• Brussels-Capital Region
  • Région de Bruxelles-Capitale  (French)
  • Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest  (Dutch)
A collage with several views of Brussels, Top: View of the Northern Quarter business district, 2nd left: Floral carpet event in the Grand Place, 2nd right: Town Hall and Mont des Arts area, 3rd: Cinquantenaire Park, 4th left: Manneken Pis, 4th middle: Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, 4th right: Congress Column, Bottom: Royal Palace of Brussels
Official logo of Brussels
Capital of Europe,[1] Comic City[2]
Brussels is located in Belgium
Location within Belgium
Brussels is located in Europe
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 50°51′N 4°21′E / 50.850°N 4.350°E / 50.850; 4.350Coordinates: 50°51′N 4°21′E / 50.850°N 4.350°E / 50.850; 4.350
CommunityFrench Community
Flemish Community
Settledc. 580
Region18 June 1989
CapitalCity of Brussels
 • ExecutiveGovernment of the Brussels-Capital Region
 • Governing parties (2019-present)PS, DéFI, Ecolo; Open Vld, Vooruit, Groen
 • Minister-PresidentRudi Vervoort (PS)
 • LegislatureParliament of the Brussels-Capital Region
 • SpeakerRachid Madrane (PS)
 • Region/City162.4 km2 (62.7 sq mi)
13 m (43 ft)
 (1 January 2019)[4]
 • Region/City1,208,542
 • Estimate 
(1 January 2020)
 • Density7,400/km2 (19,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
Demonym(s)fr Bruxellois(e), nl Brusselaar/Brusselse
 • LanguagesFrench
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166
Postal code(s)
42 postal codes
Area code(s)02
GDP (nominal)[5]2019
 - Total€87 billion
 - Per capita€71,100
HDI (2019)0.948[6]
very high · 1st of 11

Brussels (French: Bruxelles [bʁysɛl] (listen) or [bʁyksɛl] (listen); Dutch: Brussel [ˈbrʏsəl] (listen)), officially the Brussels-Capital Region[7][8] (French: Région de Bruxelles-Capitale;[a] Dutch: Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest),[b] is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium.[9] The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium[10] and the Flemish Community,[11] but is separate from the Flemish Region (within which it forms an enclave) and the Walloon Region.[12][13] Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita.[14] It covers 162 km2 (63 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of over 1.2 million.[15] The five times larger metropolitan area of Brussels comprises over 2.5 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium.[16][17][18] It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.[19]

Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and home to numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.[20] Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, and legislative branches (though the judicial branch is located in Luxembourg, and the European Parliament meets for a minority of the year in Strasbourg).[21][22][c] Because of this, its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions.[23][24] The secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of NATO are also located in Brussels.[25][26] As the economic capital of Belgium and a top financial centre of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city.[27] Brussels is a hub for rail, road and air traffic,[28] and is sometimes considered, together with Belgium, as the geographic, economic and cultural crossroads of Europe.[29][30][31] The Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the largest and busiest in the country.[32][33]

Historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century.[34] Nowadays, the Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch,[35][36] even though French is the lingua franca with over 90% of the inhabitants being able to speak it.[37][38] Brussels is also increasingly becoming multilingual. English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and many migrants and expatriates speak other languages as well.[37][39]

Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomic offer (including its local waffle, its chocolate, its French fries and its numerous types of beers),[40] as well as its historical and architectural landmarks; some of them are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[41] Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis, the Atomium, and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie/De Munt and the Museums of Art and History. Due to its long tradition of Belgian comics, Brussels is also hailed as a capital of the comic strip.[2][42]

  1. ^ "Brussels". Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Comic was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "be.STAT". Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Mini-Bru | IBSA".
  5. ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 31% to 626% of the EU average in 2017" (Press release). Eurostat. 28 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Sub-national HDI – Area Database – Global Data Lab". Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  7. ^ The Belgian Constitution (PDF). Brussels, Belgium: Belgian House of Representatives. May 2014. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015. Article 3: Belgium comprises three Regions: the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels Region. Article 4: Belgium comprises four linguistic regions: the Dutch-speaking region, the French-speaking region, the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital and the German-speaking region.
  8. ^ "Brussels-Capital Region / Creation". Centre d'Informatique pour la Région Bruxelloise [Brussels Regional Informatics Center]. 2009. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2009. Since 18 June 1989, the date of the first regional elections, the Brussels-Capital Region has been an autonomous region comparable to the Flemish and Walloon Regions. (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.)
  9. ^ The Belgian Constitution (PDF). Brussels, Belgium: Belgian House of Representatives. May 2014. p. 63. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015. Article 194: The city of Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the seat of the Federal Government.
  10. ^ Décret instituant Bruxelles capitale de la Communauté française. Brussels, Belgium: Parliament of the French Community. 4 April 1984. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  11. ^ "The Flemish Community". 24 October 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  12. ^ Decreet betreffende de keuze van Brussel tot hoofdstad van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap (PDF). Brussels, Belgium: Flemish Parliament. 6 March 1984. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  13. ^ "DE BELGISCHE GRONDWET". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference :4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ "Structuur van de bevolking | Statbel". Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Statistics Belgium; Population de droit par commune au 1 janvier 2008". Archived from the original (excel-file) on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008. Population of all municipalities in Belgium on 1 January 2008. Retrieved on 18 October 2008.
  17. ^ "Statistics Belgium; De Belgische Stadsgewesten 2001" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008. Definitions of metropolitan areas in Belgium. The metropolitan area of Brussels is divided into three levels. First, the central agglomeration (geoperationaliseerde agglomeratie) with 1,451,047 inhabitants (2008-01-01, adjusted to municipal borders). Adding the closest surroundings (suburbs, banlieue or buitenwijken) gives a total of 1,831,496. And, including the outer commuter zone (forensenwoonzone) the population is 2,676,701.
  18. ^ "Demographia World Urban Areas" (PDF). April 2017.
  19. ^ Van Meeteren et al. 2016.
  20. ^ "Europe | Country profiles | Country profile: Belgium". BBC News. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  21. ^ Demey 2007.
  22. ^ "Protocol (No 6) on the location of the seats of the institutions and of certain bodies, offices, agencies and departments of the European Union, Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, OJ C 83, 30.3.2010, p. 265–265". EUR-Lex. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  23. ^ Reuters Staff (10 April 2016). "Spain to ask Brussels for extra year to meet deficit target". Reuters. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  24. ^ Rankin, Jennifer (13 June 2017). "Brussels plan could force euro clearing out of UK after Brexit". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  25. ^ "Secrétariat general". A propos du Benelux (in French).
  26. ^ "NATO Headquarters". NATO. 16 March 2018.
  27. ^ "The World According to GaWC 2016". GaWC. 24 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Transportation in Brussels". Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Brussels Capital Region". Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  30. ^ NATO. "Belgium and NATO - 1949". NATO. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  31. ^ "Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum - brusselscard". Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  32. ^ News, TBT. "The Brussels Times – Brussels North is Belgium's busiest train station". Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  33. ^ "Statistics". Brussels Airport Website. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  34. ^ Schaepdrijver, Sophie de (1990). Elites for the Capital?: Foreign Migration to mid-nineteenth-century Brussels. Amsterdam: Thesis Publishers. ISBN 9789051700688.
  35. ^ Hughes, Dominic (15 July 2008). "Europe | Analysis: Where now for Belgium?". BBC News. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  36. ^ Philippe Van Parijs (1 March 2016). "Brussels bilingual? Brussels francophone? Both and neither!". The Brussels Times. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019.
  37. ^ a b Janssens, Rudi (2008). Language use in Brussels and the position of Dutch. Some recent findings (PDF). Brussels Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  38. ^ Frédéric Chardon (4 December 2017). "Bruxelles est francophone à 92%, selon les déclarations fiscales" [Brussels French-speaking at 92%, according to tax declarations]. La (in French).
  39. ^ O'Donnell, Paul; Toebosch, AnneMarie. Multilingualism in Brussels: "I'd Rather Speak English". Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2008, v. 29 n. 2 p. 154-169.
  40. ^ "Gastronomy — Région bruxelloise – Brussels Gewest". Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  41. ^ "UNESCO heritage in Brussels". Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  42. ^ "The walls of the comic strip walk in detail". Retrieved 3 August 2018.

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