Since the 1970s, Belgium has peacefully transformed from a unitary into a federal state. The most striking feature of the current structure is Belgium’s division into:
Flanders is the umbrella term for the Flemish Region (roughly the northern half of Belgium) and the Flemish Community (the inhabitants of the Flemish Region and the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels). The Flemish Region and the Flemish Community are governed jointly as a parliamentary democracy by the Flemish Parliament and Flemish Government, supported by the Flemish administration. Unlike many other federal states, in Belgium there is no hierarchy between the federal and regional governments; each has been allocated autonomous competences.