- Capital : Brussels
- Languages: Dutch (Flanders), French (Wallonia) and German (Eastern Cantons)
- Currency: euro
- Competencies regarding Culture: lie with the Communities (Flemish, French and German Community)
How does Belgium fit together politically?
Belgium has been an independent state since 1830.You may also know that our King is called Philippe and our Queen Mathilde. Belgium is a democracy and a federal state in which various partners exercise their powers independently:
- Flemish, French and German-speaking Communities:responsible for matters relating to language, and more generally to culture.Subsidies relating to cultural matters are therefore in the hands of the Communities.
- Flemish, Brussels-Capital Region and Walloon Region:responsible for matters relating to the economy.
- Federal government and parliament:responsible for matters not controlled by the Communities and the Regions.They are responsible for foreign affairs, justice, finance, social security, etc.
Cooperation between the different communities and regions within the federal structure does not always run smoothly. One example of this was the long government crisis of recent years.You should know, however, that this is above all a political matter over which the entire Belgian population is not going to lose any sleep.We are certainly not at war, as many foreigners believe.
How big is Belgium?
Belgium is a small country (30,528 km²). Every corner of Belgium can be reached within 2 hours from Brussels.
What language do we speak in Belgium?
Belgium has 3 official languages:
- in Flanders (the north):Dutch (Flemish)
- in Wallonia (the south):French (Walloon)
- in the Eastern Cantons (the east):German
You should know that in general, Belgians also speak reasonably good English.
What do we like to eat and drink?
Belgians like to drink beer. As much as 100 litres per person per year!
We like to eat chocolate, what did you think? Some 16 kg per person per year! Although we love our chips (nowhere in the world will you find so many chip stalls in such a small area), Belgium is also famous for its gastronomy. Did you know that per head of population, we even have as many Michelin stars as France!
What's the weather like in Belgium?
Sadly it rains a lot and is often cloudy. It can be sunny in the summer, but it's never guaranteed. Make sure you bring a raincoat with you and a warm jacket. Dressing for Belgium is dressing for all weathers!