French Community of Belgium

In Belgium, the French Community (French: Communauté française; French pronunciation: ​[kɔmynote fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) refers to one of the three constituent constitutional linguistic communities. Since 2011, the French Community has used the name Wallonia-Brussels Federation (French: Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles), which is controversial because its name in the Belgian constitution has not changed and because it is seen as a political statement. The name "French Community" refers to Francophone Belgians, and not to French people residing in Belgium. As such, the French Community of Belgium is sometimes rendered in English as "the French-speaking Community of Belgium" for clarity.[3]

The Community has its own parliament, government, and administration. Its official flag is identical to the Walloon Flag, which is also the official flag of the Walloons of Wallonia.

Wallonia is home to 80% of all Francophone Belgians, with the remaining 20% residing in Brussels, which is the seat of parliament of the French Community.

Historically, this community spoke variants of Walloon, Dutch, Picard, Luxembourgish or Moselle Franconian German, but nowadays, the dominant language is overwhelmingly Belgian French, except for some areas alongside the border to the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (mainly the district called Land of Arlon or Arelerland), where Luxembourgish is still widely spoken.

French Community of Belgium

Communauté française (French)
Flag of French Community of Belgium

Flag
Communauté française in Belgium
French Community in Belgium and Europe
CountryBelgium
CapitalBrussels
Government
 • ExecutiveGovernment of the French Community
 • Governing parties (2014–2019)PS, cdH
 • Minister-PresidentRudy Demotte (PS)
 • LegislatureParliament of the French Community
 • SpeakerPhilippe Courard (PS)
Population
 • Totalc. 4,200,000
Celebration Day27 September
LanguageFrench
Websitewww.cfwb.be
The Walloon flag was chosen as flag of the French Community of Belgium in 1975. It was adopted by the Walloon Region in 1998.[1][2]

Description

The French Community of Belgium includes 4.5 million people, of whom:

  • 3.6 million live in the Walloon Region (that is almost the entirety of the inhabitants of this region, apart from people who live in the German-speaking communes, who number around 70,000);
  • 900,000[4] living in the Brussels-Capital Region (out of 1.1 million inhabitants).

French speakers who live in the Flemish Region are not included in the official numbers for the French-speaking Community, since the French Community has no jurisdiction in that region. Their number is unknown, given the absence of sub-nationality status and the discouragement of linguistic criteria in census-taking. Estimates of the French-speaking population of Flanders vary from 120,000,[5] around 200,000,[6] to around 300,000.[7]

The French Community of Belgium makes up about 41% of the total population of Belgium; 58% of the population belongs to the Flemish Community, and 1% to the German-speaking Community.

Alternative name

For years there have been hints that the Community wanted to better demonstrate the link between Wallonia and Brussels, the two main territories where the French speakers are in the majority. These include the creation of several organisations such as Wallonie-Bruxelles International, a public body in charge of international cultural affairs set up jointly by the French Community, the Walloon Region and the Commission communautaire française (COCOF, a French-speaking institution of the Brussels-Capital Region).[8] The concept of "Wallonie-Bruxelles" is however not mentioned in the Belgian constitution, and appeared only in a few official legal texts, such as the "Arrêté du Gouvernement de la Communauté française fixant le code de qualité et de l'accueil" of 17 December 2003, mentioning the name "Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles", and the "Arrêté du Gouvernement de la Communauté française approuvant le programme quinquennal de promotion de la santé 2004–2008" of 30 April 2004, mentioning the name "Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles".

In May 2011, the parliament of the Community voted a resolution according to which it would, from then on, use the name "Wallonia-Brussels Federation" (French: "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles") for all its communications, campaigns and in the administration. The move was immediately interpreted as aggressive by the Flemish authorities, the Minister-President of Flanders announcing he would not recognize the federation as an official body and saying that documents that would be sent by the federation would be unconstitutional and therefore would not exist.[9]

While the authorities of the Community acknowledge the fact that the new name is not mentioned in the Belgian Constitution, they insist that their move is not illegal, as long as the new name is used as an additional name for the Community and is not used when it could create a legal issue (such as with the official texts published in the Belgian Official Journal).[10]

Although the then Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said that the federal government would not use the new name [11] and the Flemish VRT decided not to use the new name in its news programs either,[12] it is used by the French-speaking media, including the RTBF public network, which is fully controlled by the Community. The independent/private media uses both the alternative and the original designation.

In September 2011, the Community adopted a new logo that incorporates its new name.

Politics and government

The French Community of Belgium is governed by the Parliament of the French Community, which selects the executive branch, the Government of the French Community.

Parliament

The Parliament of the French Community (French: Parlement de la Communauté française or PCF) is the legislative assembly of the French Community of Belgium based in the Quartier Royal. It consists of all 75 members of the Walloon Parliament except German-speaking members (currently two) who are substituted by French-speaking members from the same party, and 19 members elected by the French linguistic group of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region within the former body. These members are elected for a term of five years.

The current President of the Parliament of the French Community is Philippe Courard (PS).

Current composition (2014–2019)

Affiliation Members
Socialist Party (PS) 36
Reformist Movement (MR) 30
Humanist Democratic Centre (cdH) 16
Ecolo 6
Francophone Democratic Federalists (FDF) 3
Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-GO!) 2
People's Party (PP) 1
Total 94

Note: Government coalition parties are denoted with bullets (•)

Executive

The Cabinet of the French Community of Belgium (French: Gouvernement de la Communauté française) is the executive branch of the French Community, and it too sits in Brussels. It consists of a number of ministers chosen by the parliament and is headed by a Minister-President.

Following the 25 May 2014 election, the   PS (30 seats) and   CDH (13 seats) parties formed a coalition.

Government of the French Community - Demotte III
Party Name Function
PS Rudy Demotte Minister President
PS André Flahaut Minister of Budget
PS Isabelle Simonis Minister of Youth and Equal Rights
PS Rachid Madrane Minister of Youth Aid, Justice and Brussels
PS Jean-Claude Marcourt Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Policy and Media
CDH Joëlle Milquet (until April 2016) Minister of Compulsory Education, Culture and Child Care
CDH Marie-Martine Schyns (from April 2016) Minister of Compulsory Education and School Buildings
CDH Alda Greoli (from April 2016) Minister of Culture, Child Care and Sports
CDH René Collin Minister of Agriculture and Tourism (Minister of Sports until April 2016)
  • On 11 April 2016, Joëlle Milquet resigned as Minister of Compulsory Education, Culture and Child Care as she was accused of creating a conflict of interest in using her ministerial assistants to help her with a new election campaign in 2014. A few days later, Milquet was replaced by Marie-Martine Schyns and Alda Greoli. Schyns took over the Compulsory Education portfolio, which she was already in charge of during the previous legislature. Greoli took over Culture and Child Care from Milquet and also received the Sports portfolio from René Collin, who shifted to Agriculture and Tourism.

List of Ministers-President of the French Community

Philippe Moureaux (1st term) 22 December 1981 – 9 December 1985 PS
Philippe Monfils 9 December 1985 – 2 February 1988 PRL
Philippe Moureaux (2nd term) 2 February – 9 May 1988 PS
Valmy Féaux 17 May 1988 – 7 January 1992 PS
Bernard Anselme 7 January 1992 – 4 May 1993 PS
Laurette Onkelinx 4 May 1993 – 13 July 1999 PS
Hervé Hasquin 13 July 1999 – 19 July 2004 PRL
Marie Arena 19 July 2004 – 20 March 2008 PS
Rudy Demotte 20 March 2008 – incumbent PS

Religion

In 2016, 63% of residents of Brussels and Wallonia declared themselves Catholics, 15% were practising Catholics and 30% were non-practising Catholics, 23% were Protestant, 4% were Muslim, 2% were of another religion and 26% were non-religious.[13]

Religion in Brussels and Wallonia (2016)[13]

  Protestant (2%)
  Islam (4%)
  Non-religious (26%)
  Other religion (2%)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Le Drapeau - Communauté française de Belgique".
  2. ^ Décret déterminant le jour de fête et les emblèmes propres à la Communauté française de Belgique (D. 03-07-1991, M.B. 15-11-1991)
  3. ^ French-speaking Community of Belgium, Université catholique de Louvain
  4. ^ Xavier Deniau, La francophonie, Presses universitaires de France, 1995, page 27
  5. ^ Frédéric Lasserre, Aline Lechaume, Le territoire pensé: géographie des représentations territoriales, Presses de l'Université du Québec, 2005, page 104
  6. ^ Catherine Lanneau, L'inconnue française: la France et les Belges francophones, 1944–1945, Peter Lang Verlagsgruppe, collection: Enjeux internationaux, 2008, page 25
  7. ^ L'année francophone internationale, volume 15, Groupe d'études et de recherches sur la francophonie, Université Laval, 2005, page 25
  8. ^ "Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI)".
  9. ^ La nouvelle Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles défraye la chronique, La Libre Belgique, 25 May 2011
  10. ^ Une Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, La Dernière Heure, 5 April 2011
  11. ^ Leterme houdt alleen rekening met benaming in grondwet, De Standaard, 26 May 2011
  12. ^ Ne dites pas "Federatie Wallonië-Brussel" sur la VRT, 7sur7, 29 September 2011
  13. ^ a b lesoir.be (28 January 2016). "75% des francophones revendiquent une identité religieuse". lesoir.be. Retrieved 5 June 2017.

External links

AB3

AB3 (Antenne Belge 3) is a private commercial television channel of the French Community of Belgium.

ABXplore

ABXplore is a private commercial thematic television channel of the French Community of Belgium operated by Mediawan Thematics.

Academic grading in Belgium

Education in Belgium is organised on the level of the three communities.

In Flanders each university has a different grading system. At UGent the following grading system applies to higher education:

niet geslaagd (Failure): if the student gets a score lower than 10/20 for one or more courses.

voldoening (Sufficient): if the student gets a score of at least 10/20 for all courses.

onderscheiding (Good): if the student gets an average weighted score of at least 13.5/20.

grote onderscheiding (Very Good): if the student gets an average weighted score of at least 15/20.

grootste onderscheiding (Excellent): if the student gets an average weighted score of at least 16.5/20.In the French Community of Belgium, the following grade scale applies to university and college students:

The percentages in brackets vary from a university/college to another and can even be different for two different faculties of the same institution.

Bel RTL

Bel RTL is a commercial radio network broadcasting in Brussels and Wallonia (French-speaking Belgium). The station is owned by the Radio H holding company, which is part of the Luxembourg-based RTL Group.

Bel RTL is currently (as of 2013) the most widely listened-to radio station in the French Community of Belgium. It is the station's aim to be as big in Belgium as its sister station RTL is in France. Many of Bel RTL's presenters came to the station from the RTL-TVI television channel.

Flemish Community

The term Flemish Community (Dutch: Vlaamse Gemeenschap [ˈvlaːmsə ɣəˈmeːnsxɑp] (listen); French: Communauté flamande [kɔmynote flamɑ̃d]; German: Flämische Gemeinschaft [ˈflɛːmɪʃə ɡəˈmaɪ̯nʃaft]) has two distinct, though related, meanings:

Culturally and sociologically, it refers to Flemish organizations, media, social and cultural life; alternative expressions for this concept might be the "Flemish people" or the "Flemish nation" (in a similar sense as the Scottish, Welsh, or Québécois people are nations, referring to an ethnic identity). The term "community" should then not be capitalised.

Politically, it is the name of which both elements are normally capitalised, for one of the three institutional communities of Belgium, established by the Belgian constitution and having legal responsibilities only within the precise geographical boundaries of the Dutch-language area and of the bilingual area of Brussels-Capital. Unlike in the French Community of Belgium, the competences of the Flemish Community have been unified with those of the Flemish Region and are exercised by one directly elected Flemish Parliament based in Brussels.

French Belgian Sign Language

The French Belgian Sign Language (French: Langue des signes de Belgique francophone; LSFB) is the deaf sign language of the French Community of Belgium, a country in Western Europe. It and Flemish Sign Language are very closely related, but generally regarded today as distinct languages.

French Community Commission

The Commission communautaire française (COCOF) or the French Community Commission is the local representative of the French-speaking authorities in the Brussels-Capital Region, one of the three regions of Belgium.

On 3 December 2001, the Assemblée de la Commission communautaire française or ACCF (Assembly of the French Community Commission) informally changed its name to Parlement francophone bruxellois (French-speaking Brussels Parliament). The Parliament is currently presided by Christos Doulkeridis.

Unlike the Flemish Community Commission, the French Community Commission has been granted legislative power in some areas (such as tourism and healthcare) by the French Community.

Blazon: Quartered, the I and IV Wallonia, the II and III Brussels-Capital Region.

French Community Holiday

The Belgian French Community Holiday (French: Fête de la Communauté française) is a holiday on 27 September, held only in the French Community of Belgium. It is also variously translated as Day of the French Community, French Community Day, Feast Day of the French Community

, Festival of the French Community

or other variants.

This date was chosen by the French Community of Belgium after an important episode in the Belgian Revolution.

Gallic rooster

The Gallic rooster (French: le coq gaulois, the Gallic cock) is an unofficial national symbol of France as a nation, as opposed to Marianne representing France as a State, and its values: the Republic. The rooster is also the symbol of the Wallonia region and the French Community of Belgium.

Government of the French Community

The Cabinet of the French Community of Belgium (French: Gouvernement de la Communauté française) is the executive branch of the French Community of Belgium, and it sits in Brussels. It consists of a number of ministers chosen by the Parliament of the French Community and is headed by a Minister-President.

List of Speakers of the Parliament of the French Community of Belgium

This article contains a list of speakers of the Parliament of the French Community of Belgium.

Macroregion

A macroregion is a geopolitical subdivision that encompasses several traditionally or politically defined regions. The meaning may vary, with the common denominator being cultural, economical, historical or social similarity within a macroregion. The term is often used in the context of globalization.

It may refer to various kinds of grouping of nation states basing on geographical proximity.

In Romania, macroregiuni ("macroregions") are a higher-level subdivision of the country.

Sometimes the Greater Region of Saarland-Lorraine-Luxembourg -Rhineland-Palatinate-Wallonia-French Community of Belgium- and German-speaking Community of Belgium, which has not found a specific shortcut yet, is called "the macroregion".

Physiographic macroregions of China.

Regions of Brazil are often referred to as "macroregions", to avoid the confusion of the common word "region".

Minister-President of the French Community

The Minister-President of the French Community is the head of the Government of the French Community of Belgium.

Parliament of the French Community

The Parliament of the French Community (French: Parlement de la Communauté française or PCF) is the legislative assembly of the French Community of Belgium based in the Quartier Royal. It consists of all 75 members of the Walloon Parliament except German-speaking members (currently two) who are substituted by French-speaking members from the same party, and 19 members elected by the French linguistic group of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region within the former body. These members are elected for a term of five years.

The current President of the Parliament of the French Community is Philippe Courard (PS).

Radio Contact (Belgium)

Radio Contact is a Belgian commercial music radio station created in 1980, broadcasting in French in the French Community of Belgium.

The station is part of the Belgian Radio H holding, which belongs to RTL Group.

Royal Conservatory of Liège

The Royal Conservatoire of Liège (RCL) (French Conservatoire royal de Liège, Dutch Koninklijk Conservatorium Luik) is one of four conservatories in the French Community of Belgium that offers higher education courses in music and theatre. Located at 29 Piercot Forgeur in the city of Liège, the school's principal building was built in 1887 using a neoclassical design by architects Louis Boonen and Laurent Demany. Inside the building is a large concert hall, the Salle philharmonique de Liège, which has recently been entirely renovated. The hall is the major performance venue for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège.

The RCL was founded in 1826 by William I of the Netherlands. Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul served as the school's first director from 1827-1862. Jean-Théodore Radoux was director of the conservatory from 1872-1911.

Seneffe

Seneffe is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. On January 1, 2006, Seneffe had a total population of 10,743. The total area is 62.77 km² which gives a population density of 171 inhabitants per km².

The municipality consists of the following sub-municipalities: Seneffe proper, Arquennes, Familleureux, Feluy, and Petit-Rœulx-lez-Nivelles.

The Castle of Seneffe, now a museum belonging to the French Community of Belgium, is located in the municipality.

Seneffe was the site of a battle in 1674 between French and Dutch armies during the Franco-Dutch War.

University of Liège

The University of Liège (ULiège), in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium, is a major public university in the French Community of Belgium. Its official language is French. As of 2016, ULiège is ranked in the #251–300 category worldwide according to Times Higher Education, 265nd by QS World University Rankings, and between the 205th and 300th place by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. More than 2000 people, academics, scientists and technicians, are involved in research of a wide variety of subjects from basic research to applied research.

École Belge de Casablanca

École Belge de Casablanca is a Belgian international school in Casablanca, Morocco. It is in Tamaris, about 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) from the Morocco Mall.It serves ages 2 1/2-18 and operates under the authority of the French Community of Belgium, also known as the Federation Wallonia-Brussels (FWB). It is a part of the Association des écoles à programme belge à l'étranger (AEBE).

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