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Belgium

Belgium

Belgium, a Constitutional monarchy, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands( north), Germany (east), Luxembourg (southeast), France (southwest). It covers an area of 30,688 square kilometres (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital is Brussels.

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,689 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.5 million, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe, with a density of 376 per square kilometre (970/sq mi). The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège, Bruges, Namur, and Leuven.

Belgium is a sovereign state and a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organization is complex and is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions: the Flemish Region (Flanders) in the north, the Walloon Region (Wallonia) in the south, and 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 communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 60 percent of the population, and the French-speaking Community, which constitutes about 40 percent of the population. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons. The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.

The country as it exists today was established following the 1830 Belgian Revolution, when it seceded from the Netherlands, which had itself only existed since 1815. The name chosen for the new state is derived from the Latin word Belgium, used in Julius Caesar's "Gallic Wars", to describe a nearby region in the period around 55 BCE.[14] Belgium is part of an area known as the Low Countries, historically a somewhat larger region than the Benelux group of states, as it also included parts of northern France. Since the Middle Ages, its central location near several major rivers has meant that the area has been relatively prosperous, connected commercially and politically to its bigger neighbours. Belgium has also been the battleground of European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened in the 20th century by both world wars.

Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.[18] Between 1888 and 1908, Leopold II, king of Belgium, perpetrated one of the largest massacres in human history in Congo Free State, which was his private estate, and not yet a colony of Belgium. Estimates of the death toll are disputed but millions of people, a significant part of the population, died for the sake of rubber and ivory exports.

The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fuelled 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; there is significant separatism particularly among the Flemish; controversial language laws exist such as the municipalities with language facilities; and the formation of a coalition government took 18 months following the June 2010 federal election, a world record.Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders, which boomed after the Second World War.

Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and its capital, Brussels, hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council, as well as one of two seats of the European Parliament (the other being Strasbourg). Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.

Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has very high standards of living, quality of life, healthcare, education, and is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index. It also ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world.

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Date
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By RAF CASERT and CALVIN WOODWARD
November 27, 2021
AP NEWS
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is racing to contain a new coronavirus variant potentially more dangerous than the one that has fueled relentless waves of infection on nearly every continent.
Temie Laleye
October 13, 2021
Express.co.uk
EXPATS living in Belgium face a change in their tax regime as the Belgian government are set to alter this as part of their 2022 Budget.
Our Foreign Staff
September 24, 2021
The Telegraph
Carles Puigdemont, the former separatist leader of Catalonia, has been arrested in Sardinia on charges of sedition and misuse of public funds.
Karl Flinders
September 20, 2021
ComputerWeekly.com
Estonia has created a country-as-a-service offering which is attracting entrepreneurs and businesses from across the world
Cliff Saran
September 7, 2021
ComputerWeekly.com
Tech firms are playing a high-stakes game to drive adoption of artificial intelligence and surveillance technology in law enforcement
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