Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,689 km2 and has a population of more than 11.5 million, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe. Independent since 1830
Belgium is a sovereign state and a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organization is complex and is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions: the Flemish Region in the north, Wallonia in the south, and the Brussels-Capital Region. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 60 percent of the population, and the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and its capital, Brussels, hosts 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 hosts several of the EU’s official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has very high standards of living, quality of life, healthcare, education, and is categorized as “very high” in the Human Development Index. It also ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world.
Border Facts: The Belgium–Netherlands border separates Belgium and the Netherlands and is 450 km long. Its border with Luxembourg is whilst its border with France is
Belgium – Netherlands border The border between Belgium and the Netherlands came into existence with the secession of the southern provinces of the Netherlands that became Belgium. Although the secession took place in 1830 and was recognised by the Netherlands in 1839 with the Treaty of London, 1839, the border between the two countries was only delimited by the Boundary Treaty signed in the Hague on 5 November 1842, and the Convention of Maastricht of 8 August 1843. The Hague Treaty delimited the border in general terms while the Maastricht Convention delineated the boundary with detailed descriptions and maps on a 1:10,000 or, where necessary, 1:2,500 scale. A total of 365 border posts were erected to indicate the border. There have been a number of border adjustments between the 2 countries over the years. On 1 January 2018, a border realignment together with a corresponding territorial swap between Belgium and the Netherlands took place along the Meuse River near Eijsden in Limburg Province. I visited this area as part of the BELEX18 expedition. More details of the swap can be found here.
One unique situation exists between the 2 countries at Baarle which is divided into a patchwork of territories. The Belgian parts of the village are called Baarle Hertog. and the Dutch elements are called Baarle-Nassau. The Belgian part includes 16 exclaves within Dutch territory. The exclaves, in turn, surround seven Dutch areas. I visited this area in 2012, my trip report is available here.
During World War I, an electric fence was installed along the border by the German Army, called the Wire of Death. I visited a recreation of the fence near Baarle-Hertog in 2014. Trip report is available here.
Belgium – Luxembourg border stretches over 148 km. It begins in the south at the tripoint between the Belgian, Luxembourgish and French borders BEFRLU, and ends in the north at the intersection of the German, Belgian and Luxembourgish borders BEDELU. The boundary line is noticeably S-shaped and is indicated by 507 border markers
Belgium- France border created in 1713, is 620 km and stretches from the North Sea coast near De Panne and Bray-Dunes. I visted this point as part of the BELEX18 expedition, more details of the visit can be found here. The eastern end is at the Belgium–France–Luxembourg BEFRLU. Characterised by a very dense network of urban settlements as well as by major river, road and rail networks. Divided towns, common language and faciliated by political frameworks at both national and local levels means cross border collaboration is well developed.
|1||BEDELU||Belgium – Germany –Luxembourg||Wet||43°31’33″N|
|2||BEDENL||Belgium – Germany –|
The Lady Travels (2016)
|3||BEFRLU||Belgium – France – Luxembourg||Wet||49°32’47″N|
In order to find your way around the site, either click on the links (text in red) or use the menus at the top and side of the pages. About leads you to the main areas of the site. The European Tripoints menu leads directly you to my visit reports whereas the Country Visits page allows you to choose which country to look at first.
Mobile User Advice
Tables display correctly when holding your mobile horizontally.
To access the links to other pages please click on the 3 horizontal dots at the bottom of the page.