The Senate is one of the two chambers of the bicameral Federal Parliament of Belgium, the other being the Chamber of Representatives. It is considered to be the "upper house" of the Federal Parliament. Created in 1831 as a chamber equal to the Chamber of Representatives, it has undergone several reforms in the past, most notably in 1993 and the reform of 2014 following the sixth Belgian state reform; the 2014 elections were the first ones without a direct election of senators. Instead, the new Senate is composed of members of community and regional parliaments and co-opted members, it is a chamber of the communities and regions and serves as a platform for discussion and reflection about matters between the different language communities. The Senate now only plays a minor role in the federal legislative process. Since the reform, it only holds about ten plenary sessions a year. After the Belgian Revolution, the National Congress decided about the Belgian Constitution and the state structure. A bicameral Parliament was chosen over a unicameral one, due to fears of more democratic and progressive decisions in the Chamber of Representatives, as was seen in France.
Thus the Senate served as a more elite body. To be eligible, one had to pay 1000 francs, which meant that at that time, only about 4000 persons could be elected. In the past, French was the sole language of government in Belgium, it was not until 1913 that Dutch was used in Parliament, by the liberal senator Emmanuel De Cloedt, which the French-speaking pro-Catholic newspaper La Libre Belgique described as séparatisme parlementaire; the Flemish nationalist party New Flemish Alliance, among other Flemish parties, said in 2010 that they want to abolish the Senate. The French-speaking parties, want to keep the Senate. During the 2010–2011 Belgian government formation, it has been decided that the Senate would no longer be directly elected and instead become a meeting place for members of the various regional parliaments. Since the sixth state reform, the Senate consists of 60 members. 50 are elected by the community and regional parliaments, 10 are co-opted members. Prior to the Belgian federal election of May 21, 1995, there were 184 elected senators.
The fourth state reform, which took place in 1993, revised the Belgian Constitution, reduced the number of senators to 71 and replaced the provincial senators, who were appointed by the Provincial Councils, with Community senators. The change took effect following the May 1995 federal election. Of the total of 71 elected senators, 40 were elected directly, 21 appointed by the community parliaments and 10 senators were co-opted; the overall distribution of seats between parties was however determined by the results of the direct election. The sixth state reform, taking effect on the May 25, 2014 election, reduced the number of senators from 71 to 60 and abolished the direct election. Starting with the elections of 25 May 2014, 50 senators are appointed by and from the community and regional parliaments: 29 senators appointed by the Flemish Parliament from the Flemish Parliament or from the Dutch language group of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region 10 senators appointed by and from the Parliament of the French Community 8 senators appointed by and from the Parliament of Wallonia 2 senators appointed by and from the French-language group of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region 1 senator appointed by and from the Parliament of the German-speaking CommunityPreviously, a total of 21 were appointed by and from the Community parliaments: 10 by the Flemish Parliament, 10 by the Parliament of the French Community and one by the Parliament of the German-speaking Community.
The German-speaking senator is chosen by plurality. They were distributed using the results of the direct election between the parties that have at least one directly elected senator, insofar as they had enough seats in the Flemish Parliament or the Parliament of the French Community; these Community senators hold a double mandate. They are appointed to the Senate for a term of 4 years, but as the Community parliaments are renewed every 5 years, it is possible that regional elections take place during these 4 years. In this event, the Community senators who are not re-elected to their Community parliament are replaced by a member belonging to the same fraction, insofar as that fraction has enough seats left in the Flemish Parliament or the Parliament of the French Community, as the case may be, following the regional elections to replace those Community senators. In order to ensure that the Senate can continue to exercise its functions when the Community parliaments are dissolved, the Community senators remain in office until the parliament of their Community either confirms their mandate or appoints new Community senators.
Ten senators are co-opted, meaning they are elected by their peers: six by the Dutch-language group and four by the French-language group. These seats are distributed proportionally between parties based on the results of the direct election of the Chamber of Representatives. In 1893, the co-opted members were included in the Constitution as a new category of senators, it was intended to allow the senators to elect a number of experts or members of representative organisations to join them to enhance the quality of debate and legislation.
Chamber of Representatives (Belgium)
The Chamber of Representatives is one of the two chambers in the bicameral Federal Parliament of Belgium, the other being the Senate. It is considered to be the "lower house" of the Federal Parliament. Article 62 of the Belgian Constitution fixes the number of seats in the Chamber of Representatives at 150. There are 11 electoral districts, which correspond with the ten Provinces and the Brussels-Capital Region. Prior to the sixth Belgian state reform, the province of Flemish Brabant was divided into two electoral districts: one for Leuven and the other, named Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, which encompassed both the 19 bilingual municipalities from the Brussels-Capital Region and the 35 Dutch-speaking municipalities of Halle-Vilvoorde in Flemish Brabant, including seven municipalities with linguistic facilities for French-speaking inhabitants; the seats are divided among the political parties using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation, which favours large parties and coalitions. There is an electoral threshold of 5%.
The Representatives are divided into two so-called "language groups". Of the total of 150 representatives, 88 are part of the Dutch-language group, which consists of representatives from the Dutch-language area, 62 are part of the French-language group, which consists of representatives from the French-language area and the German-language area. For the representatives from the Brussels region, the language in which they take their oath as a representative determines which language group they belong to. Following the 2007 federal election, the Chamber has a German-speaking member for the first time since 1999; because of the Belgian constitution, both linguistic communities are granted equal powers in the parliament. Although in general bills can be passed without a majority in both linguistic groups, bills relating to specific issues can not and need the consent of both language groups; the following table shows the current distribution of seats between the language groups and the electoral districts.
Article 64 of the Belgian constitution sets forth four qualifications for representatives: each representative must be at least 21 years old, possess the Belgian nationality, have the full enjoyment of civil and political rights, be resident in Belgium. A representative can only enter into office after having taken the oath of office, in either of the three official languages in Belgium: Dutch, French or German, he or she can choose to take the oath in more than one language. The oath of office is as follows: "I swear to observe the Constitution". Certain offices are incompatible with the office of representative. Members of a regional or community parliament who take the oath of office as a representative automatically cease to sit in the regional or community parliament, in accordance with the Belgian Electoral Code; the same applies the other way around as well, a representative who takes the oath of office in a regional or community parliament automatically ceases to be a representative.
A member of the Chamber of Representatives may not be a member of the Senate at the same time, senators must give up their seats in the Senate in order to join the Chamber of Representatives. Another important incompatibility is based on the separation of powers. A representative, appointed as a minister ceases to sit in the Chamber of Representatives and is replaced for as long as he or she is a minister, but if that individual resigns as a minister, he or she can return to the Chamber, in accordance with Article 50 of the Belgian Constitution. A representative cannot be a civil servant or a member of the judiciary at the same time, however, a civil servant, elected to the Chamber is entitled to political leave and doesn't have to resign as a civil servant, it is not possible to be a member of the Federal Parliament and a Member of the European Parliament at the same time. The Chamber of Representatives does not systematically check whether any of these incompatibilities apply to its members, newly elected members are informed of the most important incompatibilities at the start of their mandate and it is up to them to verify whether they are in compliance with the regulations regarding incompatibilities and, if not, to determine which office they will abandon.
The Chamber of Representatives elects a presiding officer, known as the president, at the beginning of each parliamentary term, which starts on the second Tuesday of October each year. The President is assisted by up to five vice-presidents, two of which are known as the first vice-president and the second vice-president, who are elected at the beginning of each parliamentary term; the President is customarily a member of one of the parties forming the government coalition, only thrice in the history of the Chamber has the President been a member of the opposition. The first vice-president is a member of the other language group than that of the President; the current President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives is Siegfried Bracke of the New Flemish Alliance. The president presides over the plenary assembly of the Chamber of Representatives and controls debates in the assembly, is responsible for ensuring the democratic functioning of the Chamber, for the maintenance of order and security in the assembly and for enforcing the Rules of the Chamber of Representatives.
To this end, he or she is given considerable powers. He or she represents the Chamber at b
Public Centre for Social Welfare
The Public Centre for Social Welfare is a public institution that exists in each of the 581 municipalities of Belgium. Every citizen of Belgium has social integration; the term is a translation of the Dutch Openbaar centrum voor maatschappelijk welzijn, French Centre public d'action sociale and German Öffentliches Sozialhilfezentrum. Examples of social services provided by the OCMW/CPAS are financial help, medical help and legal advice; when you do not have sufficient means to live on, you receive a minimum income. Each municipality has, to complement the municipal council, a separate OCMW/CPAS council, appointed by the municipal council, not directly elected, except in the municipalities with language facilities of Voeren, Comines-Warneton and the six of the Brussels Periphery; the council is composed of 9 to 15 members depending on the population of the municipality. The fact that OCMW/CPAS is a separate institution from the municipalities is historical. In other countries, such social services are given by the municipalities themselves.
The three Belgian regions are responsible for most local government matters. The Flemish Government plans to abolish its OCMW and integrate them into their respective municipalities by 1 January 2019. Healthcare in Belgium Media related to Welfare in Belgium at Wikimedia Commons OCMW, belgium.be
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used for documentation in libraries and also by archives and museums; the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero licence; the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format; the Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files, which have since been discontinued: Name Authority File Corporate Bodies Authority File Subject Headings Authority File Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv At the time of its introduction on 5 April 2012, the GND held 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalised names.
There are seven main types of GND entities: LIBRIS Virtual International Authority File Information pages about the GND from the German National Library Search via OGND Bereitstellung des ersten GND-Grundbestandes DNB, 19 April 2012 From Authority Control to Linked Authority Data Presentation given by Reinhold Heuvelmann to the ALA MARC Formats Interest Group, June 2012
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. 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. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. 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; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. 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 comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
The chairman is the highest officer of an organized group such as a board, a committee, or a deliberative assembly. The person holding the office is elected or appointed by the members of the group, the chairman presides over meetings of the assembled group and conducts its business in an orderly fashion. In some organizations, the chairman position is called president, in others, where a board appoints a president, the two different terms are used for distinctly different positions. Other terms sometimes used for the office and its holder include chair, chairwoman, presiding officer, moderator and convenor; the chairman of a parliamentary chamber is called the speaker. The term chair is sometimes used in lieu of chairman, in response to criticisms that using chairman is sexist, it is used today, has been used as a substitute for chairman since the middle of the 17th century, with its earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary dated 1658–1659, only four years after the first citation for chairman.
Major dictionaries state that the word derives from a person. A 1994 Canadian study found the Toronto Star newspaper referring to most presiding men as "chairman", to most presiding women as "chairperson" or as "chairwoman"; the Chronicle of Higher Education uses "chairman" for men and "chairperson" for women. An analysis of the British National Corpus found chairman used 1,142 times, chairperson 130 times and chairwoman 68 times; the National Association of Parliamentarians adopted a resolution in 1975 discouraging the use of “chairperson” and rescinded it in 2017. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and United Press International all use "chairwoman" or "chairman" when referring to women, forbid use of "chair" or of "chairperson" except in direct quotations. In World Schools Style debating, male chairs are called "Mr. Chairman" and female chairs are called "Madame Chair"; the FranklinCovey Style Guide for Business and Technical Communication, as well as the American Psychological Association style guide, advocate using "chair" or "chairperson", rather than "chairman".
The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style suggests that the gender-neutral forms are gaining ground. It advocates using "chair" to refer both to women; the Telegraph style guide bans the use of both "Chair" and "Chairperson" on the basis that "Chairman" is correct English. The word chair can refer to the place from which the holder of the office presides, whether on a chair, at a lectern, or elsewhere. During meetings, the person presiding is said to be "in the chair" and is referred to as "the chair". Parliamentary procedure requires that members address the "chair" as "Mr. Chairman" rather than using a name – one of many customs intended to maintain the presiding officer's impartiality and to ensure an objective and impersonal approach. In the United States, the presiding officer of the lower house of a legislative body, such as the House of Representatives, is titled the Speaker, while the upper house, such as the Senate, is chaired by a President. In his 1992 State of the Union address, then-U.
S. President George H. W. Bush used "chairman" for men and "chair" for women. In the British music hall tradition, the Chairman was the master of ceremonies who announced the performances and was responsible for controlling any rowdy elements in the audience; the role was popularised on British TV in the 1960s and 1970s by Leonard Sachs, the Chairman on the variety show The Good Old Days."Chairman" as a quasi-title gained particular resonance when socialist states from 1917 onward shunned more traditional leadership labels and stressed the collective control of soviets by beginning to refer to executive figureheads as "Chairman of the X Committee". Vladimir Lenin, for example functioned as the head of Soviet Russia not as tsar or as president but in roles such as "Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR". Note in particular the popular standard method for referring to Mao Zedong: "Chairman Mao". In addition to the administrative or executive duties in organizations, the chairman has the duties of presiding over meetings.
Such duties at meetings include: Calling the meeting to order Determining if a quorum is present Announcing the items on the order of business or agenda as they come up Recognition of members to have the floor Enforcing the rules of the group Putting questions to a vote Adjourning the meetingWhile presiding, the chairman should remain impartial and not interrupt a speaker if the speaker has the floor and is following the rules of the group. In committees or small boards, the chairman votes along with the other members. However, in assemblies or larger boards, the chairman should vote only when it can affect the result. At a meeting, the chairman only has one vote; the powers of the chairman vary across organizations. In some organizations the chairman has the authority to hire staff and make financial decisions, while in others the chairman only makes recommendations to a board of directors, still others the chairman has no executive powers and is a spokesman for the organization; the amount of power given to the chairman depends on the type of organization, its structure, the rules it has created for itself.
If the chairman exceeds the given authority, engages in misconduct, or fails to perform t
Wouter Van Besien
Wouter Van Besien is a Belgian politician. From 25 October 2009 until 15 November 2014, he was the chairman of the ecologist party Groen. Van Besien got a master's degree in Sociology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, obtained a second master's degree in Developing Area Studies at the University of Hull, he participated as a youngster in Flemish scouting and became 1998 the national secretary of the Chiro-youth in Flanders. In 2001 he started working as a member of Agalev in Antwerp. He's been municipal civic office worker in Borgerhout since 2006 and followed Mieke Vogels as president of the Flemish green party Groen. In 2006, he became a member of the district council of. In 2009 Van Besien became chairman of Groen. In 2010, he was re-elected as only candidate in a statute congress of Groen for four years, with a score of 94%, he didn't run again when his mandate was succeeded by Meyrem Almaci. 2006 – 2012: Member of the district council of Borgerhout 2013 -: Member of the city council of Antwerp 2009 – 2014: Chairman of Groen 2014 –: Member of the Flemish Parliament for Antwerp