In Belgium, a series of social laws were already established after the First World War, but it was mainly after the Second World War that Belgium became a pioneer in social security. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of BEL and acronym for Belgium. To the extensive social insurance system, which is financed by the state at 25%, the rest is levied in the form of contributions from employers (about 2/3) and workers (about 1/3).
The state reimburses costs for certain categories, e.g. widows, pensioners and the disabled. With around 30%, the state contributes to health and pension insurance, but in the case of unemployment benefits, the state accounts for more than 70% of the cost.
However, the state has major problems in meeting its commitments. Payments are increasing, and despite increased fees for both employers and employees, the state will not meet the expenses unless radical measures are taken. Government spending cuts in the 1990s have greatly affected the social sector. The costs of pensions and healthcare will to a greater extent be covered by individual insurance.
Belgium continued to live high in arms sales to dictatorial states. In 2014 and 15, the country with the most weapons exported to Wallonia was the kleptocratic dictatorship of Saudi Arabia, which was also at war with Yemen.
In the aftermath of the attacks, the government carried out one suspension of basic human rights after another. In February 2016, the government launched the “Plan Canal” concept to curb “radicalization” in several suburbs of Brussels. Not by providing work and education for vulnerable youth, but by increasing police patrol and by increasing administrative control over Muslim associations. In April, the federal government decided to create a central database that could be shared by the various relevant government agencies. The database was to record “suspicious” travel activity. In July, a similar database of ” hate preachers ” was established». In December, police powers were extended to surveillance. Despite the fact that in May the government had promised the UN Human Rights Council that human rights would be respected despite ever-tighter terrorist legislation, the trend was clearly the opposite.
Spanish and Austrian dominion
The Burgundian Empire appeared to be the embryo of a strong independent state between Germany and France. However, since Karl the Bold of Burgundy died in 1477, however, the “Burgundian inheritance” gradually came into the hands of the prince Habsburg. During Emperor Karl V, the Habsburg Empire was the dominant power in Europe. Karl was not only German-Roman emperor and ruler in the so-called Austrian heritage countries, but also king of Spain and holder of the Netherlands.
The wealthy Netherlands formed an important part of the Habsburg Empire, and Karl worked diligently to secure possession of this area for his son Philip. In 1556, Philip succeeded him in Spain and the Netherlands, but not as a German-Roman emperor. As a result, Belgium came under Habsburg’s Spanish branch and the German dominion that was threatened was replaced by a Spanish one. The contradictions that already existed under Karl’s rule between the Netherlands and the Habsburgs were now reinforced. In the Netherlands, heavy tax burdens were faced, which was partly a result of a Habsburg policy that the residents did not solidify with and could not influence due to the reduced influence of the states. The contradictions were sharpened by the Spaniards striving to eradicate the Calvinist Reformation which had a strong foothold in the Netherlands.
In 1567, an open war broke out. The happiness of the war changed over the following decades, but Spain eventually managed to secure control over the Belgian territories, aided by contradictions between these and the radical Dutch leaders. In 1585, Antwerp fell after a long siege, and thus the Spaniards had for a long time consolidated their possession of the area, which was called the Spanish Netherlands.
Spanish domination meant a period of stagnation and decline. The acts of war had devastated the country, and the Spanish counter-Reformation, which made Belgium a homogeneous Catholic country, led to an extensive emigration. The political situation, since the present Netherlands, under the leadership of the province of the Netherlands in 1581, established itself as an independent state, was negative for the Belgian economy and its center, Antwerp: The Netherlands had control over Schelde’s mouth and could thus control the segregation of Antwerp, which could be exploited to the advantage of the Dutch cities.
Another problem during the Spanish period was the repeated attempts by the great powers of France to gain control of the Spanish Netherlands. In 1701 the Spanish war of succession broke out, in which a French and an Austrian pretend on the Spanish throne and thus also on the Spanish Netherlands was opposed. The war, which was ended by the peace of Utrecht and Rastatt 1713-14, led to the area coming under the Austrian Habsburgs and the German-Roman emperor; now under the name Austrian Netherlands. The peace meant that the Netherlands gained control of a number of Belgian fortresses as protection against France, which underlined Belgium’s role as a barrier between different European states and as one of Europe’s battlegrounds.
The latter role also allowed Belgium to play in the context of the great European wars of the 18th century. Internally, economic stagnation continued, and Dutch control over Schelde was still an obstacle to development. The dissatisfaction with the Austrian rule was intensified in connection with the reforms carried out by Emperor Joseph II in the 1780s , as these threatened the last vestiges of Belgian autonomy, while supporting their strong Catholic sentiments in Belgium through their anti-clerical character.