Do you wish to discover Belgium? Here is some basic information on its economy, political situation and on its climate.
Surrounded by Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France, Belgium is a federal state deemed to be one of the European Union's main pillars. Stretching over some 30,328 km2, it is smaller than many neighboring countries. But its population amounts to some 12 million inhabitants. It is known to be one of the region's most prosperous countries. Brussels, its capital city and economic hub is as famous.
Belgium consists of three regions, namely Brussels, Wallonia and the Flemish region. Hence, these regions inhabitants speak different languages: French, German and Dutch.
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The country consists of 589 municipalities, including Anderlecht which is found in the southwest of Brussels, Antwerp which is found in the Flemish region, Bruges which is found in the Flemish region, Brussels, the capital city, Charleroi and Dinant which are located in the Walloon Region, and Liege which Wallonia's capital city. Namur, for its part, is the capital city of the province bearing the same name.
Apart from being one of the European Union's focal points, Belgium also hosts many important European institutions. In fact, Brussels has unofficially become the European Union's capital city due to the important meetings which are held there, as well as for important decisions which are taken there. For instance:
- the European Commission, which is found in Berlaymont, has a monopoly on initiatives regarding European legislation
- the European Union Council in Brussels is the European Union's real decision-making body
- the Economic and Social Committee in Brussels is the advisory body where European economic and social partners regularly meet
- the Regions Committee which is found in Brussels is a consultative body representing local authorities in Europe.
Note that Brussels, as a quintessential European capital city, also chairs on the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), the European Defense Agency (EDA), the of the Trans-European Transport Executive Agency (EASTR-T) network, the Competitiveness, Innovation, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, the Education Executive Agency, the Fisheries Community Control Agency the Executive Agency for Research (REA), the European Council Research Executive Agency.
Belgium has a temperate marine climate. Temperatures are quite pleasant in summer, reaching up to 20 °C against 5 °C in winter. However, the South, Wallonia in particular, enjoys an ideal climate for hiking and trekking. Liege, for its part, is surrounded by diverse landscapes, including forests and hills.
Belgium is world-famous for its mussels, chips, beer, waffles, gingerbread, as well as for its rich and modern gastronomy which varies from one region to another. Over the years, Belgium has managed to export some of its specialties, but tourists and newcomers can expect many surprises. You are likely to find restaurant and cafes almost everywhere in Belgian cities as in rural regions.
You will be pleasantly surprised by Belgians' great sense of humor which is complementary to their friendliness and hospitality. You will definitely meet nice people in Belgium, especially if you have decided to settle in Brussels or Wallonia.
From modern art to cartoons, you will be exposed to a great cultural opening in Belgium. The country also has a rich historical and cultural heritage which you will be able to discover when settling there.