Países do Mundo

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General information:


Embaixada de Bélgica
Endereço: SES Avenida das Nações, Quadra 809, Lote 32
Brasília – DFCEP: 70422-900
Tel.: (61) 3443-1133
Fax: (61) 3443-1219
Emergências: (61) 98407-9756


Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country located in Western Europe. It is
one of the six founding countries of the European Union, and its capital, Brussels, is
also the de facto capital of the European Union itself, hosting the official seats of the
European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council,
as well as one of two seats of the European Parliament (the other being Strasbourg).
Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, and WTO, and a
part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels also hosts the
headquarters of many major international organizations, such as NATO. Belgium has
an area of 30,528 square kilometers and a population of around 10.7 million.
Occupying the cultural border between Germanic Europe and Latin Europe, Belgium is
basically made up of two linguistic groups: the Flemings, who speak Dutch, and the
Walloons, who speak French, in addition to a small group of people who speak the
German language. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of
Flanders in the north, with 59% of the population, and the French-speaking Wallonia
region in the south, inhabited by 31% of Belgians. The officially bilingual Brussels
Region is a mostly French-speaking enclave in the Flemish region and has 10% of the
population. A small German-speaking community exists in eastern Wallonia. Belgium's
linguistic diversity and political and cultural conflicts are reflected in the country's
political history and complex system of government.
The name "Belgium" is derived from Belgian Gaul, a Roman province in the northern
part of Gaul, which was inhabited by the Belgians, a mixture of Celtic and Germanic
peoples. Historically, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg were known as the
Netherlands, a name used to designate an area slightly larger than the current group of
countries called Benelux. From the late Middle Ages until the 17th century, the country
was a thriving center of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian
Revolution in 1830, many battles between the European powers were fought in the
area of present-day Belgium, causing the country to be dubbed the "battleground of
Europe", a reputation reinforced by the two World Wars.
After its independence, Belgium soon participated in the Industrial Revolution and, by
the end of the 19th century, had several colonies in Africa. The second half of the 20th
century was marked by the rise of communal conflicts between the Flemings and the
Walloons, fueled by cultural differences and an asymmetrical economic evolution
between Flanders and Wallonia. These conflicts, still active, have caused profound
reforms from the former Belgian unitary state to a federal state.