Belgium: Government

Kingdom of Belgium Flag
Coat of Arms of Kingdom of Belgium

Key Figures

Chief of State: King Philippe

Head of Government: Prime Minister Charles Michel

Overview

Government Name: Kingdom of Belgium

Constitution: Adopted: 1970; Gradually evolved Belgium into a federal state. In 2003, the Court of Arbitration was introduced and its competencies were expanded which developed it into a constitutional court. It was formally designated as a constitutional court in 2007.

Government Type: Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The king is the chief of state representing the Belgian identity and appoints the prime minister with parliament approval. The prime minister is the head of government in charge of the direction of the executive departments of the government and appoints the cabinet.

The monarch is hereditary. The prime minster is appointed by the monarch from the majority coalition.

Until dismissal by monarch

Judicial

The judiciary branch is in charge of interpreting the constitution.

Appointed by monarch from candidate pool chosen by parliament.

Life appointment

Legislative

The legislature is in charge of passing laws and voting in the confidence of the federal government.

40 members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system. The chamber of deputies has 150 seats elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system.

4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Belgium has been a strong advocate of European integration, with most aspects of their foreign, economic, and trade policies being coordinated through the European Union, which has its headquarters in Brussels. Belgium remains a strong proponent of NATO as well. The country works closely with the United States within the alliance framework, in addition to supporting European defense efforts through the Western European Union.

Regional Trade Blocs: European Union

Treaties: NATO, Common Security and Defense Policy


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ADB AfDB Australia Group Benelux BIS CD
CE CERN EAPC EBRD ECB EIB
EITI EMU ESA EU FAO FATF
G-10 IADB IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC
ICRM IDA IEA IFAD IFC IFRCS
IGAD IHO ILO IMF IMO IMSO
Interpol IOC IOM IPU ISO ITSO
ITU ITUC MIGA MONUSCO NATO NEA
NSG OAS OECD OIF OPCW OSCE
Paris Club PCA Schengen Convention SELEC UN UNCTAD
UNESCO UNHCR UNIDO UNIFIL UNRWA UNTSO
UPU WCO WHO WIPO WMO WTO
ZC

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Air Pollution Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Air Pollution-Sulfur 85 Air Pollution-Sulfur 94 Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
Antarctic Seals Antarctic Treaty Antarctic-Environmental Protocol Antarctic-Marine Living Resources Biodiversity Climate Change
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Environmental Modification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea
Marine Dumping Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Tropical Timber 06 Wetlands
Whaling

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: Belgian Ministry of Finance

Tax Name: VAT


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary