The Kingdom of Belgium (Dutch Koninkrijk België /? I, French Royaume de Belgique) is a country in Western Europe. It is up to the North Sea, bordering the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France. Belgium has around eleven million inhabitants in an area of 30,528 square kilometers. Since independence in 1830 and 1831 constitution Belgium is a constitutional monarchy (see also Belgian Monarchy). The north of the country with the Flemish is Dutch, the south with the Walloons French-speaking region. The capital Brussels is officially bilingual, but in fact largely populated francophone. In German-speaking area in the east of Belgium Standard German and West Central German dialects are common. The continuing Flemish-Walloon conflict characterizes the conflicting interests of the representatives of the two major communities in Belgian politics. Since the 1970s, will therefore attempt to address this problem by decentralizing the state organization. To Belgium was composed of six constituent states in a federal state - three regions and three communities - converted. The Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital regions and the Flemish, French and German-speaking community today constitute the political foundation of the country. Belgium is a founding member of the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union (EU), the most important institutions are headquartered in its capital Brussels. The Belgian state is further along with the Netherlands and Luxembourg member of the Benelux Economic Union.
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