What is Flanders
Belgium has been a federated country since the reforms of 1993.
The country is divided into three territorial Regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital Region) and language-based Communities (Dutch, French and German) in line with these language groups, with Brussels as the capital of the federal state of Flanders.
The Region and Community of Flanders have a common Parliament and a Government. This federal state of Flanders has its own legislative and executive powers and is the autonomous northern region of Belgium, with broad and exclusive domestic and international responsibilities. Flanders has a unicameral legislature. The legislative and monitoring power rests with the Flemish Parliament, which is directly elected by the people of Flanders every five years.
Flanders enjoys complete autonomy in numerous domains, because the Government of Flanders and the federal government are on an equal footing and their powers do not overlap. Flanders is responsible for economics, foreign trade, healthcare, energy distribution, housing, agriculture and horticulture, the environment, public works and transport, employment, culture and education, science and innovation. Flanders pursues a foreign policy regarding all of its competences and is able to conclude bilateral and multilateral treaties. Its exchange with other countries is promoted not only by its diplomatic representatives worldwide, but also by approximately 100 representatives who specialise in trade and investment promotion, agriculture and tourism.