Institutional context of Belgium
Belgium is a Federal State, composed of Communities and Regions.
3 Communities: the Flemish-, French- and German-speaking Communities..
The Communities were created in response to the cultural differences in Belgium between the Dutch-speaking, French-speaking and German-speaking populations. Initially, their competences were limited to cultural affairs, before being extended to personal matters, education and the use of languages (in administrations, education and labour relations between employers and employees).
3 Regions: the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels-Capital Regions..
The Regions were created in response to Belgium's economic diversity. Their competences relate therefore to economic matters (economic policy, employment policy), supplemented by territorial aspects (environment, spatial planning, housing, energy, public works and transport, etc.).
The Federal authorities have competences which are not explicitly devolved to the Communities and Regions (known as residual powers) and a certain number of specially designated powers (among others monetary policy, justice, social security, domestic policy, etc.).