Located in Northern Europe, Belgium is home to a monarchy and a bicameral parliament. The King is the head of state, appointing ministers and the Prime Minister with the approval of Parliament. The King exercises federal legislative power through two Houses of Parliament, the Chamber of Representatives, with 150 members, and the Senate, which has 60 members. Voting is compulsory. The Belgian constitution provides for the separation of powers between the King and parliament.
The Belgian monarchy is a popular, constitutional, and hereditary one. The monarch serves as head of state and is known as king of the Belgians. Since the country gained independence in 1830, there have been seven Belgian kings. Here are some interesting facts about the Belgian monarchy. And to find out what it’s like to be a monarch, read on! You might be surprised!
One of the things that has sparked anger and controversy in Belgium is the colonial past. While the Belgian monarchy has resisted greater reckoning for the colonial past, its effects are still evident in the country today. Black people in particular face discrimination in housing and employment. In fact, the Belgian king, Leopold II, knew that the Congo Free State suffered from violence, and he issued formal orders to put an end to the genocidal acts that took place in the colonial past. The Belgian monarchy is also responsible for the ongoing conflict in Congo, which is one of the most volatile parts of the world.
Flemish political culture
This article outlines some of the characteristics of Flemish political culture and its role in shaping the national political scene in Belgium. It also points out a fascinating paradox when it comes to voting behaviour. In Flanders, many people vote for the Liberal Party, which appeals to businesspeople, property owners, shopkeepers, and the self-employed. The party’s economic positions reflect a moderate conservative ideology. After years of defections from Volksunie, the Liberals and Democrats (VLD) have been openly political, with many people in the region joining their ranks.
Before the revolution in 1830, the Flemish majority was forced to learn French. Courts were held in French, and peasants were tried in French. During the First World War, Flemish soldiers were shot for not understanding orders in French given by Walloon officers. This situation led to mutinies on the part of the Flemish population. However, during the French occupation, Flemish language usage declined.
Economic dependence on foreign trade
The Belgian economy relies on international trade to survive. While it will continue to rely on EU financial support mechanisms, the country will also be relying on federal and regional government intervention to combat the effects of the global economic downturn. The latter includes deferral of tax and social security contributions, increased investment deductions, and the possibility to put workers on temporary unemployment due to force majeure. The NBB has also contributed to the economy by loosening several prudential measures and eliminating a counter-cyclical capital buffer. Nevertheless, the pandemic has aggravated the country’s structural and fiscal challenges, which have been exacerbated by the economic downturn.
Belgian exports make up 40% of the country’s total output, and a large proportion of these products are imports in transit. A slowdown in global trade will erode the economy, and further deprivation will damage value chains and production. Although external trade contributed to growth in 2021, it will have an adverse effect on it in 2022, as weaker global demand will hurt company profit margins and decrease gross capital formation.
The Flemish cities have a rich history and are thriving, modern cities. In the middle ages, these cities flourished as a hub for trade. You’ll find world-class painting of Flemish Primitives in these towns. In addition, Bruges, the Venice of the North, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore its canals and picturesque bridges and discover the historic city centre, which has been preserved to preserve medieval grandeur.
The Flemish people share a passion for gardening and model trains. Their cultural heritage includes festivals and lacemaking. They also enjoy pottery, glassblowing, tapestries, and street singing. In addition to the Catholic faith, Flemish people have a large Protestant minority, including Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Additionally, Flemish citizens are part of a thriving Muslim and Jewish community.
The climate of Belgium is oceanic and warm-temperate, benefiting from the warming influence of the North Atlantic Drift. Generally, the mean annual air temperatures range between ten and twelve degrees Celsius and vary spatially according to elevation. Annual maximums of precipitation, in mm, are in the range of 13 to 17 degrees Celsius. The region experiences annual rainfall varying from 700 mm in western Belgium to as much as 1300 mm in the NE and SW Ardenne. The Belgian climate is also influenced by a climatic frontal zone of seasonal shift of the north polar front and the mid-latitude jet stream.
The average temperature in Belgium is 9.55 degrees Celsius, with 847 mm of rain annually. The climate of Belgium is mildly humid, with temperatures rarely exceeding twenty degrees Celsius. The country’s average annual rainfall is eighty seven millimeters, a relatively low figure. In addition, Belgium experiences few severe weather events, with little snowfall and mild winters. The climate in Brussels is mild year-round, with warm winters and cold, rainy summers.