State reform in Belgium
In general, Belgium evolved from a unitary state to a federal state with communities and language areas. First state reform – Cultural communities established, second state reform – Cultural communities become communities, with more competences related to personal matters. Territorial Flemish and Walloon regions established and Regions get their own Parliaments and Governments. Third state reform – Education transferred to communities, fourth state reform – Belgium becomes a fully-fledged federal state. Communities and Regions get more freedom and their Parliaments are now directly elected, fifth state reform – More competences to the Regions. Refinancing of the Communities and Regions, sixth state reform – More competences to the Regions and Communities. The constituency of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde was split, refinancing of the Communities and Regions. The tensions between the communities of Belgium arose around a struggle between the two main communities of the country and French. This resulted in extensive legislation, but which did not solve the conflicts between Flanders and Wallonia, the two main regions of the country.
After World War II, the differences between Dutch-speaking Belgians and French-speaking Belgians became clear in a number of conflicts, in 1950, a referendum on the position of King Leopold III was held, the Royal Question. The question asked was whether he should be allowed to return to the throne, nationally, 58% of voters supported the restoration of Leopold III. However, there were regional differences. Of those who voted, 72% percent of the people in Flanders were in favor of his return, while a majority of voters in Wallonia, with the support of greater than half of Belgians, Leopold III returned to the throne. Following his restoration, anger among Leopolds opponents in Wallonia and Brussels grew into rioting that the government had struggled to contain, pressure from the government forced Leopold III to abdicate. In 1960, the Catholic–Liberal government of Prime Minister Gaston Eyskens introduced a number of budget cuts, french-language trade unions went on strike against the cuts and against the government.
They felt that a more regionalized system was needed to take the measures that Wallonia needed and they felt that the Walloon interests were hurt by a Flemish majority in Belgium, they spoke of un état belgo-flamand, a Belgian-Flemish state. In response to the strikes, the government announced a regionalization of socio-economic policies, another tension between the language communities involved the Catholic University of Leuven. The university had for long been French-speaking, but Dutch played an important role in the twentieth century
Gaston François Marie, Viscount Eyskens was a Christian democratic politician and Prime Minister of Belgium. He was an economist and member of the Belgian Christian Social Party and he served six terms as Prime Minister of Belgium, holding the position from 1949 to 1950,1958 to 1961 and 1968 to 1973. He oversaw the first steps towards the federalization of Belgium, Eyskens was born in Lier, the son of Antonius Franciscus Eyskens and Maria Voeten. In 1931 he married Gilberte Depetter, with whom he had two sons, Erik Eyskens and Mark Eyskens and his son Mark became Prime Minister, serving from 6 April 1981 to 17 December 1981. Gaston Eyskens studied at the Catholic University of Leuven where he gained a master, in 1927 he became Master of Science at Columbia University. In 1931 Eyskens became a professor at the University of Leuven and he became dean of the economics faculty. He served on the board of the University of Lovanium in the Congo, Eyskens was made doctor honoris causa by Columbia University, the University of Cologne and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
During the early 1930s Eyskens was chief of staff of CVP ministers Edmond Rubbens, in 1939 Eyskens was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives. He was steadily re-elected and served until 1965, in 1945 and between 1947 and 1949 he was Minister of Finance. On 11 August 1949 he became Prime Minister of Belgium in a coalition between Christian-democrats and liberals and his cabinet fell in June 1950 over the constitutional crisis caused by King Leopold IIIs actions during the Second World War. In the short lived government of Jean Duvieusart Eyskens was Minister of Economic Affairs, between 26 June 1958 and 6 November 1958, Eyskens led a minority government which was the most recent government of Belgium not to be a coalition government. On 6 November, Eyskens formed a government with the liberals which remained in power until 3 September 1960. On 3 September 1960 he formed his government, again a coalition with the liberal party. This government fell on 25 April 1961 over the Unitary Law and had caused large-scale strikes, during these years he had to deal with the School War and the independence of the Belgian Congo.
In the general election of 1965 Eyskens was elected to the Belgian Senate, in the government led by Pierre Harmel he again served as Minister of Finance. Student unrest and questions of discrimination against the ethnic Flemish population brought down the Belgian government in February 1968, on 17 June 1968, Gaston Eyskens formed his fifth government, this time a centre-left coalition between the Christian Democrats and the Socialists. On 20 January 1973, he formed his sixth and last government, upon the fall of his last government Gaston Eyskens retired from politics. Belgium, Minister of State by RD of 5 April 1963, Created Viscount Eyskens by RD in September 1973
The Flemish Region is one of the three official regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Colloquially, it is simply referred to as Flanders. It occupies the part of Belgium and covers an area of 13,522 km2. It is one of the most densely populated regions of Europe with around 470 inhabitants per square kilometer, immediately after its establishment in 1980, the region transferred all its constitutional competencies to the Flemish Community. Thus, the current Flemish authorities represent all the Flemish people, the Flemish Region is governed by the Flemish Community institutions. However, members of the Flemish Community parliament elected in the Brussels-Capital Region have no right to vote on Flemish regional affairs, the Flemish Region comprises five provinces, each consisting of administrative arrondissements that, in turn, contain municipalities. Brussels city, the seat of the Flemish parliament, is located within the Brussels-Capital Region, Brussels contains both the Flemish Community and the French Community, both having their institutions in Brussels.
Flanders is home to a modern economy, with emphasis put on research. Many enterprises work closely with local knowledge and research centres to develop new products, De Lijn serves as the main public transport company, run by the Flemish government. It consists of buses and trams, TEC is the equivalent company in Wallonia, and MIVB-STIB in Brussels. The railway network run by the NMBS, however, is a federal responsibility, the Flemish government is responsible for about 500 kilometers of regional roads and about 900 kilometers of highways in the territory of the Flemish Region. Other types of roads are roads and municipal roads. Approximately 5,500,000 people live in the area, the official language is Dutch, sometimes colloquially referred to as Flemish. The main dialect groups include West Flemish, East Flemish, French may be used for certain administrative purposes in a limited number of the so-called municipalities with language facilities around the Brussels-Capital Region and on the border with Wallonia.
Rim municipalities are Drogenbos, Linkebeek, Sint-Genesius-Rode, Brussels was originally a Dutch-speaking city, but it was frenchified in the 19th and 20th century and is now largely French-speaking. A few municipalities in the Flemish agglomeration of Brussels are now frenchified, municipalities with language facilities on the border with Wallonia are Bever, Mesen, Spiere-Helkijn, Voeren. Communities and regions of Belgium Provinces of regions in Belgium De Vlaamse Leeuw Count of Flanders Flanders Flemish Flemish authorities, toerisme Vlaanderen French Flanders Frans-Vlaanderen The Flemish region reaches 6 million inhabitants
Constitution of Belgium
The Constitution of Belgium dates back to 1831. Since Belgium has been a monarchy that applies the principles of ministerial responsibility for the government policy. The Constitution established Belgium as a unitary state. However, since 1970, through successive state reforms, Belgium has gradually evolved into a federal state, the last radical change of the constitution was carried out in 1993 after which it was published in a renewed version in the Belgian Official Journal. The Court therefore developed into a court and in May 2007 it was formally redesignated Constitutional Court. This court has the authority to examine whether a law or a decree is in compliance with Title II, in 1831 Belgium was a unitary state organised at three levels, the national level and municipalities. State reform in Belgium added a level to the existing structure. Since 1993, the first article of the Constitution stipulates that Belgium is a state composed of Communities. This means that there are two types of devolved entities at the level, with neither taking precedence over the other.
Article 4 divides Belgium into four areas, The Dutch language area, the French language area, the bilingual area of Brussels-Capital. Each municipality of the Kingdom is part of one of four language areas only. The borders of the areas can be changed or corrected only by a law supported by specific majorities of each language group of each Chamber. Article 5 divides the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region into five provinces each, Article 6 determines that the provinces can be subdivided only by Law. The borders of the State and municipalities can be changed or corrected only by Law, the act inserting this article was published in the Belgian Official Journal on 26 April 2007. Title II of the Belgian Constitution is titled The Belgians and their rights, in this title a number of rights and freedoms are enumerated. Although the Constitution speaks of the rights of the Belgians, in principle apply to all persons on Belgian soil. In addition to the rights enumerated in Title II of the Constitution, Articles 8 and 9 determine how the Belgian nationality can be obtained.
Article 10 determines that all Belgians are equal before the law, Article 11 determines that all rights and freedoms must be guaranteed without discrimination
Borgerhout is a district in the city of Antwerp in the Flemish Region of Belgium. The district houses 41,614 inhabitants reflecting 90 nationalities and it is divided in two by three adjoining traffic arteries. Population density is lower in the recently developed extra muros part of the town. The inter muros part of the town is densely populated. Local references to this part of the town as Borgerokko are believed to derive from the proportion of residents from North Africa. In 2002, there were riots in Borgerhout after a white Belgian man murdered Mohammed Achrak. Racial tensions have been brewing in Antwerp—where one in three voters supports the far-right anti-immigration Vlaams Belang—for years, in 2011, a smaller riot occurred in the neighborhood after the Moroccan soccer team defeated the Algerian team 4-0. Tom Van Laere, musician Erik Van Looy, film director Rik Van Steenbergen, racing cyclist Carl Verbraeken, president of the Union of Belgian Composers Official website
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
The House of Orange-Nassau came to be the monarchs of this new state. The United Kingdom of the Netherlands collapsed after the 1830 Belgian Revolution, William I, King of the Netherlands, would refuse to recognize a Belgian state until 1839, when he had to yield under pressure by the Treaty of London. Only at this time were exact borders agreed upon, the Benelux Union is in some ways a distant heir of the former United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Their respective political systems are similar and Dutch is the official. William returned to The Hague, where on 6 December he was offered the title of King and he refused, instead proclaiming himself Sovereign Prince of the Principality of the United Netherlands. During the Congress of Vienna in 1815 France had to give up its rule of the Southern Netherlands and these negotiations were not easy, because William tried to get as much out of it as he could. In 1789, after the Southern Netherlands declared themselves independent, Hendrik knew this was a fragile state, since William had never forgotten this and after the fall of Napoleon he saw a chance.
Three different scenarios were made, The Northern Netherlands restored within its old borders, if the Southern Netherlands would stay French, the Northern Netherlands should be extended to the Nete River or probably the whole of Flanders. In this scenario portions of Germany would become Dutch, the border would be the line Mechelen-Maastricht-Jülich-Cologne-Düsseldorf where it ends at the river Rhine. The first two came from Memorandum of Holland made in 1813 after the Battle of Leipzig. The last scenario came from William himself, the first scenario never made it because the Great Powers thought an independent Southern Netherlands/Belgium under an Austrian Prince was too weak and Austria was not interested in getting it back. The Dutch question became a problem, the Great Powers of Europe chose the last scenario, but didnt want to go as far in enlarging the Netherlands as William had wanted. It was incorporated into the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Duchy of Luxembourg was not fully granted to William, because it was a member of the German Confederation.
William however demanded that Luxembourg become a part of the Netherlands, historically it had been a part of the Seventeen Provinces or Burgundian Netherlands up to 1648, but Luxembourg was still a part of the discussions. On 1 March 1815, while the Congress of Vienna was still going on, Napoleon escaped from Elba and he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by Prussian, Belgian and Nassau troops. In response, on 16 March 1815, William proclaimed the Netherlands a kingdom, furthermore, on 31 May 1815, William concluded a treaty at the Congress of Vienna whereby he ceded the Principality of Orange-Nassau to the Kingdom of Prussia in exchange for the Duchy of Luxembourg. With the unification, William completed his familys three-century quest to unite the Low Countries under a single rule, Royaume uni des Pays-Bas never was the French official name of this short-lived kingdom. This French unofficial name stayed in the language to avoid any confusion with the rest of the Netherlands after the Belgian Revolution and secession
Deurne is the second largest district of the municipality of Antwerp and has 69,408 inhabitants. Deurne is best known for its environment with the biggest park in Antwerp Rivierenhof. During the Ancien régime Deurne was nothing more than part of the Eastern hinterland of Antwerp, like many dwellings it settled on the crossroads of a river and a connection route. There are indications that Deurne existed in prehistoric and Roman times, Deurne consisted mainly of sparsely populated farmland. However, as a result of the increasing wealth of the Antwerp population. Typically, diplomats, wealthy artists would escape to their Hof van Plaisantie, some country houses in Deurne were, Papenhof, Bisschoppenhof, Inkborsch, Ertbrugge & Venneborg. Although most country houses were destroyed over the centuries, some like Sterckxhof or Bisschoppenhof survived, further surviving evidence of this aristocratic history of Deurne is the St Fredegand Church and the adjacent cemetery. Although work started under his reign in 1823, work wasnt completed until 1874, the effect of this canal was to establish a permanent barrier north of Deurne, separating it from Merksem.
In the south the Grote Schijn would form the barrier of Deurne. The effect of both barriers was to enhance a feeling for Deurne. This was further promoted by the establishment of the Brialmont fortifications around Antwerp, Deurne was split apart and the western part of Deurne was to become a separate municipality. The rest of Deurne now lay outside the enceinte and became physically and mentally more separated from Antwerp, because of the barriers constructed in the nineteenth century urbanization would only begin in the twentieth century. Many large scale urban functions were dropped in the area previously occupied by the Brialmont-fortifications. Urban planning started in 1913 and although the plan was never fully realised it did determine the spatial structure of Deurne. A real demographic explosion happened because of urban planning and the need for many Antwerp residents to find modern housing. The population grew from 15,432 in 1920 to 52,303 in 1935, world War II halted this evolution, mainly because of the V-2 bombardments.
After 1945 the growth of Deurne started again and in the 1960s social housing & other community projects further enhanced this new identity of Deurne. From 1972 onward Deurne was subject to the exodus and the urban sprawl whereby people moved from the dense urban centres towards the suburbs
In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment. Apart from the continental regions, there are hydrospheric and atmospheric regions that cover the oceans. The land and water global regions are divided into subregions geographically bounded by large geological features that influence large-scale ecologies, such as plains and features. As a way of describing spatial areas, the concept of regions is important and widely used among the branches of geography. For example, ecoregion is a used in environmental geography, cultural region in cultural geography, bioregion in biogeography. The field of geography that studies regions themselves is called regional geography, where human geography is concerned, the regions and subregions are described by the discipline of ethnography. A region has its own nature that could not be moved, the first nature is its natural environment. The second nature is its physical elements complex that were built by people in the past, the third nature is its socio-cultural context that could not be replaced by new immigrants.
Global regions distinguishable from space, and are clearly distinguished by the two basic terrestrial environments and water. However, they have generally recognised as such much earlier by terrestrial cartography because of their impact on human geography. They are divided into largest of land regions, known as continents, there are significant regions that do not belong to either classification, such as archipelago regions that are littoral regions, or earthquake regions that are defined in geology. Continental regions are based on broad experiences in human history. As such they are conceptual constructs, usually lacking distinct boundaries, oceanic division into maritime regions are used in conjunction with the relationship to the central area of the continent, using directions of the compass. To a large extent, major continental regions are mental constructs created by considering an efficient way to large areas of the continents. For the most part, the images of the world are derived as much from academic studies and they are a matter of collective human knowledge of its own planet and are attempts to better understand their environments.
Regional geography is a branch of geography that studies regions of all sizes across the Earth and it has a prevailing descriptive character. The main aim is to understand or define the uniqueness or character of a particular region, attention is paid to regionalization, which covers the proper techniques of space delimitation into regions. Regional geography is considered as a certain approach to study in geographical sciences
Wilrijk is a district of the municipality and city of Antwerp in the Belgian province of Antwerp. Wilrijk had been a municipality before January 1,1983. This suburb is known as the Goat village, because of its Goat parade. Every five years this parade attracts a lot of tourists, the next one will be held in 2020. Although it is now part of the city of Antwerp, Wilrijk has kept its own distinct atmosphere, a mixture of modern and older neighbourhoods, this suburb has a good balance between residencial and industrial activities. Its facilities for sport and recreation in a green environment make it an area in which to live. This area was inhabited in 600 BC. This has been shown by the excavation of a Celtic burial site in Wilrijk, the total area of Wilrijk is 13.61 km² and it has 38.220 inhabitants. Probably the first time people lived in area was around 600 BC. In 1003 the first document appeared in which the name uuilrika was mentioned and this document tells about the existence in 743 AD of a community living around the central square in Wilrijk which is called Bist.
The triangular shape of the Bist shows the Frankish past of Wilrijk, One of the current theories is that the name Wilrijk is actually derived from the Gallo-Roman word Villariacum. Evidence for the existence of a Roman villa was found in a nearby village Kontich, after the closing of the Zwyn and the decay of Bruges, the city of Antwerp became of more importance. At the end of the 15th century the foreign trading gilds moved from the city of Bruges to Antwerp and these foreigner were well received by the families in Antwerp. Some of the people from Antwerp escaped their busy lives in the center of the city and, attracted by the rural character of Wilrijk. These houses are called Hoven van plaisantie, some of these still exist even today, Schoonselhof, Steytelinck, Middelheim, De Brandt, others didnt survive, Ooievaarsnest, Groenenborgerhof, Standonk, Korenbloem. But their names remain in the consciousness of the people living in Wilrijk through names of streets. On November 30,1589 the village was burnt by some Geuzen coming from Bergen op Zoom.
It took Wilrijk 20 year to start reconstruction of the houses, in the middle of the 18th century an important road was constructed between Antwerp and Boom
Merksem is a district of the municipality and city of Antwerp in the Flemish Region of Belgium. The history of Merksem goes back to Gallo-Roman times, during that period the region was mentioned as Merk and Heim being part of the diocese Kamerijk. Merksem has for centuries part of a larger community together with Schoten. During the Spanish period Merksem used to be a Heerlijheid, a known Lord of MErksen is Anthony van Stralen, in the 16th century Merksem was separated from Schoten. The road currently known as Bredabaan, once a major access to Antwerp, begins in Merksem and goes up north. It ends in the Dutch city of Breda, other major axes would include Lambrechtshoekenlaan, Groenendaallaan and Ringlaan. Together with Bredabaan they could be considered as the boundaries of the centre of Merksem, when Delsey Airlines existed, its head office was in Merksem. The Sportpaleis and the Lotto Arena are both located in the district of Merksem and host major sporting events, live music and festivals
Hoboken is a southern district of the arrondissement and city of Antwerp, in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located at the Scheldt river, the name of the district has origins in Middle Dutch, an alternative story is told in a tale for children. Each November an annual beer server race has taken place since 1777, the name Hoboken is derived from Middle Dutch Hooghe Buechen or Hoge Beuken, meaning High or Tall Beeches. To this day there is a hospital in Hoboken named Hoge Beuken, a local childrens story says that the name Hoboken is derived from a little boy who accidentally dropped his sandwich in the Schelde river, which flows near Hoboken. In the local dialect of Dutch, a boke is a sandwich and ho is a way of shouting stop, so he must have shouted Ho, Hoboken boasts an annual 5K beer server race. The tradition started, according to legend, in 1777, with the proclamation of the United States of Belgium, the race is held annually on the first Sunday of November and is often amalgamated by the All Saints Day celebration