French Community of Belgium
The French Community of Belgium is one of the three official communities in Belgium along with the Flemish Community
Flemish Community
The term Flemish Community has two distinct, though related, meanings:...

 and the German speaking Community. Although its name could suggest that it is a community of French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 citizens in Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, it is not. The French Community of Belgium is not a group of people or inhabitants, but an official institution which refers to French-speaking Belgian citizens. As such, it is sometimes called the French-speaking Community of Belgium. The French Community of Belgium has its own parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

, government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, and administration. Its official flag is also the official flag of Wallonia where 80% of its citizens live. Its capital is the City of Brussels
City of Brussels
The City of Brussels is the largest municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region, and the official capital of Belgium by law....


Alternative name

There were since years hints that the Community wanted to evidence the link between Wallonia and Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, being the two main territories where the community exercises its competences, such as when it created Wallonie-Bruxelles International, a public body in charge with international cultural competences by the Community, the Walloon Region
Walloon Region
The Walloon Region, commonly called Wallonia, is one of the three federal Regions of Belgium, and its capital is Namur. It comprises, as defined by Article 5 of the Constitution of Belgium, the provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur...

 and the Commission communautaire française (COCOF, a French-speaking institution of the Brussels-Capital Region) . The concept of "Wallonie-Bruxelles" is however not mentioned in the Belgian constitution, and appeared only in a few official legal texts, such as the "Arrêté du Gouvernement de la Communauté française fixant le code de qualité et de l'accueil" of 17 December 2003, mentioning the name "Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles", and the "Arrêté du Gouvernement de la Communauté française approuvant le programme quinquennal de promotion de la santé 2004-2008 of 30 April 2004, mentioning the name "Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles".

In May 2011, the parliament of the Community voted a resolution according to which it would, from then on, use the name "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" for all its communications, campaigns and in the administration. The move was immediately interpreted as agressive by the Flemish authorities, the Minister-President of Flanders announcing he would not recognize the federation as an official body and saying that documents that would be sent by the federation would be unconstitutional and therefore would not exist .

While the authorities of the Community ackowledge the fact that the new name is not mentionned in the Belgian Constitution, they insist that their move is not illegal, as long as the new name is used as an additional name for the Community and is not used when it could create a legal issue (such as with the official texts published in the Belgian Official Journal
Belgian Official Journal
The Belgian Official Journal is the official journal of the Kingdom of Belgium....


Although the Belgian Prime Minister said that it would no use the new name and the Flemish VRT
The abbreviation VRT may be a reference to:* Vehicle Registration Tax* Verkehrsverbund Region Trier, Trier regional transport* Vision Restoration Therapy, a therapy to improve the visual field after a stroke or brain injury...

 decided not to use the new name also in its news programmes , the new name is somewhat used in the French-speaking part of the country: it is used by the French-speaking RTBF
Radio Télévision Belge Francophone is the public broadcasting organization of the French Community of Belgium, the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium...

, which is fully controlled by the Community, but is not always used in independent media.

In September 2011, the Community adopted a new logo that incorporates its new name.

Comparison with "Flanders"

A confusion sometimes arises from the term "Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

" which can refer to two different political institutions and concepts, being the Flemish Region
Flemish Region
The Flemish Region is one of the three official regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Colloquially, it is usually simply referred to as Flanders, of which it is the institutional iteration within the context of the Belgian political system...

 and the Flemish Community
Flemish Community
The term Flemish Community has two distinct, though related, meanings:...

. "Flanders", though not named in the Belgian constitution either, is more widely used in official publications, because the Region has merged its institutions with the Community – whereas the Walloon Region and the French Community of Belgium remain separate.

List of Ministers-President of the French Community

Philippe Moureaux
Philippe Moureaux
Philippe Moureaux is a Belgian politician, senator, mayor of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, and professor of economic history at the Université Libre de Bruxelles....

 (1st time)
22 December 1981 - 9 December 1985 PS
Socialist Party (francophone Belgium)
The Socialist Party is a Francophone social-democratic political party in Belgium. As of the 2010 elections, it is the second largest party in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and the largest Francophone party...

Philippe Monfils
Philippe Monfils
Philippe Monfils is a Belgian politician and a member of the MR. He was elected as a member of the Belgian Senate in 2007.-Notes:...

9 December 1985 - 2 February 1988 PRL
Philippe Moureaux (2nd time) 2 February - 9 May 1988 PS
Valmy Féaux  17 May 1988 - 7 January 1992 PS
Bernard Anselme
Bernard Anselme
Bernard Anselme was the Minister-President of the Walloon Region of Belgium from May 11, 1988 to January 7, 1992.- Biography :Bernard Anselme was born on November 3, 1945 in Mouscron, Wallonia to a postal worker...

7 January 1992 - 4 May 1993 PS
Laurette Onkelinx
Laurette Onkelinx
Laurette A.J. Onkelinx is a Belgian politician from the Francophone Socialist Party. She is the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health in the Belgian federal government, i.e., the Van Rompuy I Government, which took office on 30 December 2008.-Biography:Born to Gaston Onkelinx and Germaine...

4 May 1993 - 13 July 1999 PS
Hervé Hasquin
Hervé Hasquin
Hervé Hasquin is a Belgian university professor, historian and politician.-References:*

13 July 1999 - 19 July 2004 PRL
Marie Arena
Marie Arena
Marie Arena is a French-speaking Belgian politician, member of the Francophone Socialist Party . She was the Minister-President of the French Community of Belgium from July 2004 until March 2008. She then became Minister for Social Integration, Pensions and Large Cities in the federal government,...

19 July 2004 - 20 March 2008 PS
Rudi Demotte  20 March 2008 - incumbent PS

See also

  • Brussels-Capital Region
  • Communities and regions of Belgium
  • Commission communautaire française (COCOF)
  • Wallonia

External links

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