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Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

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Overview Belgium (Flemish Community)

Contents

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and learning in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-Flemish-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Legislation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Glossary


Federal

The legislative power at federal level is vested in the Chamber of Representatives, which functions as a political chamber which supervises government policies, and the Senate, which functions as a chamber of reflection. Together they form the Federal Parliament.

The executive power is vested in the Federal Government. It is a so-called "full-term government" which can only be forced to resign if the Chamber has adopted a motion of no-confidence or has rejected a motion of confidence and has simultaneously proposed a new Prime Minister for appointment to the King. Elections were held every four years, but from 2014 will be held every 5 years. The most recent (early) federal elections took place in 2010.

The King proclaims federal laws and ratifies them. He mediates during the formation of governments and during political crises.

The federal legislative power is executed by means of wetten (laws). The Government issues koninklijke besluiten (royal decisions) based on the above laws.

The constitutional revision dd. 15 July 1988 transferred all responsibilities regarding education to the Communities, with the exception of the age at which compulsory education starts and ends, the minimum requirements for diploma conferrals and the pension system. Paid Educational Leave (under the remit of the Federal Minister for Work), military training (under the remit of the Federal Minister for Defence) and police training (under the remit of the Federal Minister for the Interior and the Federal Minister for Justice) also remain in hands of the Federal Government (see 2.6.1.). Every year, the Communities receive a fixed financial contribution for education from the Federal State. In addition, the Flemish Government also has other forms of revenue, such as regional taxes and their own income of which a certain part is allocated to education.


The Flemish Parliament


The Flemish Parliament

The legislative body for Flanders is the Flemish Parliament, the Parliament of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region. The new Flemish Parliament currently consists of 124 members: 118 directly elected by the residents of the Flemish Region and 6 elected among the Dutch-speaking representatives of the Regional Council of Brussels.

The Flemish Parliament performs the three traditional functions of a parliament: a legislative function, the formation of governments and a supervisory function.

The Flemish Parliament exercises its legislative powers by means of decreten (decrees), which have the same legal force as the laws of the National Parliament. These decrees are applicable to the Dutch language area and the institutions in the bilingual area Brussels Capital, which exclusively focus on the Flemish Community. For regional matters, the decrees only apply to the Dutch language area and not to the Brussels-Capital Region. The elections for the Flemish Parliament are held every 5 years. The most recent elections were held in 2009. http://www.vlaamsparlement.be


The Flemish Government

The executive power is vested in the Flemish Government, which, by decree, consists of maximum eleven members, of which at least one is domiciled in the Brussels-Capital Region (and is therefore not competent for Flemish regional matters; the other ministers are competent for both regional and Community matters). The ministers are appointed by the Flemish Parliament. The Flemish Government decides collegially: all decisions are taken by the government as a whole, unless a particular power is explicitly "delegated" to an individual minister.

The Flemish Government is a so-called full-term government. The Flemish Parliament can abandon its confidence in the government, but cannot dissolve it before a new government is proposed.

The Flemish Government promulgates besluiten (BVR, Besluit van de Vlaamse Regering (Decision of the Flemish Government)) on the basis of the decrees. To implements these decisions, a minister can issue ministeriële besluiten (ministerial orders). Omzendbrieven (circular letters) of the administration provide instructions or explanations about the implementation of regulations.


The Flemish Administration

The Public Management Framework Decree (18 July 2003) set out a new organisational-administrative framework for the Flemish authorities. The Organisation Decision of 3 June 2005 further specified the organisational structure. It came into effect on 1 January 2006.

Under this decision, 13 policy areas were defined. Each policy area comprises:

  • one department for policy-supporting work, controlled directly by the minister and managed by a secretary-general;
  • autonomous agencies, in charge of policy implementation, whose tasks are laid down in a management agreement with the Flemish Government, (for externe verzelfstandigde agentschappen - EVA's (private-law external autonomous agencies) in a cooperation agreement); they enjoy operational autonomy. Depending on the degree of autonomy these agencies enjoy, we distinguish between interne verzelfstandigde agentschappen - IVA's (internal autonomous agencies) and external autonomous agencies (EVAs);
    • internal autonomous agencies (IVAs) are headed by a general administrator;
      • IVAs without corporate personality are Flemish Community services set up by decision of the Flemish Government; one such example is the Agentschap voor Onderwijsdiensten (Agency for Educational Services) (see 2.6.2.1);
      • IVAs with corporate personality (IVA-rp (rp: rechtspersoonlijkheid - corporate personality)), on the other hand, are separate legal entities founded under a decree.
    • external autonomous agencies (EVAs), who enjoy wide autonomy and permit structural or financial participation from another authority or other legal entities;
      • public-law EVAs are founded by decree and conclude a management agreement with the Flemish Government; the Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding - VDAB (Flemish Public Employment and Vocational Training Service) (see 8.4) and SYNTRA Flanders (see 8.5) would be two such agencies;
      • private-law EVAs can only be founded on foot of an explicit authorization by the decretal legislator. They enter into a cooperation agreement with the Flemish Government. The ESF-Agentschap Vlaanderen vzw (ESF Agency Flanders, non-profit organisation) would be one example (see 2.6.2.2.).
  • a strategic advisory council (such as the Vlaamse Onderwijsraad VLOR (Flemish Education Council) (see 2.7.4.1) and the Sociaal Economische Raad van Vlaanderen SERV (Flemish Social and Economic Council)), founded by decree, which seats specialists and representatives from the social midfield, appointed for a term of 4 years. The council has its own secretariat, led by a secretary. The Flemish Government is obliged to gain advice regarding all draft decrees and draft decisions of strategic significance. In addition, the council is also free to issue advice on its own initiative;
  • a governing council, which ensures strategic consultation between the minister and the leading officials;
  • the relevant minister in charge, who is supported by a cabinet with technical experts and subject specialists.

Henceforward, a Flemish Ministry is understood to mean: the department and the IVAs without legal personality of a particular policy area.

The policy areas we shall discuss in more detail in 2.6.2 are:

  • Education and Training
  • Work and Social Economy
  • Agriculture
  • Culture, Youth, Sports and Media
  • Welfare, Public Health and Family.

Scientific research comes under the policy area Economy, Science and Innovation. Onderwijskundig beleids- en praktijkgericht wetenschappelijk onderzoek - OBPWO (Educational policy and practice-oriented scientific research) falls under the department of Education and Training.


The Brussels-Capital Region

The 3rd state reform of 1988 (Special Law of 12/1/1989) assigned a special status to the Brussels-Capital Region, which was granted additional powers after the 5th state reform of 2001 and now enjoys the same fiscal autonomy as Flanders and Wallonia.

The Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region exercises its regional powers by means of ordonnanties (ordinances) (instead of laws and decrees), which have 'force of law'; whereas the government of the Brussels-Capital Region exercises its authority by means of decisions.

For matters of Flemish education, the Flemish Community Commission is of importance. For this and other Community matters it has the competence of organising body (see 2.6.3.7.).


Provinces, cities and municipalities

Belgium consists of 10 provinces and 589 municipalities.

Flanders consists of 5 provinces and 308 municipalities. The Brussels-Capital Region numbers 19 municipalities. Wallonia has 5 provinces and 262 municipalities, including 9 German-speaking municipalities; in addition, an administrative district Brussels Capital has been established which is also headed by a governor.

The schools organised by provinces, cities and municipalities belong to the 'subsidised official education' network (see educational networks 2.7.1.2).


Provinces

A province is governed by a governor, the general-administration representative. He holds this position on behalf of the Federal Government and of the Community and Regional Government. The legislative power is vested in the provincial council whose members are elected for a 6-year term. The executive power lies with the permanent deputation, which consists of 6 members elected from among the councillors, under the chairmanship of the governor (who is not entitled to vote). Provincial councils act as the organising body for provincial education. (On educational management, see 2.7.1.8). The Vereniging van Vlaamse Provincies - VVP (Association of Flemish Provinces) acts as the support centre and advocate of the Flemish provinces


Cities and municipalities

Municipalities are headed by a burgomaster. The legislative power is vested in the municipal council, the executive power lies with the burgomaster and aldermen. The members of the local council are elected for a 6-year term. The municipal councils act as the organising body for municipal education. (On educational management, see 2.6.3.6.). The Vereniging van Vlaamse Steden en Gemeenten - VVSG (Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities) acts as the support centre and advocate of the Flemish local administrations.