The Federal Authority
territory - competencies
- political institutions -
Federal Authority, also called Federal State or Central State,
exercises its powers over the country’s entire territory,
therefore also in Wallonia.
the current legislative situation, the Federal Authority
exercises two types of competencies:
- competencies that have not been attributed to the Regions
- competencies that have been specially attributed to it by
the special law in the form of exceptions within community and
first type of competencies mainly includes : justice, social
security,defence and law and order, foreign policy,
communications, the rules governing civil status and
nationality, access to the territory, residence and settling in
foreigners, recognition of religions and secular organisations.
second type of competencies includes among others : the use of
languages in the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital and in the
communes with a particular language status (among these, the
communes in the German linguistic region), the integration
income and the guaranteed income for elderly people (Grapa), the
organic legislation for hospitals and other essential rules
concerning health standards and infrastructures, the national
and international research networks and the federal scientific
establishments, the federal cultural establishments, safety in
the food chain, nuclear energy, federal autonomous public
enterprises (SNCB, BIAC, Belgacom, etc.).
Federal Authority is composed of the Federal Parliament, the
Federal Government and the King.
Parliament includes the House of Representatives and the
Senate. The House is made up of 150 directly elected members
split into two linguistic groups: French and Dutch. The Senate
is made up of 71 senators split into two linguistic groups,
French and Dutch, with the exception of the senator designated
by the German-speaking Community, who does not belong to any
language group. The 71 senators are designated as follows: 40
directly elected senators, 21 senators designated by the
Communities and 10 co-opted.
Parliament exercises two main functions:
- as the instrument of legislative power, the Parliament
discusses and passes the laws and special laws which are then
sanctioned and promulgated by the King; it can also take the
initiative to draw them up;
- as the control body of the executive authority, the
Parliament supervises the Government. This supervision is
exercised via the vote on budgets and accounts, the vote on
motions of confidence or no confidence, parliamentary
as a constituent organ, the Parliament is also responsible for
revising the Constitution.
Federal Government is made up of an equal number of
French-speaking and Dutch-speaking ministers, with the Prime
Minister possibly not included in the equation, and the
secretaries of State. The ministers and secretaries of State
are nominated and removed from office by the King.
Federal Government participates in legislative power and, like
the Parliament, it can take the initiative of drawing up laws.
As an executive power, it adopts the orders necessary to
implement the laws.
Federal Government is accountable to the House of
Parliament and the Government are based in Brussels, the
federal public departments (SPF) are responsible for
the administration of the Federal Authority. There are
currently 17 departments.
Authority's website: http://www.belgium.be