Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium, although there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history. It is one of the communities and language areas of Belgium, the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although Brussels itself has an independent regional government, in historical contexts, Flanders originally refers to the County of Flanders, which around AD1000 stretched from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the area was made two political entities, the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region. These entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a cultural mandate, covers Brussels. Flanders has figured prominently in European history, as a consequence, a very sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution, Flanders is generally flat, and has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a density of almost 500 people per square kilometer. It touches France to the west near the coast, and borders the Netherlands to the north and east, the Brussels Capital Region is an enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own, Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands. It comprises 6.5 million Belgians who consider Dutch to be their mother tongue, the political subdivisions of Belgium, the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community. The first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels, the political institutions that govern both subdivisions, the operative body Flemish Government and the legislative organ Flemish Parliament.
The two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders, a feudal territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic. Until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of France, one of the regions conquered by the French in Flanders, namely French Flanders in the Nord department. French Flanders can be divided into two regions, Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking already in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century, the city of Lille identifies itself as Flemish, and this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The region conquered by the Dutch Republic in Flanders, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland, the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a very broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the part of the Low Countries
They are one of two principal ethnic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons. Flemish people make up the majority of the Belgian population, all inhabitants of the medieval County of Flanders were referred to as Flemings, irrespective of the language spoken. The contemporary region of Flanders comprises a part of historical county, as well as parts of the medieval duchy of Brabant. The sense of Flemish identity increased significantly after the Belgian Revolution, prior to this, the term Flemings in the Dutch language was in first place used for the inhabitants of the former County of Flanders. Flemish however had been used since the 14th century to refer to the language, the modern Belgian province of Limburg was not part of the treaty, and only came to be considered Flemish in the 19th century. In 1830 the southern provinces of the United Netherlands proclaimed their independence, under French rule, French was enforced as the only official language in public life, resulting in a Frenchification of the elites and, to a lesser extent, the middle classes.
The Dutch King allowed the use of both Dutch and French dialects as administrative languages in the Flemish provinces and he enacted laws to reestablish Dutch in schools. Lastly, Belgian liberals were dissatisfied with William for his despotic behaviour. Following the revolt, the reforms of 1823 were the first Dutch laws to be abolished. After the Hundred Years War many Flemings migrated to the Azores, by 1490 there were 2,000 Flemings living in the Azores. Willem van der Haegen was the sea captain who brought settlers from Flanders to the Azores. Today many Azoreans trace their genealogy from present day Flanders, within Belgium the Flemings form a clearly distinguishable group, set apart by their language and customs. However, the perception of being a single polity varies greatly, depending on subject matter, locality. Generally, Flemings will seldom identify themselves as being Dutch and vice versa and this is partly caused by the popular stereotypes in the Netherlands as well as Flanders which are mostly based on the cultural extremes of both Northern and Southern culture.
It is the majority language in Belgium, being spoken natively by three-fifths of the population and its various dialects contain a number of lexical and a few grammatical features which distinguish them from the standard language. As in the Netherlands, the pronunciation of Standard Dutch is affected by the dialect of the speaker. All Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands as well, at the same time East Flemish forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish. Standard Dutch is primarily based on the Hollandic dialect and to an extent on Brabantian
Geert Albert Bourgeois is a Belgian lawyer and politician, who is a member of the separatist party New Flemish Alliance, N-VA). Since 2014, he has been the Minister-President of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy, Bourgeois first entered elective politics in 1977 when he was elected a member of the city council in Izegem. From 1983 to 1994 he served as an alderman, in 1995 he was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and, being re-elected in 1999 and 2003, served until July 2004, when he resigned having been elected to the Flemish Parliament. Since July 2004, Bourgeois served in the Flemish Government as Flemish Minister for Administrative Affairs, Foreign Policy, Media, on 22 September 2008 Geert Bourgeois was forced to resign due to pressure by the SP. a-Vl. After the regional elections of 2009 the N-VA joined a government with the Christian-democrats and socialists. Bourgeois – a lifelong Flemish nationalist – served as chairman of the Volksunie from 2000 to 2001, after the collapse of the Volksunie in 2001 he founded the N-VA political party which he chaired until 2004.
It is a separatist movement that strives for secession of Flanders from Belgium and that they cant go to work, that they dont have free movement of persons. One Flemish politician, Eric Van Rompuy, said that the expressions of Bourgeois proved that he is the weakest minister-president ever,2016, Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, 3rd Class,2016. List of foreign ministers in 2017 List of current foreign ministers Media related to Geert Bourgeois at Wikimedia Commons Official website n-va. be
Hasselt is a Belgian city and municipality, and capital of the province of Limburg. On 31 December 2007 Hasselt had a population of 71,520. Both the Demer river and the Albert Canal run through the municipality, Hasselt is located in between the Campine region, north of the Demer river, and the Hesbaye region, to the south. It is situated in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, Hasselt was founded in approximately the 7th century on the Helbeek, a tributary of the Demer river. The name Hasselt came from Hasaluth, which means hazel wood, during the Middle Ages, it became one of the free cities of the county of Loon. Hasselt was first named in a document in 1165 and shortly thereafter received the much sought-after city charter, in 1232 this status was officially confirmed by Arnold IV, Count of Loon. In 1366 the county of Loon became part of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, during the First French Empire, after the French revolution, the city of Maastricht became the capital of the area called the French Department of the Lower Meuse.
This comprised not only the area of the province of Limburg in Belgium. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Belgium became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, Belgium split from the Netherlands in 1830, but the status of Limburg was only resolved nine years in 1839, with the division of Limburg into Belgian and Dutch parts. Hasselt became the capital of the Belgian province of Limburg. In ecclesiastical terms Belgian Limburg became an independent entity from the Diocese of Liège in 1967, the centre is mostly car-free and contains a number of historical buildings. Among the oldest buildings in the centre are the St. Quentins Cathedral. The Grand Place and the streets are lined with restaurants brasseries, cafes. The Demerstraat and the Koning Albertstraat are the most important shopping streets, in the Kapelstraat and the Hoogstraat are expensive shops with the most famous brands. Another major religious building, besides the cathedral, is the Virga Jesse Basilica, the churches must cede domination of the skyline of the city to the modern twin towers of the TT-wijk, however.
In 2003, the renovation of complex, now including a shopping mall. In 2004, Hasselt was the first city to receive the title most sociable city of the region of Flanders, the Abbey and Refugehuis of Herkenrode in Kuringen The Airfield of Kiewit The Japanese gardens, the largest in Europe The National Bank of architect Henri Van Dievoet. The yearly Jeneverfeesten celebrate the history of the beverage in Hasselt
Speaker of the Flemish Parliament
The Speaker of the Flemish Parliament is the presiding member of the Flemish Parliament, which is the legislature of Flanders. The Speaker is elected at the beginning of each parliamentary year, the Speaker chairs the plenary sessions of the Flemish Parliament and acts as its official representative. He or she determines whether a certain initiative is admissible and thus can be put to parliament at all, the Flemish Ministers take the oath before the Speaker of the Flemish Parliament. Only the head of the Flemish government, the Minister-President of Flanders, the Speaker presides over the Bureau and the Extended Bureau of the Flemish Parliament. He or she is assisted by four Deputy Speakers, the current Speaker of the Flemish Parliament is Jan Peumans of the New Flemish Alliance
Minister-President of Flanders
The Minister-President of Flanders is the head of the Flemish Government, which is the executive branch of the Flemish Region and Flemish Community. Usually the leader of the largest party of the Flemish Parliament becomes the minister-president, regional elections are held every 5 years. The Flemish Parliament was elected directly for the first time in 1995, prior to 1995, the members of the Flemish Parliament were the members of the Dutch language group of the Federal Parliament of Belgium. The incumbent Minister-President is Geert Bourgeois, head of the Bourgeois Government since July 2014
Leuven or Louvain is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. It is located about 25 kilometres east of Brussels, the municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighboring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. It is the 10th largest municipality in Belgium and the fourth in Flanders with more than 100,244 inhabitants, Leuven is home to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence. The related university hospital of UZ Leuven, is one of the largest hospitals in Europe, the city is known for being the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the worlds largest brewer and one of the five largest consumer-goods companies in the world. The earliest mention of Leuven is from 891, when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia, according to a legend the citys red and white arms depict the blood-stained shores of the river Dyle after this battle.
Situated beside this river, and near to the stronghold of the Dukes of Brabant, a token of its former importance as a centre of cloth manufacture is shown in that ordinary linen cloth is known in late-14th-century and 15th-century texts as lewyn. In the 15th century a new era began with the founding of what is now the largest and oldest university in the Low Countries. In the 18th century the brewery Den Horen flourished, Leuven has several times been besieged or occupied by foreign armies, these include the Battle of Leuven, Siege of Leuven and Battle of Leuven. Both world wars in the 20th century inflicted major damage upon the city, upon Germanys entry into World War I, the town was heavily damaged by rampaging soldiers. In all, about 300 civilians lost their lives, the university library was destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, and more than 1,000 incunabula.
The destruction of the library shocked the world, with the Daily Chronicle describing it as war not only against civilians and it was rebuilt after the war, and much of the collection was replaced. Great Britain and the United States were major providers of material for the replenishment of the collection. In World War II, after the start of the German offensive, Leuven formed part of the British Expeditionary Forces front line and was defended by units of the 3rd Division and Belgian troops. From 14 to 16 May 1940, the German Army Group B assaulted the city with heavy air, the British withdrew their forces to the River Senne on the night of 16 May and the town was occupied the next day. The new university building was set on fire by shelling on 16 May. Given the presence of the KULeuven, an important European institution for research and education. There are several biotech and ICT companies, the hospital and research centre
Namur is a city and municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the province of Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Walloon Parliament, Namur stands at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers and straddles three different regions – Hesbaye to the north, Condroz to the south-east, and Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse to the south-west. The city of Charleroi is located to the west, the town began as an important trading settlement in Celtic times, straddling east-west and north-south trade routes across the Ardennes. The Romans established a presence after Julius Caesar defeated the local Aduatuci tribe, Namur came to prominence during the early Middle Ages when the Merovingians built a castle or citadel on the rocky spur overlooking the town at the confluence of the two rivers. In the 10th century, it became a county in its own right, in 1262, Namur fell into the hands of the Count of Flanders, and was purchased by Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy in 1421. After Namur became part of the Spanish Netherlands in the 1640s, louis XIV of France invaded in 1692, capturing the town and annexing it to France.
His renowned military engineer Vauban rebuilt the citadel, french control was short-lived, as William III of Orange-Nassau captured Namur only three years in 1695 during the War of the Grand Alliance. Thus, although the Austrians ruled the town, the citadel was controlled by the Dutch and it was rebuilt again under their tenure. France invaded the region again in 1794, annexing Namur and imposing a repressive regime, after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Congress of Vienna incorporated what is now Belgium into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Belgium broke away from the Netherlands in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution, the citadel was rebuilt yet again in 1887. Namur was a target of the German invasion of Belgium in 1914. On August 21,1914, the Germans bombarded the town of Namur without warning, despite being billed as virtually impregnable, the citadel fell after only three days fighting and the town was occupied by the Germans for the rest of the war. Namur fared little better in World War II, it was in the front lines of both the Battle of the Ardennes in 1940 and the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, the town suffered heavy damage in both wars.
Namur continued to host the Belgian Armys paratroopers until their departure in 1977, after the creation of the Walloon Region, Namur was chosen as the seat of its executive and parliament. In 1986, Namur was officially declared capital of Wallonia and its position as regional capital was confirmed by the Parliament of Wallonia in 2010. Namur is an important commercial and industrial centre, located on the Walloon industrial backbone and it produces machinery, leather goods and porcelain. Its railway station is an important junction situated on the line between Brussels and Luxembourg City, and the east-west line between Lille and Liège. River barge traffic passes through the middle of the city along the Meuse, Namur has taken on a new role as the capital of the federal region of Wallonia
Limburg is a province in Belgium. It is the easternmost of the five Dutch-speaking provinces that form the Region of Flanders. Limburg is located west of the river Meuse, upon which it borders the similarly named Dutch province Limburg and it borders on the Wallonian province of Liège to the south, with which it has historical ties. To the north and west are the old territories of the Duchy of Brabant, the Flemish provinces of Flemish Brabant and Antwerp to the west, the province of Limburg takes up an area of 2,414 km² which comprises three arrondissements containing 44 municipalities. The municipality of Voeren is geographically detached from Limburg and the rest of Flanders, with the Netherlands to the north and this municipality was established by the municipal reform of 1977 and on 1 January 2008 with its six villages had a total population of 4,207. Its total area is 50.63 km², Belgian Limburg was not called Limburg until the 19th century, when this province, like the rest of Belgium, was part of the Netherlands for some decades, after the fall of Napoleon.
Like the name Belgium itself, the name Limburg was chosen from the regions history, in fact the historical name for the territory of Belgian Limburg was Loon. The medieval Duchy of Limburg, although it was nearby, did not contain any part of the county of Loon, a wave from central Europe, the Michelsburg culture arrived about 3500 BC and shared a similar fate. Pottery technology had however apparently been taken up by local tribes of the Swifterbant culture, the area became permanently agricultural only with the Urnfield culture, followed by the possibly related Halstatt and La Tène material cultures, which are generally associated with Celts. Under these cultures the population increased in the region, and it is during this period that Indo European languages are thought to have arrived. Caesar gave the first surviving description of the area and described its people as the Germani cisrhenani. Amongst these Germani, Belgian Limburg contained at least part of the country of the Eburones who fought against Julius Caesar under their leaders Ambiorix, under the Romans, the area was home to the Tungri.
Notably, the Tungri participated on the Roman side in the Revolt of the Batavi against Roman rule, in the north of Limburg during Roman times lived the Toxandri. The site of the fort which the Romans encamped in was called Aduatuca and this was possibly a general word for a fort, associated not only with the Eburones, but the Aduatuci, and the Tungri. The Roman city established in Belgian Limburg was referred to as Aduatuca Tungrorum meaning Aduatuca of the Tungri, today this has become Tongeren, in the southeast of Belgian Limburg, and it was the capital of a Roman administrative region called the Civitas Tungrorum. In late Roman and early times, the northern or Kempen part of Belgian Limburg became virtually empty because of Germanic plundering. This area, still known by its Roman name as Toxandria, was settled by incoming Salian Franks from the north. The southern or Haspengouw part of Belgian Limburg remained more heavily Romanised, by the 9th century, the Frankish Carolingian dynasty, based in and around Belgian Limburg, had turned Gaul in to Francia and ruled an empire that included much of Western Europe
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Jan Peter Peumans is a Flemish politician from the province of Limburg in Belgium. Being part of the Flemish Movement, he was at a young age already member of the Volksunie and he seated for that party in the Limburgish provincial council and is since 2004 a Flemish Parliament member for the New Flemish Alliance. From 2007 until 2009 he was N-VA fraction leader in the Flemish Parliament, after the elections of 7 June 2009, he became President of the Flemish Parliament, succeeding Marleen Vanderpoorten. In the Flemish Parliament, he worked e. g. on the case of the Antwerp Oosterweel connection, Peumans was elected most hard-working member of the Parliament in the period 2004-2009, by the newspaper De Standaard. On 27 January 2010, Peumans caused controversy after he was absent during a reception at the royal palace, as convinced republican he refuses to go to receptions at the kings palace, although he talked to him once on the occasion of the day of the Flemish Community. On 12 September 2010, he was in Visé, where he claims to have been insulted and attacked by a local because he had no business in Wallonia, Peumans said afterwards he never expected he would be attacked due to his political points of view.
His statement is being disputed by the alleged attacker