A word of explanation
Belgium is a federal state in which there are three Regions and three Communities in addition to the federal level.
- The three Regions in Belgium (Flanders, Walloon Region and Brussels-Capital Region) are competent for matters relating to territory (e.g. spatial planning, transport, environment...).
- The Communities in Belgium (Flemish Community, French Community and German-speaking Community) are responsible for rather person- and language-related matters (e.g. education, culture, health care, assistance).
However, two Communities operate on the territory of the Brussels Capital Region: the French Community and the Flemish Community. This called for specific Brussels 'community institutions'.
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.