, which have become urban-urban in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Unlike most other large agglomerations in Belgium (such as Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège), the Brussels conurbation was not involved in the merger of municipalities in 1977, leaving the number of municipalities unchanged. In the past (1922) only the municipalities of Laeken, Haren and Lower Heembeek were registered by the municipality of Brussels.
Soil & relief
The Brussels Capital Region is situated in the Brabantse Leam region on the north-east side of central Belgium at a height of 9.40 meters in the valley of the almost completely covered Zenne, which cuts the region from south to north, to 148 meters in the Sunshine forest on the south-east side. Apart from the Zenne River, its tributaries to the Maalbeek and the Woluwe in the east of the region also cause considerable differences in height. Forests and parks account for around 20% of the total area of the region, which is concentrated mainly in the south-east of the region (Solar Forest, Ter Kamerenbos) in the west (including the area of forest). On the other hand, there is a limited area of pasture and arable land. Uncultivated land (including forests, parks and agricultural land) accounts for one third of the territory.
|Weather averages for Brussels (Uccle)|
|Maximum height (°C)||12.2||13.3||17.7||22.3||26.6||29.0||30.7||30.6||25.4||21.6||16.2||12.7||32.4|
|Average maximum (°C)||5.7||6.6||10.4||14.2||18.1||20.6||23.0||22.6||19.0||14.7||9.5||6.1||14.2|
|Average temperature (°C)||3.3||3.7||6.8||9.8||13.6||16.2||18.4||18.0||14.9||11.1||6.8||3.9||10.5|
|Average Minimum (°C)||0.7||0.7||3.1||5.3||9.2||11.9||14.0||13.6||10.9||7.8||4.1||1.6||6.9|
|Lowest Minimum (°C)||-6.5||-5.4||-2.3||-0.2||3.6||6.6||9.4||9.1||6.4||2.2||-1.7||-5||-8.4|
|Days off (day)||19.2||16.3||17.8||15.0||16.2||15.0||14.3||14.5||15.7||16.6||18.8||19.3||198.7|
|Source: KMI (1981-2010)|
- Brussels-Capital District
The 19 municipalities of the Brussels Capital Region (with their postal codes):
- Other (1070)
- Brussels (city) (1000, 1020, 1120, 1130, 1040, 1050)
- Elsene (1050)
- Etterbeek (1040)
- Evere (1140)
- Ganshoren (1083)
- Jette (1090)
- Cekelberg (1081)
- Eldergem (1160)
- Scarbeek (1030)
- St Agatha-Berchem (1082)
- Saint-Gillis (1060)
- St. Jans-Molenbeek (1080)
- St. Joost-ten-Node (1210)
- St. Lambrechts-Woluwe (1200)
- Saint-Pierre-Woluwe (1150)
- Nickel (1180)
- Frost (1190)
- Watermaze-Bosvorde (1170)
Demography and diversity
When Belgium became independent in 1830, the municipalities that are now part of the Brussels Capital Region had about 135 000 inhabitants, of which Brussels itself, with about 95 000 inhabitants, had about 70% of the total. The other municipalities were still villages, of which only a few had more than 3 000 inhabitants, which had not yet grown with the city. In 1900 the conurbation was already 626,075 inhabitants and around 1960 the milestone of 1 000 000 inhabitants was reached. Brussels will account for only 17% of the total, and in the 19th century it will be mainly the neighboring municipalities of Brussels, which are growing spectacularly (Anderlecht, Molenbeek, Schaarbeek, Saint-Gillis, Elsene, St-Joost), in the 20th century, growth will be concentrated in the outskirts.
In 1990, just after its creation in 1989, the conurbation had 991 355 inhabitants, while in 1970 there were 1 075 136. Until 2000, this number would continue to fall to 959,318, roughly equal to the level of 1947 (955,929). In the first decade of the 21st century, the trend was to close the 1,200,000 cape by 2019. This strong growth is concentrated mainly in the municipalities of Anderlecht, St Jans-Molenbeek, Schaarbeek, Elsene, St Joost-ten Node, Cekelberg, Laeken (Brussels II) and Saint-Gillis, and is both the result of high natural balances (high birth rates and low mortality rates, mainly due to the high proportion of young people from the (a) a strong migration from abroad. Despite this growth, some of these municipalities (Brussels, Elsene, St. Gillis, Etterbeek and St. Joost) still have fewer inhabitants than they had at their peak. The other municipalities have lower growth rates, which are closer to the national average. However, the phenomenon of urban evasion is still occurring in the second half of the 20th century, as the internal migration balance remains negative year after year (more inhabitants leave the region to Flanders or Wallonia than vice versa).
At the end of 2008, around 68% of the inhabitants of the Brussels Capital Region were of foreign origin. Some 35% of Brussels citizens are of non-European origin. The percentage of Brussels citizens of European origin and non-foreign origin is both 32%. Refugees account for the remaining 1%. It should be noted that the inhabitants of mixed origin (both Belgian and foreign) are considered to be of foreign origin.
According to a 2006 report by the Brussels Observatory for Health and Social Welfare, 46.3% of residents of the Brussels Capital Region are of foreign origin (i.e. not born in Belgium). 26.8% of Brussels residents do not have Belgian nationality (his immigrant). In some areas of the region, migrant workers are particularly affected. In other districts, non-Belgians are mainly employees of international organizations or foreign students.
Population evolution by municipality
|Born & |
Deceased as at 1000 inw.
|3||Brussels||129,680||218,623||184,838||133,859||181,726||100||169||143||103||140||32.61||5,573||17.6 / 7.1||69.8|
|2||Schaarbeek||6 211||63,508||123,671||105,692||133,309||100||1,023||1 991||1 702||2 146||8.14||16,377||18.5 / 5.8||66.2|
|3||Other||5,966||47,929||86,412||87,812||119,714||100||803||1 448||1 472||2 007||17.74||6,747||17.1 / 8.4||64.1|
|4||St. Jans-Molenbeek||12,065||58,445||63,922||71,219||97,462||100||484||530||590||808||5.89||16,542||19.4 / 7.8||56.8|
|5||Elsene||14,251||58,615||90,711||73,174||86,876||100||411||637||513||610||6.34||13,693||14.6 / 5.6||91.8|
|6||Nickel||6,372||18,034||56,156||74,221||83,024||100||283||881||1 165||1 303||22.91||3,624||11.1 / 10.8||111.1|
|7||St. Lambrechts-Woluwe||1 182||3,468||26,344||46,528||56,660||100||293||2 229||3,936||4,794||7.22||7,842||11.8 / 8.4||94.7|
|8||Frost||1 324||9,509||47,370||45,555||56,289||100||718||3,578||3 441||4 251||6.25||9,009||16.7 / 7.6||80.8|
|9||Jette||1 981||10,053||29,484||39,749||52,536||100||507||1 488||2 007||2,652||5.04||10,417||15.8 / 9.3||81.7|
|10||Saint-Gillis||4 138||51,763||61,396||42,458||50,267||100||1 251||1,484||1,026||1 215||2.52||19,910||16.2 / 5.8||73.3|
|11||Etterbeek||3,084||20,838||50,040||39,404||48,367||100||676||1,623||1 278||1,568||3.15||15,358||15.7 / 7.1||80.8|
|12||Saint-Pierre-Woluwe||1 318||2,686||18,455||37,922||41,824||100||204||1 400||2,877||3 173||8.85||4,725||10.9 / 9.1||110.0|
|13||Evere||1 377||3,892||15,277||31,348||41,763||100||283||1 109||2 277||3,033||5.02||8,322||15.3 / 9.7||74.5|
|14||Eldergem||4,685||18,640||28,804||34,013||100||398||615||726||9.03||3,765||12.3 / 9.8||101.5|
|15||St. Joost-ten-Node||14,850||32,140||28,155||22,097||27,457||100||216||190||149||185||1.14||24,037||17.5 / 4.3||50.7|
|16||Watermae-Bosvorde||3 950||6,520||19,683||24,773||25,184||100||165||498||627||638||12.93||1,947||8.8 / 11.1||109.7|
|17||Saint Agatha-Berchem||672||1 845||11,180||18,735||25,179||100||275||1,664||2,788||3,747||2.95||8,537||16.7 / 9.1||84.8|
|18||Ganshoren||1,015||2,872||9,092||19,757||24,902||100||283||896||1,947||2,453||2.46||10,142||16.2 / 9.2||81.9|
|19||Koekelberg||2,198||10,650||15,103||16,211||21,990||100||485||687||738||1 000||1.17||18,755||17.9 / 7.6||69.2|
|Total BHG||211,634||626,075||955,929||959,318||1 208 542||100||296||452||453||571||161.36||7 490||15.9 / 7.8||78.4|
All figures for Brussels include Brussels II (Laeken, Haren and Lower-Over-Heembeek); Old age was still part of Watermaze-Bosvorde in 1846. Birds/death per 1000 cw. for 2014, population per km² for 2018. By comparison for Belgium, these figures are respectively:
- 371 inhabitants/km²
- 11.2 births per 1000
- 9.4 deaths per 1000
The wealth index is indicative of the average wealth of the inhabitants of a municipality. It is calculated as the average net taxable income per capita in a given municipality compared to the same average value for Belgium (= index 100). An index below 100 means that this income is lower than the national average, an index higher than 100 the reverse. These data refer to the 2017 income year. With an index of 78,4, the Brussels Region is far behind the other regions of the country. For Flanders the index is 107,1 and for Wallonia 94,3. Saint-Joost-ten-Node has the lowest welfare index of all 581 Belgian municipalities with index 50.7. It is noteworthy that, over the period 2006-2017, the welfare index fell in 15 of the 19 municipalities, only in 2 municipalities (Elsene and Saint-Gillis, respectively). has increased by 5% and 7%) and has remained virtually the same in two municipalities (Uccle and Etterbeek). The region which was already 15% poorer than the Belgian average in 2006 (index 84.6) has fallen by almost 8%. In fact, Ganshoren, St. Agatha-Berchem, Koekelberg, Anderlecht and Evere have lost 15% or more and are the biggest losers of all 581 municipalities in Belgium over this period.
Population density per municipality
The Brussels Capital Region has an average population density of more than 7,400 inhabitants per km², which is about 20 times higher than the national average. However, there are large differences in population density between some municipalities in the region. The central municipalities and also the historic urban centers of Brussels, the so-called Five-Angle, have a much higher density than the second-krona municipalities, which later became urbanized. For the municipalities of the South-East Beach (mainly Watermag-Bosvorde but also Uccle, Oudergem and Saint-Pierre-Woluwe) this is partly explained by the fact that a large proportion of their area is occupied by the uninhabited Sunshine forest and also by the fact that they also have a relatively large residential area with free-standing buildings. For Brussels city, including the occupied Laeken, Haren and Lower-Over-Heembeek municipalities, the main reason for this is the presence of the large royal area and the port area where there is almost no residential area. Although St. Joost-ten-Node, with almost 24 000 inhabitants per square kilometer, is the most populous municipality, the highest concentration at district level is found in the Bosnian district of St. Gillis, where the density is at 38 000 inhabitants per km². Both St. Joost and St. Gillis had an even higher density of about 25,000 inhabitants per km² in the middle of the 20th century (for deploying the urban flight).
Belts and residents of foreign origin by municipality
The Local Citizenship and Integration Monitor 2018, published by the Flemish Community, gives the following figures for the 19 municipalities of the Brussels Capital Region, as regards population diversity.
Of the nearly 1.2 million inhabitants, 65% have Belgian nationality, 35% have a different nationality. By nationality, in 10 of the 19 municipalities, the French are the most heavily represented in 6 municipalities of the Romanians. Bulgarians, Moroccans and Indians come into one municipality (respectively). Schaerbeek, Molenbeek and Evere) in the first place. In Elsene, Saint-Gillis and Etterbeek, almost 50% of the population have a different nationality from that of Belgium, Watertimes-Bosvorde and St-Agatha-Berchem are the only municipalities in which just over 80% of the inhabitants have Belgian nationality.
At the end of 2017, 71.8% of the residents of the Brussels Capital Region were of foreign origin (either born abroad or at least one of the parents born abroad). 28.3% of the population is rooted in one of the countries of the European Union, 43.5% are linked to countries outside the EU, 24.6% come from the Maghreb or Turkey, which are the main regions of immigration so far. St. Joost-Ten-Node, the only municipality that has over 90% of its inhabitants from abroad, Watermae-Bosvorde alone is less than 50%. Molenbeek accounts for the largest proportion (65%) of non-EU residents, with St. Peter's Woluwé at least 17%.
|Not Belgen |
Nat. Share %
|Total BHG||1 191 604||65.3%||34.7%||France||5.3%||71.8%||28.3%||43.5%|
The region has Dutch and French as official languages. Almost all official (administration, police, judiciary, street signs, etc.), semi-official cases and institutions (MIVB, Bpost) and various private entities (such as large retail chains) are bilingual. Most of the other terms are also available in the two languages. However, the official language on the streets is often French, in accordance with the breakdown of the population: 80 to 90 percent use French as a language, 20 to 10 percent Dutch, depending on the source and the metrics used.
However, such percentages do not always give a clear picture. Many of the people who give up French as their first language speak Dutch, whether they speak Dutch or not. These may be (often older) residents who speak both Dutch, French and Brussels dialect, but also people who have been raised in French and have gone to a Dutch-speaking school. By 2010, there is a trend towards French-speaking parents sending their children to a Dutch-speaking school, because they would thus have more opportunities, and because French-language education in Brussels has a reputation for being of inferior quality. Many French-speaking Brussels speakers speak Dutch for commercial reasons: 200 000 to 300 000 Flemish or other Dutch-speaking commuters work in the city. Finally, it should be noted that a large part of the population has a different home language (including Arabic, Turkish, English, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian and various African languages), with French and/or Dutch being essentially second or third languages for these inhabitants.
In the municipal administration of each of the 19 municipalities of the region, there is usually one (or exceptionally several) Dutch-speaking vessels (Dutch-language vessels), which is sometimes responsible for all Dutch-language matters. Local officials in contact with the public (such as local staff) should be bilingual. In practice, official reports confirm that there are large numbers of single-language (mainly French-speaking) officials employed. Most mayors have a good knowledge of both languages.
There are occasional incidents between French speakers and Dutch speakers. In the 1960s and 1970s, for example, there was the Schaarbek mayor Roger Nols, who took various measures to bully out Dutch-speaking quasi. The best example of this is the issue of points of single contact: Roger Nols made sure that there was only one point of contact for Dutch speakers in the municipal administration, although a Dutch-speaking person should be able to go to any point of contact in Dutch. The number of inhabitants of Schaarbeek, the highest apart from that of Brussels City, required more points of contact for Dutch speakers.
These tensions appear to be diminishing within Brussels. Instead, the language problems have been relocated to the Flemish border around Brussels, where many French-speaking Brussels-based people have settled. In some municipalities they are even a large majority, which is contrary to the fact that these municipalities belong to Flanders and are therefore formally Dutch-speaking.
Of all commercial companies based in Brussels, 35% use Dutch as an internal language of communication and as a language of communication with the public authorities. A third of all job offers require bilingualism, and a fifth also asks for knowledge of English. Multilingual jobs are usually filled by Flemings. Of all advertising campaigns in Brussels, some 41.4% are bilingual French-Dutch, a third monolingual French, a tenth bilingual French-English and 7.2% three-language. In 2006, 229 500 commuters from the Flemish Region (65% of the total) arrived during the day, considerably more than the 126 500 commuters from Wallonia (35%).
The original language of Brussels, a local version of Brabants, is one of the forerunners of today's Dutch. The current Standard dutch has emerged over the centuries from a variety of dialects, with Brabants and Hollands playing a leading role. Within the Brussels Capital Region, French and Dutch are official languages, but most (residents, commuters, foreigners, as well as the occasional visitor) use French as their contact language.
Brussels is one of the Brazilian dialects of Dutch. French occupations and Belgian independence were only used by the senior officials and their domestic staff, and in relations with neighboring French-speaking regions such as the Nijvel, Hainaut and Namur region. During the French occupation, French was brutally imposed as a language of administration. At the time of Belgian independence, the local population of Brussels was more than 90% Dutch. The number of French-speaking people increased during the 19th century, with the arrival of French refugees and the recruitment of Walloon officials to the central administration of the new state. The new state opted for the language of a very limited group of voters, the only French-speaking model, higher civil society and higher clergy.
In the last decades of the twentieth century, the Brussels Capital Region has developed from a bilingual to a multilingual region, thanks to the establishment of European officials and their families, Mediterranean foreign workers, immigrants from the former Belgian colony of Congo, refugees from all parts of the world and, most recently, many Central and Eastern Europeans. English is increasingly used as a contact language and other languages are gaining importance, particularly as a domestic language and means of communication within sections of the population, such as Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Berber, Italian, etc.
After the last language count in 1947, with 74.2% French and 25.5% Dutch being the most spoken language, no official statistics on the use of languages in Brussels have been kept. Since 2000, there has been a regular study of the language relations carried out by the BRIO, a scientific research institute. The development of Brussels' domestic language shows that in recent years the proportion of single (French) families has fallen sharply and the proportion of bilingual families has risen. It is worth noting that between 2000 and 2012, the proportion of families with a French or a French voice fell slightly (from 82% to 78%), while the proportion of families with a Dutch or a Dutch voice rose sharply (from 14% to 22%). This is probably partly due to the popularity of Dutch-language education in Brussels.
|Current domestic language in Brussels Capital Region|
|Dutch and French||8.0%||7.2%||17.0%|
|French and other languages||14.5%||16.3%||23.2%|
|Only one or more other languages||11.6%||8.1%||16.5%|
|Source: BRIO Language Barometer 3 Summary|
The answers to the question of which language or languages are used in communication with neighbors, in other words, the language of contact in their own neighborhood, show a diminishing interest in French in favor of English. In 2000, 83% of Brussels speaking exclusively French with its neighbors, 12% using French and Dutch, 2% speaking exclusively Dutch, 2% French and English, and 1% speaking alternately French, Dutch and English. In 2012, this had developed to 62% exclusively French, 12% French and Dutch, 1% exclusively Dutch, 6% French and English, and 18% French, Dutch and English.
Brussels Dutch public libraries
The 19 municipalities of the Brussels Region have a recognized Dutch-language public library service. Along with the Metropolitan Public Library Currency Point, there are thus 20 Dutch-speaking public libraries in the Brussels Region.
The subsidizing of public libraries in Belgium is a matter of community concern, because the content is linked to individuals. The above-mentioned municipal libraries are therefore covered by the VGC subsidy as is the case with the Brussels library network. In addition, the French-speaking COCOF also has its own library network
- Brussels in literature
- Bright Brussels
- Museum Night Fever
Protected Real Estate Heritage
- List of protected real estate assets in the Brussels Capital Region
|Brussels Capital Region||Supranational||National||Community||Region||State||Arrondissement||County District||Canton||Municipality||District|
|Administrative||Level||European Union||Belgium|| Flemish Community |
|Brussels Capital Region||Brussels Capital||19||-|
|Governance||European Commission||Belgian Government||College v.d. Flemish Community Commission |
College v.d. French Community Commission
College v.d. Joint Committee
|Brussels Capital Government||Deputation||Municipal Government||District College|
|Council||European Parliament||Senate||Chamber of Representatives||Council v.d. Flemish Community Commission |
Council v.d. French Community Commission
Council v.d. Joint Committee
|Brussels Capital Parliament||Arrondissementsraad||Municipal Council||County Council|
|Choose Description||French KiesCollege |
|Brussels-Capital Ring |
|Election||European||Federal||Flemish, Brussels and |
French Community elections
|Provincial Executive||Municipal||County Council|
Government and Parliament
Since 1989, Brussels officials have been able to choose their own regional representatives: the Brussels Capital Parliament. This Council shall appoint the Brussels Capital Government. This government should have a parliamentary majority in both language groups and, by analogy with the federal government, should also have as many ministers from each language group (in practice two each), led by a prime minister to whom this linguistic parity does not apply. In addition, some of the secretaries of state, subordinate to one of the ministers, can be added to the government, even if they are not subject to linguistic parity. The Council shall also set up the respective Councils for the Flemish and French-speaking Community (VGC and COCOF).
Important administrative tasks have been entrusted to institutions of the two communities in Brussels, namely the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) and the French Community Commission (COCOF), as well as a small Community Joint Commission (GGC). VGC and COCOF each have their own elected board and management. The Community Councils are made up of the elected representatives of the local community in the Brussels Parliament.
As with all elections in Belgium, the Brussels Capital Parliament elections are also subject to the obligation to vote. In 1989 the number of voters was 582 947, accounting for 60.45% of the population. In 2014, the number of voters had remained almost unchanged (584,310), while the population has increased by 20%. As these new residents are almost exclusively non-Belgians who do not have the right to vote, the proportion of voters/residents has fallen to 50.22%, significantly lower than is the case at national level and in other regions. In addition, the high absenteeism (16,5 % in 2014) is also typical of the Brussels region.
Originally, the parliament had 75 members and there were no established number of seats per language group. The 2001 Lambermouth Agreement increased the number of seats to 89 and provided for a fixed number of seats for each language group, 72 for the French-language lists and 17 for the Dutch-language lists. This 80%-20% ratio does not reflect the real voting relationships between the two language groups. Indeed, since 1989, the proportion of votes for the NL-language lists fell from 15.01% to 11.54% in 2014, while on the FR-language side it rose from 84.99% to 88.46%. It should be noted that votes for NL-language lists cannot necessarily come solely from Dutch-speaking voters, whereas the same applies to votes on FR-language lists. The extent to which this phenomenon of cross-language voting is undetectable is the fact that the Vlaams Belang (formerly the Vlaams Blok) has on a number of occasions deliberately conducted a bilingual campaign with the aim of also obtaining FR-language votes, which would explain the higher number of votes for NL-language lists for 1999 and 2004.
Due to the limited number of seats per language group, bilingual lists for these elections are not possible. Dutch speakers who are candidates for a French-language list are considered French-speaking and vice versa. For these elections, too, there is a 5% threshold for obtaining seats, although in this case it applies to each language group and is not calculated on the basis of all the votes cast.
A special feature is that parties within the same language group can establish a list connection (equipment). Thus, the technique of equipment, which exists only in provincial elections in Belgium and previously in federal elections, but which involves lists of the same party in different constituencies, is used here for lists of different parties in the same constituency. The aim was to prevent the Flemish Block from gaining a majority of seats because smaller parties, such as N-VA, spirit, Agalev or Vivant, would not reach the electoral threshold. In 2014, the list of PTB*PVDA-GOs was thus made possible! 4 seats although he remained below the electoral threshold by 3.86%. The party made a list link with the parties Pro Brussels, the Belgian Union-Belge and the Pirate Party. In addition, the four parties together achieved more than 5%, and thus their seats were allocated; These eventually all came to the PVDA. The parties CD&V, sp.a, N-VA, Open Vld, Green and Flemish Interest did not enter a list link in these elections.
Outcome of regional elections since 1989
|Open VLD (PVV/VLD)||12,143||18.46%||2||11,034||19.44%||2||-||-||-||12,443||19.90%||4||11,957||23.07%||4||14,250||26,70 %||5||11,051||15.79%||3|
|People's Union||9,053||13,76 %||3||5,726||10.09%||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|SP. a Spirit||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||11,052||17.68%||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Green (Agalev)||4 821||7.33%||3||3,906||6.88%||0||-||-||-||6,132||9.81%||3||5,806||11.20%||2||9,551||17.89%||3||14,425||20.61%||4|
|Vlaams Belang (Flemish Block)||9,006||13.69%||3||12,507||22.04%||2||19,310||31.89%||4||21,297||34.07%||6||9,072||17.51%||3||2,987||5.60%||3||5,838||8.34%||3|
|Dedecker List||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1 957||3.78%||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Pro Bruxsel||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1 225||2.36%||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Other NL-Lists||519||0.79%||0||-||-||-||-||-||-||1 110||1.78%||0||1 434||2,77 %||0||968||1.81%||0||3 712||5.31%||0|
|Total NL-Lists||65,775||15.01%||11||56,746||13,74 %||10||60,546||14.19%||11||62,516||13,78 %||17||51,818||11.35%||17||53,379||11.54%||17||69,996||15.27%||17|
|TB (PTB*PVDA-Go! / PTB+)||1 283||0.34%||0||2,052||0.58%||0||1 760||0.48%||0||2 221||0.57%||0||3 427||0.85%||0||15,777||3.86%||4||52,297||13.47%||10|
|DEBOUT LES BELGES!||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||9,424||2.30%||0||-||-||-|
|Total Valid Voting||438/192||91.73%||75||412,977||92.80%||75||426,741||95.08%||75||453,732||96.23%||89||456,592||95.04%||89||462,427||94.65||89||458,274||93.35%||89|
|Blanco & Invalid||39,497||8.27%||32,051||7.20%||22,098||4.92%||17,796||3,77 %||24,031||4.96%||26,156||5.35%||32,643||6,65 %|
|Absenteism||105 258||18.06%||92,366||17.19%||95,205||17,50 %||92,654||16.42%||90,074||15.67%||95,727||16.38%||97,286||16,54 %|
VGC - Flemish Community Commission
The VGC plays an important role for the Dutch-speaking Brussels agents. It receives its resources mainly through the drawing rights of the Brussels Capital Region and the allocations of the Flemish Community, supplemented by a small proportion of federal funds. The Flemish Minister for Brussels also funds the Dutch-speaking institutions and initiatives in Brussels. The Flemish Community Commission, for example, finances Community centers in Brussels, supports the operation of Dutch-speaking schools and Brussels-based organizations in the Netherlands, childcare facilities, welfare institutions and initiatives. In doing so, it is actually taking on part of the tasks that the local authorities - all of which are led by French-speaking mayors - are not obliged to carry out, and for obvious reasons they are not. For decades, many municipalities had no municipal library in the Dutch language, even though that has been remedied.
The French Community Commission exercises powers similar to those of the Flemish Community Commission (VGC). However, it also has decretinal powers. It also has more resources than the VGC.
Governance Level Overview
(N = Dutch, F = French)
|competent level||Legislative power||Executive power||Other|
|legislative assembly||composition||legal standard||government||composition||Other||composition|
|Brussels Capital Region||Brussels Capital Parliament: 89||17N + 72F||Ordonnance||Brussels Capital Government: 5||1 Prime Minister (F) + 2N + 2F (1)||3 Regional State Secretaries||1N + 2F|
|Flemish Community||Flemish Community Commission: 17||17N||Regulation||College of Flemish Community Commission: 3||2N + 1N (2)||Brussels member Flemish Government||(in an advisory capacity)|
|French Community||French Community Commission: 72||72F||Decree (3)||college of French Community commission 5||3F + 2F||French Community Government member||(in an advisory capacity)|
|Flemish and French Community||Joint Commission: 89||17N + 72F||Ordonnance||Joint College of the Community||2N + 2F||Brussels member Flemish Government; |
Brussels Member of the French Community Government;
Prime Minister of Brussels
|(in an advisory capacity)|
|Brussels Agglomerate Council||Brussels Capital Parliament: 89||17N + 72F||Regulation||Brussels Capital Government: 5||1 Prime Minister + 2N + 2F||3 Regional State Secretaries||1N + 2F|
- (1) The Prime Minister does not need to belong to a particular language group but is de facto a French language group.
- (2) Two Dutch-speaking Ministers of the Government of Brussels and the Dutch-speaking State Secretary of the Government of Brussels.
- (3) The French Community has transferred its powers of decree to the French Community Commission.
Within the Brussels Capital Region, the Flemish and French Community have competence in matters of education, so-called cultural matters and so-called personal matters. However, these powers are limited to the institutions belonging exclusively to the Flemish or French Community because of their activities (in the field of education and cultural matters) or because of their organization (in personal matters).
For example, the Flemish and French Community has competence in the bilingual area of Brussels-Capital for schools offering education in Dutch and French respectively. In the bilingual area, the communities are also responsible for theaters who are exclusively targeted at a monolingual audience.
Social welfare policy, implemented by the CPAS, is a community matter. However, in the bilingual Brussels-Capital region, the CPAS cannot be considered to belong exclusively to the Flemish or French Community. Since the Fourth State Reform of 1988-1989, that competence, which is referred to as two-Community matters, is the competence of the Community Joint Committee.
The Brussels Capital Region, as an urban region, bears a great deal of expenditure linked to the performance of center functions (e.g. hospitals and schools) and of the main urban function (e.g. infrastructure). The excess revenue from its international role (e.g. After Singapore, Brussels is the largest congressional city) is not a regional source of funding. Moreover, the Region does not receive taxes on the incomes of some 350 000 commuters from the other regions. However, the Region will receive additional investment from the Federal Government under the Belgian agreements. The Belgian funds are managed jointly by the Federal Government and the Brussels Government.
An additional problem for the region is the continuing impoverishment of the population, which is reducing the tax revenue generated by personal taxation. While in 1993 average taxable income per capita was still almost equal to the national average, it is almost 20% lower in 2010.
The funding of the capital authorities is a subject of debate in Belgian politics. French-speaking politicians and some Brussels-Flemish officials claim that Brussels is not given enough resources because of its center functions. Others claim that Brussels is given more resources than the people justify, and that a great deal of resources are wasted because of the lack of homogeneous powers and because of a key debate between local authorities and the region. A proportion of the regional resources is allocated to the tasks of the communities, and mainly to the French community.
Behind this discussion is a struggle for power and influence in the capital. In the regional government, the Flemings have been assured of taking part in power with two legally guaranteed ministerial posts (out of five ministers). This participation is disproportionate to the numerical strength of the Dutch-speaking parties in elections in the Brussels Region (ong. 15%). There is a similar protection measure for the French-speaking minority in the federal government. In the absence of such protection from the Flemish minority at municipal level, participation in power is therefore directly linked to the electoral outcome, even though since the Lambermonta Agreements were concluded in 2001, the inclusion of a Dutch-speaking vessel or CPAS chairman in the board has resulted in additional federal public funds for the municipality. It follows from this situation that any transfer of powers from the municipalities to the Region strengthens the position of the Flemings. This Community position also partly explains Flemish efforts to abolish the municipal level and the French-speaking opposition to it.
Traffic and transport
The Brussels Capital Region is surrounded by the R0, better known as the ‘Great Ring around Brussels’. It is only about five kilometers within the boundaries of the region itself. The main routes of the enclosures are the E19, E40, E411, and A12, which are connected to this ring road and sometimes even further forward towards the center. Motorways within the regional borders are managed by Mobile Brussels along with a number of other regional roads. In addition, there is the small ring R20 around the center: series of tunnels and through roads operating in the center of Brussels following the 14th and 15th Century Town Wall. And there are some names that are reminiscent of the old city tracks like the gate of Namen, Halle, Ninove, Anderlecht, Leuven, Schaarbeek, and so on.
Brussels airport, located in the nearby Flemish municipality of Zaventem, and the smaller Brussels South Charleroi airport located near Charleroi in Wallonia, some 50 km south of Brussels.
The North-South axis is the most congested and central hub of all rail traffic in Belgium and the Region. That's why trains drive to all corners of the country. For regional traffic there is the Western ExpressNet (also known as the S-train). This is comparable to the RER in Paris. There are 34 stations in Brussels. The entire Brussels S-net has more than 140 stations. Passengers can use different train stations. The main passenger transport route is on the north-south axis:
- Brussels-South Station: the main international station in Belgium (operated by TGV, Eurostar, Thalys, ICE and other international connections)
- Brussels-Central Station
- Brussels-North Station
All national passenger trains running in Brussels will stop in Brussels-North, Brussels-Central and Brussels-South. All trains to Names and Luxembourg stop at Brussels-Luxembourg and Brussels-Schuman stations near the European institutions.
Brussels is also served by high-speed direct connections: to London using Eurostar via the Channel Tunnel, to Amsterdam, Paris and Cologne with the Thalys and to Cologne and Frankfurt through the German ICE. From Brussels, the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London, Cologne, Paris and Lille can be reached by train in 1-2 hours. A train journey to Frankfurt, Lyon and Strasbourg will take 3-4 hours. The trains to Marseille, Montpellier and Nice are over 1000 km long in 5 hours
Brussels has its own port at the Brussels-Scheldt maritime channel in the north-west of the city. The Charleroi-Brussels channel links Brussels with the industrial areas of Wallonia.
The Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (MIVB) operates transport by bus, tram and underground within the Region. Some of its tram and bus lines extend beyond the regional borders (Tervuren, Vilvoorde, Groot-Bijgaarden, Drogenbos), and vice versa the Flemish transport company De Lijn and its Walloon counterpart TEC have also operated a number of bus lines which end in the Brussels Capital Region.
The Brussels subway dates back to 1976, but underground routes known as premetro, which are driven by trams, have been in existence since 1968.
The Brussels subway is a subway system which mainly links the west (Anderlecht, Molenbeek, Jette, Laeken) and the east (Woluwe, Etterbeek, Oudergem) of the region to the center, the north (Schaarbeek, Evere) is not being served for the time being and the south (Saint-Gillis, Uccle, Vorst) is only served with a few premetro Ts. It consists of a network of four line services with a number of common sections. The subway has a network length of 49.9 km and has 59 stations. The premetro network in Brussels consists of two underground parts used by trams which also drive above ground. The route is designed in such a way that it may be transformed into a conventional subway line. Premetro stations use the same design as metros. There are also some underground tramline units, bringing the total network to 51.9 km with 69 metro and premetro stations.
Most of the common axis of the first two metropolitan lines (between the Brouckère and Schuman stations) was inaugurated on 17 December 1969 as a premetro (i.e. with trams) and transformed in 1976 into the first part of the actual metro (which was then considered as a two-branch line) between De Brouckère and Tomberg and De Brouckuckuckère ère and Beaulieu. The Brussels metro is managed by the MIVB (Dutch : Société des Transports Intercommunale de Bruxelles, Fédéral de la STIB : Société de Transport Intercommunal de Bruxelles ). In 2011, the Brussels subway accounted for 48% of the total number of passengers on the MIVB, accounting for around 150 million journeys, making it the main public mode of transport in Brussels. The network is also connected to 6 SNCB stations, but also to many Brussels tram and bus stops operated by the MIVB itself and the Flemish De Lijn and Walloon TEC.
Trams have been in use in Brussels since 1869, since 1954, the MIVB has been exploiting the urban network, and there have been trams of the NMVB up to 1978, given the different track gage. The urban tramway network has been reduced in length over time. From an increase in the first half of the 20th century to 246 km in 1955 to a drop in the second half of the 20th century, due to the popularization of bus and car transport, to just 134 km in 1988. In the late 2000s, the reduction in the tramnet, which was only 131 km in 2007, stopped. Since then, the tramnet has grown to 133 km by 2008. Further extensions of the MIVB network are planned or under construction and De Lijn (successor to the NMVB) is also planning new tram connections from Flemish Brabant to the Brussels Region. However, no decision on the construction of the latter is taken by 2012.
Since 2009, a public bicycle rental system has been available in the Region under the Villo brand! by the company JCDecaux. If rental stations were originally available in only a few municipalities, this is already the case in 2012 in 16 of the 19 municipalities. For the operator, the main logistical problem is due to the Brussels religion. Many tenants make the suburb trip but not the other way round, leading to shortages in the higher stations and a surplus in the lower stations. For the time being, this is absorbed by carrying excess bicycles from the lower town by van to the upper town. In 2019, Villo introduced electric bicycles in addition to the existing ones. In the meantime, Villo has received a number of competitors, the most well-known of which may be JUMP (Uber branch). From 2018 onwards, there will also be different suppliers of electrical steps (including: Lime) and scooters (Felix) present.
The King Boudewijk stadium, the former Heizelstadium, is one of the country's most important sports stadiums. Here, among other things, the national football team is playing and the Memorial Van Damme is held every year, an important international athletics meeting. Every year the Brussels marathon runs 20 km from Brussels.
In the cycling, the city is the arrival of the classic Paris-Brussels. In the last decades of the 20th century, the Great Prize Eddy Merckx was also driven in Brussels. From before the First World War to the early 1970s, the Sixth Day of Brussels was also regularly organized here.
Brussels was a candidate for the organization of the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics, but other cities were preferred.
Brussels was one of the most important football cities in the early years of Belgian football. After the first title of the land had gone to Liège in 1896, in 1897 Racing Club Brussels became the second Belgian national champion. The club was supposed to conquer six national titles in the early years. The Brussels clubs were well represented in the top class in the first few years. After Racing Club, Union Saint-Gilloise from St. Gillis acquired several national titles, and then Daring Club Brussels. Other Brussels clubs which played in the national series before World War II were Léopold Club, Uccle Sport from Uccle, CS La Forestoise from Vorst and CS Saint-Josse from St. Joost. These clubs would later collapse all four of them and merge them into Royal Léopold Uccle FC by the end of the century.
After the First World War, the British club SC Anderlecht was slowly making progress. In the 1930s, Racing Club, Daring Club and Union got their last titles. Union became a total of eleven national champions. The old clubs were no longer national leaders, their role was taken over by SC Anderlecht, who obtained his first country title in 1947. In the next few years, the club became the absolute top club in Brussels and Belgium. The old clubs Racing Club and Daring Club melted with White Star AC into RWDM, which was able to take the title once again in 1975, but disappeared in 2002.
Other Brussels clubs which played in the national series over the years were Ixelles SC, Crossing Club de Schaerbeek (resulting from a merger of RCS de Schaerbeek and Crossing Club Molenbeek), Scup Jette, RUS de Laeken, Racing Jet de Bruxelles, AS Auderghem, KV Wosjot Woluwe and FC Ganshoren.
In the First Class A of Belgian football, RSC Anderlecht is today the only Brussels club. RSCA plays its home matches in the Constant Vanden Stockstadium (about 21,500 places). In First Class B, Royale Union plays Saint-Gilloise from St. Gillis.
Brussels was a playground at the 1972-2000 European Football Championship with the King Boudevines Stadium. In 1972 the final was even played in Brussels. The King Boudewijk stadium, formerly known as Heizelstadium, was used on several occasions to play finals of European club tournaments. In 1985, the so-called "Heizeldrama" was finalized before the European Summit, with 39 visitors killed.
- Brussels: A to Z
- History of Brussels
- Brussels Timeline
- Refunding of Brussels
- List of municipalities in the Brussels Capital Region
- List of railway stations in the Brussels Capital Region
- Official website of the Brussels Capital Region
- Brussels Institute of Statistics and Analysis[dead link]
- Website of the Brussels Capital Government
- BruGIS: Geographical Information System - Brussels Capital Region with, inter alia, Comparison of Air Photos 1930, 1953, 1971 and 2012
- Interactive map of the Brussels Capital Region
|Administrative classification of Belgium|