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Unformatted text preview: and structural unemployment in Wallonia than in Flanders, the growing importance of the “language boundary”
as a barrier to migration, and the greater intensity of economic relations between the Regions than population
movements. 2. TWOFOLD, CHANGING FEDERALISM Belgium maintains a twofold federalism,10 centred on cultural or linguistic Communities, on the one hand, and regional or
territorial divisions, on the other hand, even though the territory of the Communities is also fixed. Indeed, since it was
amended in May 1993, the Belgian Constitution begins with the statement that Belgium is a federal state which consists
of Communities and Regions.
The Communities are organized on linguistic lines and are responsible for services pertaining to individuals, such as
education, culture and health. There are three Communities, i.e. the Flemish Community, the French Community, now
also called the Wallonia-Brussels Community, and the small German-speaking Community. The Regions are organized
on territorial lines and are responsible for matters such as the economy, agriculture and employment. There are three
Regions, i.e. the Flemish Region, the Wallonia Region, and the Brussels-Capital Region.
The territories of the Communities and Regions differ, as Table 3 below illustrates. Each entity has a legislative and an
executive body. However, the bodies in the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region have been merged, while in the
territory of the Brussels-Capital Region, three bodies de facto integrated within the regional body, i.e. the French
Community Commission, the Flemish Community Commission and the Two-Community Commission assume
responsibility for Community fields of jurisdiction. Furthermore, since 1993, certain fields of jurisdiction of the French
Community have been assumed, in Wallonia, by the Walloon Region. 10 178 See the maps in the appendix. Commission on Fiscal Imbalance TABLE 3
BREAKDOWN OF FEDERATED LEVELS IN BELGIUM
Federal level Belgian state: 10 million inhabitants Community
0.06 million inhabitants Regional level
used French-speaking Wallonia
3.3 million inhabitants
German French Flemish Brussels-Capital
1 million inhabitants Flemish
5.9 million Bilingual (French and Dutch) Dutch Source : Comprendre la Belgique Fédérale, op. cit.
11 It should be noted that Belgium does not have regional or Community sub-nationalities. All Brussels voters may vote in
regional, senatorial (and thus Community) and European elections for candidates from the French electoral college or
the Flemish electoral college. Only candidates in the elections of the Brussels regional council must irrevocably choose
their linguistic affinity.
The jurisdictions for which these entities are responsible and the means at their disposal stem from a federalization
process marked by various stages, which in themselves represent as many compromises between the partners.
12 Cattoir (1988) summarizes the first four stages. A fifth stage must now be added, which has been adopted in the
summer of 2001.
The first stage was the introduction in the Constitution of the concepts of Community and Region, o...
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