Belgium

Wikipedia Country Information

Belgium (; Dutch: België [ˈbɛlɣijə]; French: Belgique [bɛlʒik]; German: Belgien [ˈbɛlɡi̯ən]), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi) and has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population, which comprises 41% of all Belgians. Additionally, there is a small group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area, and bordering Germany.
Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (along with parts of Northern France and Western Germany) were known as the Low Countries; it once covered a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, the area of Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, causing it to be dubbed the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars.
Today, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other. Its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia - both are monolingual in their respective languages. The Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual (French and Dutch) enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased; there is significant separatism particularly among the Flemish; controversial language laws exist such as the municipalities with language facilities; and the formation of a coalition government took 18 months following the June 2010 federal election, a world record. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders, which boomed after the war.
Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union. Brussels, hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is also a part of the Schengen Area. Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index.


Instruments ratified: 199 / 282
World Average Ratifications: 114 / 282
Ratification rate: 70.16%
World Average Rate: 41.25%
Weighted score: 73.67%
World Average Weighted Score: 41.25%
World rank: 3 / 194
Developed country rank: 3 / 30
Developed country Avg. Ratifications: 159 / 282
Europe Union rank: 3 / 28
Europe Union Avg. Ratifications: 180 / 282
Western Europe rank: 2 / 10
Western Europe Avg. Ratifications: 169 / 282
CONTRACTSInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Agency0/20.00%2.00%8Weak
Conflict of laws1/7 (14.29%)0.00%3.00%27Weak
E-commerce0/30.00%18.00%70Weak
Franchising0/10.00%0.00%1Average
Leasing/Factoring1/2 (50.00%)50.00%5.00%8Strong
Principles, trade usages and standards0/20.00%0.00%1Average
Procurement0/40.00%3.00%31Weak
Sale of Goods5/5 (100.00%)100.00%25.00%1Strong
Travel contracts0/10.00%3.00%7Weak
Total720.29%9.00%20Strong
 
CUSTOMSInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Customs Codification2/3 (66.67%)100.00%78.00%1Strong
Customs Cooperation2/6 (33.33%)40.00%26.00%48Strong
Exemption from Duties6/9 (66.67%)66.67%30.00%23Strong
Temporary Admission9/11 (81.82%)91.18%28.00%9Strong
Transit3/4 (75.00%)100.00%28.00%1Strong
Total2277.17%31.00%12Strong
 
DISPUTE RESOLUTIONInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Arbitration5/6 (83.33%)75.00%32.00%2Strong
Judicial cooperation3/5 (60.00%)57.89%36.00%55Strong
Recognition of foreign judgments0/20.00%2.00%6Weak
State court jurisdiction2/4 (50.00%)100.00%14.00%1Strong
State court procedure0/10.00%6.00%12Weak
State immunities 0/10.00%11.00%22Weak
Total1062.00%29.00%27Strong
 
ENVIRONMENT AND PRODUCTSInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Air4/5 (80.00%)80.00%86.00%59Weak
Chemicals1/1 (100.00%)100.00%78.00%1Strong
Energy2/2 (100.00%)100.00%25.00%1Strong
Flora and fauna9/10 (90.00%)93.48%68.00%4Strong
Foodstuff2/2 (100.00%)100.00%79.00%1Strong
General1/1 (100.00%)100.00%95.00%1Weak
International watercourses0/10.00%18.00%36Weak
Maritime and Law of the Sea22/26 (84.62%)82.61%46.00%21Strong
Protected geographical areas 1/1 (100.00%)100.00%27.00%1Strong
Waste1/1 (100.00%)100.00%93.00%1Weak
Total4386.98%61.00%14Strong
 
FINANCE, PAYMENTS AND INSOLVENCYInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Assignment of receivables0/10.00%1.00%2Weak
Bankruptcy and insolvency0/10.00%21.00%41Weak
Bills of exchange and promissory notes3/4 (75.00%)50.00%8.00%1Strong
Cheques3/3 (100.00%)100.00%13.00%1Strong
Credit transfers0/10.00%0.00%1Average
International guarantees0/30.00%20.00%75Weak
Total624.39%12.00%32Strong
 
GOOD GOVERNANCE Inst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Corruption3/4 (75.00%)75.00%50.00%6Strong
Cultural Property3/4 (75.00%)68.75%54.00%38Strong
Drugs3/3 (100.00%)100.00%95.00%1Weak
Insider Trading0/10.00%4.00%9Weak
Organized crime2/2 (100.00%)100.00%80.00%1Strong
Total1182.69%68.00%30Strong
 
HUMAN RIGHTS AND LABOUR STANDARDSInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Human Rights7/7 (100.00%)100.00%96.00%1Weak
Labour Standards8/8 (100.00%)100.00%86.00%1Strong
Total15100.00%91.00%1Average
 
INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATIONInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Dispute Resolution1/1 (100.00%)100.00%39.00%1Strong
International Trade Law 10/10 (100.00%)100.00%73.00%1Strong
Trade support institutions6/6 (100.00%)100.00%51.00%1Strong
Total17100.00%63.00%1Strong
 
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Broadcasting1/1 (100.00%)100.00%47.00%1Strong
Copyright2/3 (66.67%)90.91%65.00%48Strong
Industrial designs2/2 (100.00%)100.00%31.00%1Strong
Integrated circuits0/10.00%2.00%4Weak
Neighboring Rights2/3 (66.67%)76.92%46.00%61Strong
Origin0/30.00%14.00%51Weak
Patents4/5 (80.00%)85.71%57.00%30Strong
Trademarks5/6 (83.33%)95.45%33.00%10Strong
Varieties of plants1/1 (100.00%)100.00%37.00%1Strong
Total1781.05%42.00%27Strong
 
INVESTMENTSInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Investment disputes1/2 (50.00%)50.00%39.00%2Strong
Investment guaranty1/1 (100.00%)100.00%93.00%1Weak
Total266.67%57.00%2Strong
 
PRODUCTSInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Marine Resources0/10.00%24.00%48Weak
Timber1/1 (100.00%)100.00%31.00%1Strong
General1/1 (100.00%)100.00%92.00%1Weak
Total276.92%53.00%23Strong
 
TRANSPORT AND TELECOMMUNICATIONSInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Air transport5/7 (71.43%)90.48%59.00%4Strong
Aircrafts and civil aviation 7/9 (77.78%)92.00%74.00%11Strong
Maritime shipping and load lines 11/13 (84.62%)94.29%66.00%11Strong
Maritime transport7/12 (58.33%)54.17%27.00%9Strong
Multi modal transport 0/20.00%4.00%15Weak
Rail transport3/3 (100.00%)100.00%22.00%1Strong
Road transport4/4 (100.00%)100.00%31.00%1Strong
Space4/4 (100.00%)100.00%40.00%1Strong
Telecommunications1/2 (50.00%)83.33%47.00%26Strong
Total4286.49%50.00%2Strong
 
TREATIES LAWInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
General2/4 (50.00%)66.67%30.00%11Strong
Total266.67%30.00%11Strong
 
WTOInst. ratifiedCountry scoreWorld avg. scoreCountry rank in worldStrength
Plurilateral Agreements2/2 (100.00%)100.00%18.00%1Strong
WTO Agreements1/1 (100.00%)100.00%81.00%1Strong
Total3100.00%47.00%1Strong
 
Strong
ContractsLeasing/Factoring
ContractsSale of Goods
CustomsCustoms Codification
CustomsCustoms Cooperation
CustomsExemption from Duties
CustomsTemporary Admission
CustomsTransit
Dispute resolutionArbitration
Dispute resolutionJudicial cooperation
Dispute resolutionState court jurisdiction
Environment and productsChemicals
Environment and productsEnergy
Environment and productsFlora and fauna
Environment and productsFoodstuff
Environment and productsMaritime and Law of the Sea
Environment and productsProtected geographical areas
Finance, payments and insolvencyBills of exchange and promissory notes
Finance, payments and insolvencyCheques
Good Governance Corruption
Good Governance Cultural Property
Good Governance Organized crime
Human Rights and Labour StandardsLabour Standards
Institutional ParticipationDispute Resolution
Institutional ParticipationInternational Trade Law
Institutional ParticipationTrade support institutions
Intellectual propertyBroadcasting
Intellectual propertyCopyright
Intellectual propertyIndustrial designs
Intellectual propertyNeighboring Rights
Intellectual propertyPatents
Intellectual propertyTrademarks
Intellectual propertyVarieties of plants
InvestmentsInvestment disputes
ProductsTimber
Transport and telecommunicationsAir transport
Transport and telecommunicationsAircrafts and civil aviation
Transport and telecommunicationsMaritime shipping and load lines
Transport and telecommunicationsMaritime transport
Transport and telecommunicationsRail transport
Transport and telecommunicationsRoad transport
Transport and telecommunicationsSpace
Transport and telecommunicationsTelecommunications
Treaties lawGeneral
WTOPlurilateral Agreements
WTOWTO Agreements
 
Average
ContractsFranchising
ContractsPrinciples, trade usages and standards
Finance, payments and insolvencyCredit transfers
 
Weak
ContractsAgency
ContractsConflict of laws
ContractsE-commerce
ContractsProcurement
ContractsTravel contracts
Dispute resolutionRecognition of foreign judgments
Dispute resolutionState court procedure
Dispute resolutionState immunities
Environment and productsAir
Environment and productsGeneral
Environment and productsInternational watercourses
Environment and productsWaste
Finance, payments and insolvencyAssignment of receivables
Finance, payments and insolvencyBankruptcy and insolvency
Finance, payments and insolvencyInternational guarantees
Good Governance Drugs
Good Governance Insider Trading
Human Rights and Labour StandardsHuman rights
Intellectual propertyIntegrated circuits
Intellectual propertyOrigin
InvestmentsInvestment guaranty
ProductsGeneral
ProductsMarine Resources
Transport and telecommunicationsMulti modal transport

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