Wallonia has 262 communes, 9 of which are located in the
German linguistic region.
competencies - political
institutions - administration
communes exercise a dual functionality. On the one hand, they
are subordinate local authorities, responsible for
executing certain decisions taken by other authorities. On the
other, they are autonomous political bodies with their
own decision-making power : they are free to take initiatives
providing the matter is not excluded from their competencies by
the Constitution, the law or decree.
therefore exercise a series of compulsory responsibilities
which are identical for each Walloon commune, and optional
responsibilities, which are particular to each municipality.
compulsory responsibilities include the
organisation and co-financing of the CPAS (Public
Centre for Social Action), the
organisation of municipal primary education, keeping civil
status registers, supervising of the unemployed, covering deficits
for the construction and maintenance
churches (and assimilated establishments for Jewish, Protestant
and Anglican religions), establishing electoral rolls, law and
order, maintenance of municipal roads.
other municipal activities fall under optional
responsibilities, especially as regards education other than
at primary level, housing, tourism, promotion of economic
activity, cultural activities, etc.
commune has an assembly of elected members, the Municipal
Council, and an executive, the College of Mayor and
Municipal Council is made up of a variable number of
directly elected members depending on the number of inhabitants
in the commune. The municipal elections take place every six
years on the second Sunday in October.
Commune is governed by the College of Mayor and Aldermen.
Note that the College is not accountable to the Municipal
mayor is nominated by the Walloon Government. The mayor presides
over the Municipal Council, with voting rights (if he/she is
chosen among the municipal councillors, which is frequently the
case), as well as the college. Besides attributions similar to
those of an alderman, he/she possesses specific competencies,
especially as regards security and law and order.
communes are governed by the New Municipalities Law. Since 1 January
2002, the municipal law has become a Regional competence in
nearly all its aspects. The Walloon Region can thus modify the
rules as regards the functioning and organisation of the
communes are submitted to the legislative and administrative
control (tutelle) of the Walloon Region. It has been agreed that staring
2005, the communes from the German linguistic region would be
submitted instead to the control of the German-speaking
commune has a municipal administration. In general, this
administration is organised into departments which reflect the
different responsibilities of the commune attributed to the