Personal matters

The special law of 8 August 1980 on institutional reforms lists the personal matters and distinguishes between two areas: health and personal welfare. In these areas, general competences are devolved to the Communities, while the Federal authorities remain competent for a number of matters.

Health policy consists, on the one hand, of the policy for the provision of healthcare in and out of healthcare institutions and, on the other hand, of health education and preventive medicine. As regards the provision of healthcare, the Federal authorities have competence in particular for organic legislation and the basic rules relating to programming and funding infrastructures. As regards prevention, the Federal authorities remain competent for national disease prevention rules.

Personal welfare is divided into different areas: family policy, social welfare care, the reception and integration of immigrants, policy for disabled people, policy for the elderly and the protection of young people and welfare assistance for prisoners with a view to their social reintegration. Responsibility for a certain number of areas is explicitly attributed to the Federal authorities, among others: legislation regarding the Welfare aid (leefloon/revenue d'intégration sociale), the rules and financing of disability benefits, fixing the minimum amount, conditions for granting and financing the guaranteed income for elderly people (IGO/GRAPA) and areas concerning the protection of young people coming within the framework of the Civil, Penal or Judicial Codes.

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Distribution of political authority in health and social matters