- Some words on the Provinces: At the end of the 18th century, distances being calculated according to the speed of the man or the horse; the country was organized in territories, close to our current Provinces, in such a way that each inhabitant can, in one half-day, go with a horse to the nearest city where he has to pay his taxes.
In 1830 (at the time of the independence of Belgium), 9 Provinces were organized:
Antwerp - Western Flanders - Limbourg in the north of the country, Hainaut - Liege - Luxembourg - Namur in the south, the Brabant in the center.
Since January 1, 1995, Belgium has been divided into 10 Provinces, owing to the fact that the Brabant was divided into 3 parts: The Flemish Brabant, the Walloon Brabant and Area Of Brussels (not being a Province).
The Province deals with the provincial interests:
I.e. This means that each Province can decide what is best for its own inhabitants, provided that neither the State, nor the Communities or Areas have the responsibility and the duty of it. The Provinces are however subjected to the supervision of the areas; each one of their decisions is controlled and can thus be modified or cancelled.
The Provinces differ from/to each other by their activities and their priorities which vary according to the specific needs of their inhabitants:
Example: There are many farmers in the Luxembourg. Hainaut is an industrial area, ...
The future of the Provinces is discussed. Indeed, with the creation of the Regions and the Communities, some claim that the Provinces are not necessary any more whereas others want to preserve them.
- Some words on the Communes: The commune is present in all the aspects of the daily life. The Commune is the smallest division of the country and exists in Belgium since 1830.
The commune is directed by people who live it and who were chosen by his population.
The commune does not have all the capacities and must return accounts, for example, with its Region.
Belgium counts today 262 communes in Region Wallonne, 19 in Area of Brussels and 308 in Flemish Area.
With what does deal the commune? Police, Administration: with the marital status, one declares the births, the deaths, the family structure, the residence...
The commune himself occupy also of unemployment, of identity paper, of passport... of cultural activity (school, library, young's houses, plain of sport... can belong with commune or be help by this one), of social activity (CPAS - center public of social assistance, convalescent home, hospital can them also belong with commune or be help by this one), of management of inheritance (i.e. of all the building which him belong), of work public (the commune be responsible of distribution of water, of gas and of electricity, of road the companies which want to settle there...).
WALLONIE EN BELGIQUE (version française)