Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The term Flemish Community has two distinctive, but closely related meanings:
- sociologically, politically and culturally, it refers to the Flemish people and all their organisations, media, social and cultural life; one might also speak of the Flemish nation (in a very similar sense as the Scottish nation, the Basque, catalan or Québec nations);
- institutionally, it refers to one of the three communities, established by the Belgian constitution.
However, nowadays, the Flemish Community, differing from the two other communities, became a partgicular 'sui generis' institutions since the immediate unification of all institutions of both Flemish Region and Flemish Community. Formally speaking, the Flemish Community absorbed all institutions of the Flemish region. Since then, the Flemish 'nation' enjoys its own, unified parliamentary assembly (the Flemish parliament, its own governement and administration, all based in Brussels.
Under the Belgian constitution, the following areas of competencies are given to the Flemish Community:
- education (except for degree requirements, ... and for more than 95 % of its financing);
- culture and language matters (except for all its economic aspects that remain on Belgian level);
- certain aspects of health care (very tiny part of the entire public health policy);
- agriculture (although most competencies in this area moved to the European Union);
- public works and regional economic development; and
- energy (although more than 95% of actual competencies in this area remain on Belgian level);
- international development cooperation in all areas of the competency of the (not yet operational).
The Flemish Community has almost no financial autonomy at all. It receives more than 95 % of its budgets from national, Belgian funds. Moreover, for its very limited own fiscal powers, it is severely restricted by Belgian rules on how much it can (must) tax and spend.
In addition, the Flemish Community, just like the Flemish region, have no Court of Auditors, nor any judicial courts of its own.
Dutch is the official language of the Flemish community. Minorities speak French, Yiddish, Turkish, Arabic, Berber, Italian, Spanish, English and German. Most of these groups are recent immigrants. Jews form the oldest minority (since Middle Ages) that kept its own identity, followed by the French-speaking minority.
In certain municipalities along the border with the Wallon and the Brussels region, French-speakers enjoy language facilities. Similar facilities are enjoyed by Flemings and German-speakers in Wallonia, and by French-speakers in the German-speaking territories.
Dialects tended to be very strong, and particular to every locality. Since the Second World War, the influence of radio, television, and with more people moving out of their region of birth, the use of the original dialects tends to decrease, and to fade away. Differences between the regional dialects erode, and new types of intermediate dialects appears. These are often called, in Dutch, verkavelingsvlaams.
In Brussels, the local dialect is heavily influenced by the French, both in pronunciation, as in vocabulary. However, most Flemings in Brussels do not speak the local dialect. This is certainly partly due to the large numbers of young Flemings coming to Brussels, and others moving out.
Flemish institutions in Brussels
The Brussels region does not have real provincial institutions. Most provincial competencies were attibuted to the official Brussels-Capital Region, for all territorial tasks, and to the two official communities for all its community competencies (education, culture and social well-being). The Flemish community therefore established a local elected council and executive to care for these intermediate level decision making & public service, being the Vlaamse Gemeenschapsraad and the Vlaamse gemeenschapscommissie (or 'VGC'). The VGC then, in its turn recognised local, municipal institutions to take care of the purely local public service in these community areas (called gemeenschapscentra in Dutch).
Striclty legally speaking, the Flemish community is not competent for individual people in Brussels, but for Flemish institutions as schools, theatres, libraries and museums. The reasons for this is that no formal subnationality was established in Brussels.
Flanders has an official radio and television broadcasting company, the Radio- en Televisieomroep or VRT in Dutch. Private radio and television broadcasting companies were established two decades ago. The written press is dominated by a couple of national Flemish dailies (as 'Tijd', 'De Morgen' and 'De Standaard'), several strong regional dailies and a huge number of general and specialised magazines.
- Flemish authorities (Dutch: Vlaamse overheid), in English
- Flemish authorities (Dutch: Vlaamse overheid), in Dutch
- Flemish Parliament (Dutch: Vlaams Parlement)
- Flemish government (Dutch: Vlaamse regering)
- Flemish Community Council in Brussels (Dutch: Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie (VGC))
- Public radio & television (Dutch: Vlaamse radio en Televisie)
- Flanders on line (actual information in English, French, German and Dutch)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details