The Kingdom of Belgium is located in the heart of Western Europe, has a small area, which is slightly more than 30.5 thousands km². Belgium borders on France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Due to its favorable geographical position, Belgium is an important member of the EU and NATO. In the capital of the country, Brussels, there are major international decision-making centers and institutions such as the European Commission, the European Parliament and NATO headquarters.
Belgium is also a member of BENELUX, a regional free trade agreement between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy, the head of state is the king. Legislative power is represented by the federal bicameral parliament – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Executive power belongs to the government headed by the Prime Minister. The government is appointed by the king and approved by the parliament. The prime minister, as a rule, is the representative of the party, which collects the majority of votes in the parliamentary elections.
The Belgian federal government retains important competences, such as foreign affairs, national defense, justice, finance, social security, public health, police, etc.
The territory of Belgium is divided into regions (Flemish, Walloon and Brussels) and in parallel to three language communities (Flemish, French and German-speaking), each of which has its own legislative and executive bodies. Communities are competent on all issues that concern the internal development of the region, in the field of culture and education.
The Belgian judicial system is represented by local magistrates, police courts, courts of first instance, commercial, labor courts, appellate courts (there are only 5) and the Supreme Court. Belgium is divided into judicial cantons and judicial districts. Each judicial district has a court of first instance consisting of a chamber for civil matters, a criminal chamber and a chamber for youth affairs, labor courts and commercial courts.