Federal parliament joins call to ban nuclear weapons

Summary

The federal parliament has followed the lead of the Flemish parliament in asking the government to remove all nuclear weapons from Belgian soil

“A nuclear-free world”

The federal parliament has accepted a resolution on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, which includes a call to remove all nuclear weapons from Belgian soil. The decision comes one day after a motion in the Flemish parliament, which resulted in an all-party agreement, to remove nuclear weapons from Flanders.

Tactical nuclear warheads under joint Belgian-US control have been sited at the Kleine-Brogel military airfield in Limburg province since the 1960s.

The Flemish parliament motion called on the government of Flanders to put pressure on the federal government “to work in co-operation with EU and Nato partners to realise a nuclear-free world and a removal of all nuclear weapons from Flanders”. The federal resolution, too, states that “Belgium remains active to make its entire territory nuclear arms free”. 

“The congruous timing of both resolutions can only reinforce the signal to the federal government,” said Peter Luykx, federal MP for N-VA. “With the Cold War behind us, this country should continue its efforts for a world without nuclear arms.”

Belgian government

Belgium is a federal state made up of three regions and three communities, based on language (Dutch, French and German). The federal level is responsible for issues such as justice, defence, finances and foreign affairs – matters that affect the entire country. Belgium is also a constitutional monarchy.
Regions - The regions are comparable to American states or German Länder. They are geographical entities, responsible for matters related to their territory, such as public works, environment and economy. Belgium’s three regions are the Flemish Region, the Brussels-Capital Region and the Walloon Region.
Communities - Communities are responsible for matters that directly affect residents, such as education, welfare and culture. Belgium’s three communities are the Flemish Community, the French Community and the German Community.
Flanders - Although regions and communities do not overlap exactly, the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community have merged into the Flemish government. Its official language is Dutch. The Flemish Parliament sits in Brussels, which is the official capital city of Flanders (as well as Belgium).
11

population of Belgium in millions of people, with 6.2 million living in Flanders.

6

number of state reforms that have resulted in the federal system as it is today.

4

number of years for which the federal House of Representatives and the Senate are elected.