The community institutions in Brussels
A brief clarification
Belgium is a federal state made up of a federal level, three communities and three regions.
- The three regions of Belgium (the Walloon Region, the Flemish Region and the Brussels-Capital Region) are the competent authorities for territory-related matters (such as urban development, transport and the environment)
- The three communities of Belgium (the French Community, the Flemish Community and the German-speaking Community) are responsible for more individual and linguistic matters (such as teaching, culture, health care and assistance)
As a consequence, the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region is occupied by two communities: the French Community and the Flemish Community. This led to the establishment of special community commissions in Brussels. So what competences do the two communities have?
Three community commissions
To exercise community responsibilities at the Brussels-Capital Region, the following community commissions have been created:
- The French Community Commission (COCOF) is the competent authority for political initiatives relating to French Community matters
- The Flemish Community Commission (VGC) is the competent authority for political initiatives relating to Flemish Community matters
- The Common Community Commission (COCOM) is the competent authority for community matters not exclusively relating to one of the two communities
The action of the communities is based on the principle that there is no such thing as a "sub-nationality". The inhabitants of the Brussels-Capital Region cannot be obliged to make a choice between one of the two communities to access the services of this community.