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Belgium: A Culture of Compromise
Belgium: A culture of compromise
LucSelsMaddyJanssensInge Van denBrandeBertOverlaet

“Sire, il n'y a pas de Belges” (“There are no Belgians, Sire”). These words of a senator addressing King Albert I in 1911 expressively capture the institutional complexity of Belgium. First, there is no Belgian language: The Flemish part of the country speaks Dutch, and the Walloon part of the country speaks French. The complexity of Belgium as a federal state is even more astonishing to outsiders. Because linguistic communities do not exactly match the Flemish and Walloon regions, and because of the special position of Brussels as a bilingual capital, the country has six different governments for a population of only 10 million people. On the other hand, the country's central position and ...

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