Belgian politics in a nutshell
Belgium is a federal country that consists of six fractional parties; the Federal Government, governments for the French, Flemish and German-speaking communities, the Walloon government and the Brussels government.
Apart from a few minor German-speaking parties, most political parties in Belgium are dominated by Flemish-speaking or French-speaking groups. The three main political groups are the centre-right liberals, the Conservative Christian Democrats to the right and the Socialists on the left.
More recently, new parties have exploded onto the political stage. Green parties such as the French-speaking Ecolo and Flemish Groen have emerged; in Flanders, nationalist and far-right, separatist groups continue to enjoy high support.
The Federal Government is led by the liberal Alexander De Croo in a coalition with the Flemish Open VlD, the French-speaking Socialists, the Flemish Christian Democrats, Flemish Greens, the Conservative-Liberal Mouvement Réformateur and the French-speaking Ecolo.
Decision-making in Belgium can be slow as important policy requires a national majority (2/3 for constitutional changes), as well as majorities in the two main language groups. Linguistic divisions can impede decision-making, which isn’t made less complicated by Belgium’s three economic regions of Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels being granted a high degree of political autonomy.
The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Belgium a “flawed democracy” in 2021 and the country came to number 36 on the democracy index.