> The German-speaking Community

The German-speaking Community is one of the three Communities which compose the federal Belgian state, the two others being the French Community and the Flemish Community.

territory - competencies - political institutions - administration

Territory

The German-speaking community exercises its powers solely in the German linguistic region.

Competencies

The German-speaking Community exercises its competencies in community matters and in regional matters that have been transferred by the Walloon Region.

Those community matters are education, cultural matters, social affairs and language use, solely in the area of education.

Those regional matters transferred by the Walloon Region to the German-speaking Community  are currently the monuments and sites (including excavations) and the employment policy. As from 2005, the Walloon Region should be transferring the supervision of communes and policing zones, the implementation of subsidised works, the financing of communes, the construction and maintenance of churches and assimilated establishments, as well as funerals and cemeteries.

Political institutions

The institutions of the German-speaking Community are the Council of the German-speaking Community and the Government of the German-speaking Community

The Council of the German-speaking Community is composed of 25 members elected directly by the electors in the German linguistic region. It adopts legislative acts, the decrees.

The Council of the German-speaking Community essentially exercises two functions:
-  as an instrument of legislative power, it discusses and passes decrees, and can take the initiative to draw them up. Once passed, the decrees are sanctioned and promulgated by the Government of the German-speaking Community;
-   as a control body of the executive power, it controls the Government of the German-speaking Community, which it is accountable to it. This control is exercised, in particular, via the vote on budgets and accounts, the vote on motions of confidence or no confidence, parliamentary questions, etc.

The Government of the German-speaking Community is composed of members elected by the Council of the German-speaking Community, not necessarily from within.

The Government of the German-speaking Community participates in legislative power and like the Council, it can take the initiative to elaborate decrees. As an executive power, it issues the orders necessary for the application of the decrees passed by the Council of the German-speaking Community.

The Government of the German-speaking Community is accountable to the Council of the German-speaking Community. Both are based in Eupen.

 Administration

The Ministry of the German-speaking Community is responsible for the administration of the German-speaking Community.