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Date Published: July 23, 2017, 3:50 p.m.

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the de jure capital of Belgium.The Brussels-Capital Region was created on the territory of the 19 communes by the Special Act of 12 January 1989. It brought a long journey to an end, with many ups and downs in the political life of Belgium.

The Brussels-Capital Region is the only bilingual Region in Belgium. Its legislative power is exercised through orders (ordonnances), which do not have the same legal force as federal laws or regional decrees (décrets). It also has a special relationship with the federal authority, due to its international role and its position as capital of the country. This is expressed in the Beliris (FR/NL) cooperation mechanism.

At the present time the surface area of the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region, comprising the 19 Brussels communes, is 162 square km.

The Government of the Brussels-Capital Region is composed of a minister-president, 4 ministers – two French speakers and two Dutch speakers – and three secretaries of state. The Government is elected every five years by the Brussels Parliament (the Council of the Brussels-Capital Region).

The members of the Government are responsible for matters defined by the regional competences: urban development, planning, urban renewal, housing, public works, transport, economic policy, foreign trade, employment, environmental protection, energy, local authorities, scientific research and international relations.