> The institutionnal framework

In a nutshell

Belgium is a federal state made of 3 Communities and 3 Regions. Those federated entities exercise their powers over territories determined by the linguistic regions.

The French Community exercises its competencies in the French linguistic region and over institutions depending from it in the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital ; 
The Flemish Community exercises its competencies in the Dutch linguistic region and over institutions depending from it in the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital ; 
The German-speaking Community exercises its competencies in the German linguistic region. 

The Communities 

The three Communities are the French Community, the Flemish Community and the German-speaking Community.

In Wallonia, two Communities exercise their competencies : the French Community (in the French-linguistic region) and the German-speaking Community (in the German-speaking Region).

The main competencies of the Communities are education, cultural matters and social affairs. 

The French Community is competent as well for language use (except for some matters reserved to the Federal Authority).  The German-speaking Community is competent for language use in education, and for some regional matters that have been transferred by the Walloon Region.

The Regions

The three Regions are the Walloon Region, the Flemish Region and the Region of Brussels-Capital.

In Wallonia, only the Walloon Region exercise its competencies, in the French-speaking linguistic region, and in the German-speaking linguistic region. 

The main competencies of the Regions are town and country planning, the environment, agriculture, housing, public works, transport, regional aspects of the economic policy, foreign trade, employment policy, regional aspects of the energy policy, organisation and supervision of the local authorities, property belonging to the various religious groups, scientific research relating to regional matters, international relations relating to regional matters.

The Wallon Region exercises regional competencies over both linguistic regions. However, the Region has transferred some of those competencies to the German-speaking Community for the German-speaking linguistic region. Additionally, the Walloon Region exercises some transferred community competencies, only in the french-linguistic region.

Note : in Brussels

In the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital, 3 Community Commissions share in the exercising of Community competencies : the French Community Commission (COCOF), the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) and the Common Community Commission (COCOM)

diagram of the institutional situation