Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article explains the status of the "Brussels-Capital Region". The main article about Brussels is here.
The Brussels-Capital Region (French: Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Dutch: Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, German: Region Brüssel-Hauptstadt) or Brussels Region (French: Région Bruxelloise, Dutch: Brusselse Gewest) is one of the three regions of Belgium. Brussels citizens belonging to the French-speaking French Community of Belgium or to the Flemish Community, or often to one of the many communities of migrant and EU-nationals. Both French and Dutch are official languages in Brussels; all public services are bilingual. French is more commonly spoken by residents.
The Region was created in 1989.
Ethnic Belgians, consisting of Flemings (estimated at 15 to 18% of Belgian nationals in Brussels) and French-speakers (over 80%) live alongside significant numbers of migrant communities, as well as rapidly growing communities of EU-nationals from other EU-member states. Minorities speak English, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Berber, and other languages. The degree of integration varies widely within each migrant group. However, in all major migrants groups from outside the EU, a majority of the permanent residents have acquired the Belgian nationality.
Although historically Roman Catholic, most people in Brussels are non-practicing. About 10% of the population regularly attends church services. Among the religions, Roman Catholicism is in the majority, followed by a large minority of Muslims and by atheists which are also recognised as a philosophical group. Other (recognised) religions (Protestantism, Anglicanism and Judaism) are practised by much smaller groups in Brussels.
Brussels is also a centre for both Dutch- and French-speaking freemasons and atheists. It houses several key organisations of the officially recognised "lay philosophy" (French: laïque, Dutch: vrijzinnig).
Because of how the federalisation was handled in Belgium, the public institutions in Brussels offer a bewildering complexity. One distinguishes:
- 19 local, municipal authorities
- 6 inter-municipal policing zones
- 1 territorial administration level for the region; this administration level also assumes 99% of the responsibilities of the region;
- 2 community-specific public authorities, VGC or Vlaamse GemeenschapsCommissie for the Flemings in Brussels, and the COCOF (or Commission communautaire française); these authorities have both directly elected councils, an executive and their own administration; the COCOF has also certain legislative powers;
- 1 bi-communitarian public authority, Gezamelijke Gemeenschapscommissie , in charge of certain cultural institutions of 'national, Belgian interest'; this body is basically a meeting formum between COCOF an VGC.
- Brussels (e.g. for knowing the history and linguistic history of Brussels, or for more external links)
- The City of Brussels
- Municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region
- French Community of Belgium
- Brussels Capital-Region official web site
- The Brussels Entreprise Agency
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Brussels (French: Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Bruxelles or CCIB, Dutch: Kamer voor Handel en Nijverheid van Brussel or KHNB)
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