Talk:Brussels/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Brussels, Brussels City and Brussels Region

I am planning a rewrite of the article of Brussels, and I think it would be best to split into Brussels City and Brussels Region (which consists of 19 towns of which Brussels City is one), and create a disambiguation page for Brussels. If nobody objects I will make this change one of the upcoming days. --Frederik

I'm not sure it's worth the split, or I would do it otherwise. There is no need to separate Brussels-1000 from the 18 other Brussels districts. Such a distinction would be artificial, IMO. "Brussels" forms a whole; I can think of no subject that makes sense at the "pentagon" level but not at the "region" level. Except perhaps architecture, but that is better handled in one place for the whole region. What would make sense to me, though, is a separate Brussels Region article on the institutions of Brussels. This will probably be a short article; all stuff that is not related to the Brussels-Region institutions should go to the main Brussels article. -- FvdP 20:59 Sep 23, 2002 (UTC)
Sorry for my late answer. I've not yet been able to write anything for the moment (busy with school etc...). If I understand you correctly, I agree with you about the Brussels Region article only containing information about the institutions. I think Brussels Region should only talk about the Brussels parliament, gouvernment, etc, and it should also have a list of the 19 districts.
Fhimpe 12:07 Oct 5, 2002 (UTC)
About the article split: yes, that's what I meant. (Maybe that's also what you meant from the beginning, sorry if I misunderstood you.) The list of 19 "commons" could go in both articles. ("common" is the name they use in London for London's districts, its etymology parallels that of "commune" and "gemeente" when you look at the meaning, so why not use it ? With dutch & french translations of course.)
About being late: no problem with that. I was just wondering if you were still here; question solved.
FvdP 10:25 Oct 8, 2002 (UTC)

In its present form the article on Brussels contains a set of small mistakes that would easily lead to confusion. For instance, it presents the flag of the City of Brussels (the municipality) as being the flag of Brussels (City/Region?) and the flag of the Brussels Capital as its seal. This should not be.

Furthermore, it presents the Brussels Region as one of the three federated entities. This is not correct. There are in total six federated entities as the three communities are federated entities as well (hence the distinction between Wallonia on the one hand and the French and German Communities on the other hand).

To me, the view that Antwerp is considered to be the cultural capital is highly biased. Says who? People in Ghent would certainly not agree with this statement, nor would the Brussels Flemings. With "cultural temples" such as the Beursschouwburg, the Ancienne Belgique, the Kaaitheater, the KVS, Brussels actually functions as "Flanders' view on the world".

the term "zele/zaal" should best be translated in English by the term "hall", as it is more appropriate and is in keep with historic and cultural references of English native speakers.

Dutch and French names for municipalities

The double barrelled names for some of the communities in the Brussels area can't be right. For the practical purposes of the English Wikipedia a choice should be made between the forms. Except for Brussels itself, none of these communes has an established English form that most of us would recognize. I also acknowledge that there are Belgian sensitivities over which official language should be used.

I would like to suggest a compromise. Since the form "Sint" seems strange to English ears, and an English speaking person would insert the "a" in that word anyway, we could prefer the French form for those communes that include "Sint" or "Saint" and the Flemish form for the others. Eclecticology 17:34 Dec 5, 2002 (UTC)

I expected some kind of reaction about this issue. The Brussels Capital Region is officially bilingual, so both names should be mentioned. The question is: should they both be in the title or not.
You are right about the Belgian sensitivities. For foreigners this may seem petty or silly, but for us it is something to be reckoned with. Etymologically speaking, the names of the municipalities have a Flemish origin, so I'd hate to see them disappear from the title (without a doubt, that already tells you I'm a Fleming). What you propose is indeed a compromise, but I'm not convinced it's for the right reason. Even if 'Sint' sounds strange to English ears, I don't think it should be changed for that reason. There are a number of towns, cities and municipalities in Flanders with 'Sint' in their names that do not have an established English form. I do not see any reason to change that part of the name in 'Saint'. It would not be correct.
I wonder if it's really that much of a problem to have double barrelled names. An alternative proposition would be to create redirect pages for those names in Dutch and in French, eg. 'Sint-Joost-ten-Node' and 'Saint-Josse-ten-Noode' would both point to 'Sint-Joost-ten-Node / Saint-Josse-ten-Noode'. In that way you could choose which form to use in other articles. Dhum Dhum 20:30 Dec 5, 2002 (UTC)

Hi. I just moved Auderghem / Oudergem to Auderghem because it was listed on Wikipedia:Subpages to be moved. I didn't realise there was this French/Dutch bilingualism. (Yeah, perhaps I should read an article before I move it.) Since the discussion here doesn't appear to have come to a concensus, might I propose to just use either the French or Dutch name for each of them, but not both? I mean, don't redirects do the job? Isn't that what they're there for? If none of the two names is more common than the other, I'd suggest we just chose one by random for each. At least that's better than having both names in the title. -- Timwi 19:55 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I'd really like to have a more simple solution than the current one, but being a Fleming I do not agree to having only the French name in the title for Brussels' municipalities (and French-speaking Belgians may have the same opinion, but the other way around, if you know what I mean.) I also don't think that arbitrarily choosing either a Dutch or a French name will do the job, since there's no logic behind it. If you're not a Belgian it's probably very difficult to understand the sensibilities and emotions behind this. :-) please see User talk:FvdP. D.D. 20:02 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I'll stop doing any changes I was planning to do until we can reach a broader concencus and (hopefully) a simple solution. D.D. 20:09 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I already tried to do some of this by moving Vorst / Forest to Vorst. I then made a note of the fact that there are more of these to be done on Wikipedia:Pages needing attention (look in the list under List of Belgian municipalities). However, there was a response saying that the pages should actually be redirected to the French name; see the aforelinked page for the discussion. --bdesham 14:52 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That response (asking to move to the french name) was by me and is superseeded by the discussion I had with Dhum Dhum (D.D.) (copied below). If a choice has to be made between Vorst and Forest, I think the most rational choice is Forest -- but DhumDhum would not agree. I think having the two languages in the title is a good compromise. So the question that remains is: is there any strong argument against a '/' in the title ? I think not. --FvdP 17:07 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
FvdP, thanks for defending the compromise. You're right, I don't agree to having only the French name in the article title, just as I don't think it would be fair to have only the Dutch name. If "/" reminds too much of a subpage, what about replacing it with "-" (with a space before and after as in "Forest - Vorst") or maybe even "or" (as in "Forest or Vorst"). If I have to make a choice I'd choose "-" but that might make names like "Saint-Josse-ten-Noode - Sint-Joost-ten-Node" a bit more difficult to read. BTW, French might be the more prominent language of Brussels now, but most (if not all) of the municipalities' names have a Dutch origin/etymology. D.D. 21:10 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for your thanks.
I had though of the "space-minus-space" solution. If that can prevent innocent people from thinking of moving FR/NL to FR or NL, it maybe even better than "/", but your example shows that otherwise "/" is better. In a lighter vein: I agree with your remark on etymology, but it may be used against your aim if I come to remark that (say) "Schaerbeek" is as flemish as "Schaarbeek" is so can be used instead and still please you ;-) --FvdP
Good try. In fact, "Schaerbeek" was --not "is"-- Flemish. AFAIK the spelling evolved to become "Schaarbeek". We also don't write "Vlaamsch" anymore, do we? ;-) D.D. 21:32 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I just found another article with a "/" in its title: English/British coin Penny. If it's allowed there, then why not here? D.D. 21:41 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Umm... it's not allowed there. The slash indicates a subpage, and subpages have been deprecated -- see Wikipedia:Do not use subpages. Personally, I think that titles in the form "Name / Another Name" are bad, since they are counterintuitive and hard to find -- if I want information about "Vorst", I'm going to look at Vorst and not Vorst / Forest. Why not make two articles, "Vorst" and "Forest (Belgium)", and redirect one to the other? That's certainly an intuitive solution, and -- issues of wars between NL and FR speakers aside -- they're the exact same place, just called by different names. --bdesham 18:14 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
The slash indicates a subpage, and subpages have been deprecated: yes subpages have been deprecated, but the slash does indicate more things that just subpages. That's subpages that are deprecated (i.e. pages with title Subject/SubSubject), not the other uses of '/', as far as I know.
The solution about "intuitiveness" is to have the article at (say) "Forest - Vorst" and redirects to it from Vorst and Forest (Belgium) (that latter title is already not-so-intuitive for people to guess it out of the blue...) Also, Wikipedia is not only about intuitiveness but also about NPOV, and I'm afraid the only solution that is NPOV enough to satisfy both parties is to have both languages in the title. --FvdP 21:17 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Since there have been no additions to this discussion for 11 days, I'm planning to go ahead with my initial idea, with one small adaptation. Within the next few days I'll create and redirect Dutch and French named titles to French - Dutch named titles (using "-" instead of "/" to avoid confusion). I'll also adapt the links in the List of Belgian municipalities and Brussels article accordingly. D.D. 19:03 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Sounds good. Thanks! --bdesham 19:26 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

(the beginning of the next discussion was copied from user talk:FvdP:)

Hi FvdP, I noticed your redirects of Vorst and Forest / Vorst. In your summary you say: "Back to Vorst/Forest for consistency, but should be the other way round (Forest/Vorst)". Why? Brussels is bilingual, so both "Vorst / Forest" and "Forest / Vorst" can be regarded as "incorrect". Being a Fleming myself I initially put the article at "Vorst / Forest" (which is not wholly correct, as I said above). The towns within the Brussels municipality/region should be given an article title which is acceptable to English, French and Dutch speakers. I don't agree with "Forest / Vorst", probably for the same reason you don't agree with "Vorst / Forest". Let's try to find a middle way :-) D.D. 20:34 12 Jun 2003 (UTC)

OK for the middle way ! As you state, dutch & french are officially on equal grounds in Brussels, but the french language is clearly more prominent among the inhabitants (I don't know what that becomes if we add the workers from Flanders...) so I'd say if the choice is between Forest/Vorst and Vorst/Forest, chose the former. Actually I did the change because someone had moved the article to "Vorst (Forest)" which I can't accept for reasons you can imagine - while I can live with "Vorst / Forest". Now, the current result is an article with title "Forest / Vorst" which begins with "Vorst (in Dutch) or Forest (in French)", which is accidental but may be a good compromise, what do you think ? I had thought of dirty tricks like alternation (Forest/Vorst then Elsene/Ixelles etc) but we risk to confuse the reader there. So my best idea till now is FR/NL for the titles and NL/FR for the article's introduction, or the reverse. --FvdP 20:57 12 Jun 2003 (UTC)

FR/NL for the titles and NL/FR for the introduction seems like a good idea to me too. Apart from redirecting articles like Vorst / Forest to Forest / Vorst there are some other things I was thinking of doing:

  • Creating articles like Forest and Vorst which redirect to Forest / Vorst. That'll make it easier to link to the actual articles from other articles.
  • Deleting links like Vorst / Forest in the List of Belgian municipalities and adding [[Forest / Vorst|Forest]] and [[Forest / Vorst|Vorst]] where they belong alphabetically.
  • Changing the list of the Brussels' municipalities into a table with a Dutch and a French column. The Dutch column could contain links like [[Forest / Vorst|Vorst]] and the French column [[Forest / Vorst|Forest]]. That should make the article a bit clearer too.

What do you think? If you agree, I'll start with it. D.D. 19:52 14 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I agree, these look like pretty good ideas.
About the list of Belgian municipalities, what are you doing with Ghent, Ypres etc. ? I had thought to make the list contain something like:

  • I
    • Ieper
  • G
    • Ghent / Gent (and Gand ?)
  • Y
    • Ypres

but if we want to be complete we're going to introduce names in up to four languages... --FvdP 20:04 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

What I had in mind was using the English name as an article title if there is one (as in Brussels, Ghent, Ypres, ...). If there is no English equivalent I'd use the Dutch name for municipalities in Flanders, the French name for Wallonia (except for the German-speaking region), and both the Dutch and French names for the Brussels' region. Of course, within the article the name can be translated into other suiting languages. Would that be OK? (I think that's an accepted Wikipedia policy.) D.D. 19:35 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

OK. Actually my (not too important) question was about which names are to appear in the list. --FvdP

See: Talk:Uccle on why having both the French and Dutch names in the title are unnaceptable.

Each article without an "English name" will go by the name that is the most commonly used in English. Apparently, the French names are more frequently used. WhisperToMe 01:38, 8 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I just read the whole discussion and it was interesting to see how a consensus was reached by both french and dutch speakers on the writing of the Brussels muncipalities names.

So it seems rather questionable to me that one user, who is apparently not informed about the Belgian situation, just comes and changes the names, ignoring all the previous discussion. -- 16:13, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


I uploaded a picture to illustrate which look good IMHO but i don't if it does represent really nicely Bruxell's i have picture of the Grote_Markt_/_Grand-Place and the Manneken_Pis but i have uploaded them (Image:Bruxelles_Grande-Place.jpg, Image:Bruxelles-MannekenPis.jpg) on there respective article. Let me know [ what do you think. --Chmouel Boudjnah 21:54, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Neutrality, discrimination (I)

The following may be true, but I doubt this is NPOV:

"As a result, many local public services have a reputation for discriminating against Flemings, and some also for even worse discriminations against guest-workers and their families (the 'allochtonen' in Dutch and 'allochtones' in French). Early 90's, an official declaration from the regional government confirmed that social housing was reserved for 100% for those applying in French. As late as 2003, Rudy Demotte, the national minister of Public Health and a French-speaking socialist, explicitely acknowledged that urgent medical services massively discriminated against Flemings."

Can anybody add facts or change this to a more balanced view. -- Edcolins 20:04, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

As said earlier: please explain why this explanation would not be factually correct, before jumping to conclusions. The repeated absence of relevant explanations, verifiable facts etc. in your discussion contribution makes it very difficult for other to understand the real meaning and value of your point.
By the way, I'm wrtiting 'ocassionally in the 'Tijd', 'De Standaard' and 'De Morgen'. As such, I'v learnt to verify my facts and the cross-verify them. I'm willing to engage myself on the correctness of the facts I give. Having 1/3 of my friends being French-speakers, I'm very much aware that these facts sound very strange and ven erronuous to them. However, it appears that the onesidedness and even sometimes pure censorship in French media (and The Bulletin) carries most of the blame for this.
Truly yours, Rudi Dierick, Etterbeek, 27 april
I didn't mean to say that what you wrote was not correct. I truly respect your opinion and would not dare to say that you invented any of the things you wrote. I just meant the wording of your edit lacks neutrality in the sense that "many local public services have a reputation for discriminating against Flemings" and "massively discriminated" sounds biased (or at least not supported by facts asserted on the article). Quote from the Wikipedia policy on neutrality: "(...) an alternative formulation of the nonbias policy: assert facts, including facts about opinions--but don't assert opinions themselves." But I'll post a request for third party comment on this. -- Edcolins 18:56, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Dear, fact (official declaration by ministers in charge):
1. untill a few years ago, it was impossible to obtain a social hosuing when demanding it in Dutch;
2. today, NONE of the medical urgency services (hospitale organising ...) respects legislation in proper service in Dutch ....
I do agree that wording should be as neutral as possible, but given the indeed very widespread discriminations, how would you propose to formulate it without downplaying it, or misleading the reader?
I searched Google with the terms "Flemish discrimination Brussels" and it seems the picture is somewhat much more mixed. The discrimination seems pretty much bidirectional.
  • a quote: "Both the Walloons and the Flemish treat people of their own group in the same way as anonymous individuals while discriminating against individuals of the other group." [1];
  • there are a lot of discrimination against foreigners [2], as you put it (if it is what you meant by "guest-worker"...);
  • here is a petition by French-speaking citizens living in municipalities in the Brussels periphery (in the Flemish Region) on access to medical care using their own language [3];
  • quote: "previously, the Flemish government had announced that Flemish-speaking senior citizens in Brussels would be allowed to use De Lijn lines free of charge, in Brussels as well as in Flanders, however there were so many protests (for discrimination against non Flemish-speaking people in Brussels) that it had been forced to offer the same advantage to every senior inhabitant, whatever their mother tongue."[4];
  • compared to Switzerland and Finland, there is much more mutual discrimination in Belgium [5]
--Edcolins 18:45, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Dear Ed Collins (your real name I hope), after review of all your references, it appears to me that, on the whole, they constitute a non-scientific and partisan selection of what you can find on internet. E.g.: your first reference refers to an academic experiment, conducted using just 302 students.
Contrasting to that, the information I refer to concern official declarations directly affecting all social housing in the Brussel region with its 1000000 inhabitant. I could also refer to the recent declaration of the French-speaking PS-minitser Demotte on the massive, widespread discrimination of Flemings in (most) Brussels medical urgency services. I do believe that such official declarations are 1000x more relevant then a single, small-scale academic study.
Analogously, we have to compare the legally-binding rulings from the European courts (e.g.: saying in a ruling on a complaint from the French-speaking nationalists from the FDF, that, in short, Flanders enjoys the fullest rights to subsidise education only in Dutch, except in those areas where it is agreed that also French schools are to be subsidised by Flemish authorities), with the declarations from institutions that have no legal force, nor authority, nor responsibility (like the COE).
Moreover, taking a 'petition' as a proof of discrimination, is this really serious? Is this really all you have as material for this encyclopedia? Do encyclopedia not restrict theirselves to scientifically valid, objective, relevant and verifiable facts?
To conclude, given you rely on partisan, non-scientific and non-authoritative sources, I feel your reasoning appears fundamentally flawed and devoid from relevant arguments. As such, those sources and the conclusions you draw from them are not fit for a encyclopedia like Wikipedia.
Therefore, I suggest that you either provide neutral proofs (or scientific or official evidence) for your claims (as about the pretended discrimination of French-speakers in Flanders), either remove all partisan material from this entry on Wikipedia. In case you would like to discuss this further in person, why not schedule a good beer or so? I'm inviting., Etterbeek, Brussels

Rudi, I can't believe you. Please provide evidence for your claims. About social housing discriminations: what i heard is that in flemish communes like Wezembeek there were attempts at a bias against french-speaking people, which did not really succeed. That also should be mentioned (if true). And if it did not succeed in Wezembeek, how come did it succeed in Brussels. How come were there no complaints about this problem. Sure, if 100% of social housing was reserved to french-speaking people, there would have been an uproar. I never heard of it. (Yet I heard, for instance, about problems with use of languages in hospitals.) --FvdP 19:12, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

It is quite understandable that, as a French-speaker, you do not believe this. I will not blame you for that. As a matter of fact, my Walloon wife, just as 100% of her friends had the same reaction. So, as you are interested to find out more on this, can I help you with the official notes from the brussels regional Council in which this discrimination of Flemings in Brussels was officially recognised? It might take a while as it dates back more years then the earliest notes available online. What I do remember is that the declaration was made in respons to an official question from the then-regional MP, Dolf cauwelier (Agalev). The official declaratuin (from one of the members of the brussels executive) did indeed acknowledge that 100% of social housing was reserved for French-speakers (based on the language of their application). I will try to find a URL to those notes.
When you compare social housing policies in Brussels and in Flanders regions, you should take into account that Brussels is an officially bilingual region where inhabitants from both communities are 'at home', where Flanders is unilingual, Fklemish, and, as such, is, under European law, fully alowed to provide public services only in Dutch, and establish rules that favour integration of all non-Flemings establishing (of having done so) themselves in Flanders. As such, preference rules for Flemings and for everybody showing a sincere integration (or at least a sincere willingness) are fully legal, thus no discrimination.
Kind regards,

The area, which is geographically situated in the south of Flanders, was still mostly Dutch-speaking until the middle of the 20th century: this may be false too. Sure there are dissenting opinions about this matter. They shouold be signalled. --FvdP 19:16, 5 May 2004 (UTC) Actually there's an easy check for this. Until before 1963, there were offical census that counted how french- and dutch- speaking people there were in each of Brussels' and neighbouring communes ("recensements linguistiques" ?). These were used to determine which communes got which linguistical status. I don't have the time now to search for their results. --FvdP 19:24, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Rudi Dierick you're just another yellow flag bearer showing at bicycle competitions. The problem here is not to find a politiclally correct way of doing flemish propaganda. It seems very funny to me that a flemish activist blames the french speaking press for onesidedness. The wordings in the text is very offensive to french speaking people in Brussels and Wallonia. The wording and subjects of Dierik's contributions are clearly tought to achieve this result. Also, the text lacks mentions of flemish _aggressions_ (not just occasional discrimination!) against french people. Not a word about the persecution of french speaking people around brussels (what they call 'facilities'). Such facilities include interdiction to speak french in administrations, in shops, mayors refusing to organize elections for french speaking lists, limited repression of flemish extremists' and so on...
Every year, flemsih celebrate their domination over french speaking people in a bicycle competition around Brussels. They call it the 'Gordel' (the Belt of flemish nationalists against french Brussels). The flemish nationalist now show at every bicycle competition they can waving the flemish flag. Rudi Dierick is one of them. So I think all such contributions should be removed and that future contributions should avoid this topic.
-- Geoffroy Stévenne, Saint-Gilles.
Looks like the wording of your opinion suggests a preference for strong emotional feelings about someone else's intentions. For your information, I do not have any single flag at home, except for a series of towns in Africa I visited once during a study tour. As a general rule, I al willing to back up every factual element in my contributions with a guarantee of say 1000€ (providing 'opponents take a similar commitment). Rudi Dierick, Etterbeek, 22 May 2004
PS: the use of 'Flemish' when speaking about the members of the Flemish community is an error. The proper word is 'Flemings'.
Mr. Stevenne, The Gordel is a Flemish Nationalist event??? Nonsense, it is a family event with kids and grannies, it is advertised on national tv with a funny furry animal as mascot!!!This the offcial website of the Gordel:
YOU find me a nationalistic twinge ok? Hurkummer 13:34, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi Rudi,

  • thanks for having registered a pseudo.
  • "an official declaration from the regional government acknowledged that social housing was de facto reserved entirely for those applying in French" this is different from the view I thought you sustained. Your new formulation I can accept (at this point). But, of course, even more so if you provide a reference I can check... --FvdP 18:11, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Dear, I don(t have exact, bibliographic references immediately available. However, this was an official answer in 1990 or 1991, given by a member of the brussels executive council on a question put forward by Dolf Cauwelier, then an Agalev member of the Brusselse pariament. As such, you should be able to find the exact wording quite easily by checking the archives of the Brussels regional parliament. Currently, Mr. Dolf Cauwelier is living in the Zaventeml area.

Removing quote from an abstract

I've removed the following sentence

"Both the Walloons and the Flemish treat people of their own group in the same way as anonymous individuals while discriminating against individuals of the other group" [6],

I'm aware of the (non-)NPOV and the discussion above, but my reasons are simply this:

The quoted text appears in the abstract of a paper titled "The Efficiency of the Anonymity Rule" describing the results of an experiment. To me this is not sufficient for an encylopedia unless and until it has been peer reviewed, duplicated and generally accepted as relevant to Brussels. It may be all these, I don't know, but the text in the article simply did not say. The subject may make an interesting article in itself, but Brussels is not the place (in my opinion). -Wikibob | Talk 20:28, 2004 Sep 19 (UTC)

Now the link: is a report dated 4 September 1998 titled "Situation of the French-speaking population living in the Brussels periphery" which focusses on a linguistic conflict affecting six communes, with some recommendations on solving or alleviating the conflict.

This was then rephrased together with its preceding sentence into a specific factual statement. However on rephrasing it does appear to have lost any relevance to the linguistic conflict. The remaining embedded external links could maybe also expanded in a similar way? -Wikibob | Talk 20:28, 2004 Sep 19 (UTC)

Neutrality, discrimination (II)

I've removed the entire line "On the other hand, there are reports and claims of discriminations against French-speakers in the outskirts of Brussels regarding access to health care, using their own language, and social housing [4] ("

Reasons for this removal is very simple: it refers to UN-official claims that are AGAINST Belgian and European legal principles. 'Unofficial' as opposing to the official, authotitative reports and statements from MINISTERS (whereas those claims only came from private groups). Moreover, this claim goes squarely against the widely established principles that public authorities have every right to provide public services only in the offocial language of a certain place. This means that Flemish authorities have the fulest right not to provide public services to a French-speaker living somewhere in Flanders (except in the municipalities with language facilities; even there, the principle of reciprocity should be respected, which is not the case in the Walloon municipalities which all managed to agitate that forcefully against their Flemish minorities -over 30% at the time the linguistic border was established!- that few Flemings still insist on enjoying facilities). This right (for Flanders not to offer public services in French everywhere a French-speakers asks for it) has been explicitely confirmed several times by competent juridicial institutions like the European Court of Human Rights (e.g.: uitspraak van 23 juli 1968 in ‘Belgische Taalzaak’, A6). The reference used in the removed sentences refers to an institution which has NO legal authority at all in this, nor any other matter!

Mentionning that there are claims where Flanders would be discriminating French-speakers, without providing any legally acceptable indication or proof, boils down to anti-Flemish propaganda. This is not suitable for Wikipedia. So, either, this claim should stay out, or one should provide DECENT proof! --Rudy Dierick

Those are sufficient proofs: [7] [8] [9]. Please act in good faith and sign your post. I don't want to do it again myself. Next time, I'll remove your post altogether. And please provide proof about your claims about Rudy Demotte and social housing discrimination. You haven't showed any web page talking about that yet. --Edcolins 21:10, Aug 25, 2004 (UTC)
Dear, that you don't know about social housing discriminations is somewhat understandable as it dates from more years ago then the declarations of R. Demotte (2003). However, if your knowledge of the contemporary political debate is so heavily incomplete that you even don't know about the declarations of PS-minister R. Demotte, then YOU should urgently remediate about it. In case you insist on proofs, then I don't see why I should spend so much effort for that, were you can then still maintain a lazy ignorance. Why not go for a comprimose where the onbe who proves wrong, pays the other a clear reward for all efforts. So, why not go to a notary, and register an expliciet bet on this.
You'll understand that I get bored from having to provide exact references from official declarations in the press (as for Demotte), or statements registered in the official archives of the Brussels regional Council (for social housing).
And again; the COE has NO legislative, nor any judicial powers (contrary to the European parliament, Court of Justice or European Court of Human Rights). Therefore, its statements are of only very limited value, and without any guarantee on veracity or quality.
First, please prove your claims about Rudy Demotte and the social housing discrimination (there might be some old news on []?). You haven't showed any web page (or scanned image or whatever) concerning that yet. Secondly, whatever legislative powers has the Council of Europe, please respect its opinion, even if you do not share its view. Thirdly, please sign your posts (as I told you in User_talk:Rudi_Dierick - if you are Rudy Dierick...). It would be easier to discuss with you. Thanks.
--Edcolins 17:59, Aug 29, 2004 (UTC)
Ridicule doesn't kill, and laziness apparently neither. You must indeed be very lazy, to have been able to miss the website from Rudy Demotte himself, and what you can read there. Of course, very official, diplomatic, polished, and less colourfull then interviews. Nevertheless, Demotte states: "qu’il est évidemment normal et légitime que les patients, notamment néerlandophones, puissent être accueillis dans leur langue dans les hôpitaux publics bruxellois et dans les services d’urgence agréés sur le territoire de la Région de Bruxelles Capitale". He clearly finds it necessary to take measures to improve the situation. For an official press release, this is indeed a very blunt wording. In addition, he feels that language training for 'ambulanciers' must be improved, .... So, stop being so massively arrogant : with information so easily on hand on internet, you appear very grotesque and arrogant in pretending not not know, or denying the existence of discriminations of Flemings in Brussels hopsitals.
See also par exemple "Dans certaines situations, ces problèmes linguistiques peuvent entraîner des problèmes de temps (dans les situations d'urgence en particulier) et des problèmes de qualité (erreurs de diagnostic dues à des difficultés de communication, notamment). En outre, les patients peuvent se sentir « humiliés » en tant que « patients de seconde classe » s'ils sont contraints de communiquer avec le personnel médical dans une langue étrangère." and "Nombre de néerlandophones sont de toute évidence peu satisfaits de la situation rencontrée dans la pratique, qui correspond assez peu à celle prévues par les dispositions législatives mentionnées plus haut. Ces dispositions prévoient en effet la prestation de services bilingues et (...) exigent que tous les membres du personnel en contact avec le public parlent à la fois le français et le néerlandais.".
Thanks for this useful link: [10]. You need not however to call me lazy. I find it rather insulting to be called "lazy". Why not trying to find a consensus in this article instead of insulting me and removing matter reporting claims of discrimination around Brussels on French-speaking inhabitants. I totally respect your opinion that there is no discrimination whatsoever against French-speaking, but it is still a fact that there are claims of discrimination against French-speaking around Brussels. Slight but meaningful difference. --Edcolins 20:22, Sep 1, 2004 (UTC)
Two remarks:
1. Please substantiate your claims. The only references you gave are just the accusation, the claim, but without any proof at all. As such, that claim is of a wholly differen,t nature then the situation of the discriminations against Flemings in brussels: these have been (partially) acknowledged by French-speaking ministers. So, first provide ample, and objectively verifiable proofs, and then add your changes. Otherwise, this encyclopedic article should not include unstabtiated rumours, nor partisan positions.
2. In case you didn't notice yet -you certainly did- there is a legally fundamental difference between the Brussels region, and the Flemish region. In the first, both communities have equal rights. In the second, there is only Dutch as official languiage (with the limited exception of the municipalities with facilities). Even in these few, these facilities do not result in fully equal rights on services in french. This is: facilities status is different from bilingual status.
3. In the spirit of Wikipedia, any article should be restricted to the subject of the article. E.g.: an article on France, should not go in details about the claims of France of a northern border along the Rhine; that is appropriate in articles on Napoleon, his wars etc. Especially this insistence on dragging issues in municipalities outside the Brussels region into this article on Brussels is squarely against the rules and guidelines of any encyclopedia! This is a severe indication of very undemocratic thinking, being an imperialistic attitude.

It's a flemish view that the municipalities outside of the Brussels Region do not belong to Brussels. *Administratively* they do indeed not belong to Brussels. But *humanly*, *geographically*, they most definitely do. There is, for instance, a continuity of urbanisation between Brussels and, say, Kraainem or Wezembeek-Oppem. So the matter is, at least, matter of discussion. It's of course very convenient for flemish argumentators to rely on the administrative/political point of view and forget all the rest. But that's not the truth: that's biased, ad-hoc argumentation. --FvdP (Actually one may consider that the city Brussels gradually fades into the country as one walks towards the outside of it. There is not definitive frontier. In K & WO (but also in Brussels, and in some flemish areas without facilities) one may say that the flemish country and Brussel's urbanisation overlap or are intertwined. --FvdP)

Error: it is not only the Flemish view, but also the official, belgian view (cfr. the Belgian constitution). Moreover, this view is also internationally recognised.
I maintain your view is biased, as it only considers the administrative point of view. That the administrative point of view is internatinally recognised changes nothing to your bias. --FvdP
Only administrative? So, what about the Belgian constitution? What about the international recognition for that view? --Rudi Dierick 20:22, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

About discrimination: just one fact, since you want one. In the public library in, say, Wezembeek-Oppem, there must be at least maybe 75% of books in Dutch otherwise the library looses its financial support from the flemish community. (I don't remember the exact proportion.) While this may seem legitimate, it actually borders on discrimination, given the following facts:

  • about 80% of the belgian population in Wezembeek is primarily french-speaking.
  • the flemish community is the only one to have the right to support the library

Another discrimination: there is a tacit understanding among flemish politicians that no flemish politician should collaborate with the (currently) unique elected representative by the Flemish parliament of the french-speaking cartel. Such a collaboration with french-speaking representatives, at a municipal level in Vilvoorde (Flanders), has lead to outcries among flemish politicians in the opposition.

Add to this, the endless attempts of flemish politicians to undermine the facilities.

These small decisions may be legal, they may seem acceptable specially when seen separately, but on the whole they give a feeling of discrimination among french-speaking people there. --FvdP 20:02, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Boring, sad, and arrogant. Boring because of the repeted refusal to accept facts as that the majority of the French-speakers in Flemish-Brabant are immigrants who refused to recognise the laws of the place where they freely choose to live, and who thus insist on a privilege that exists nowhere in the EU (being the 'rightr' not to have to respect the legislation, incl. the laws on official language, of the place where one lives. Sad, because such a sterile insistence on massively anti-democratic privileges and premises doesn't bring us any good at all. Arrogant, because of the brutal disregard of relevant democratic principles (as the principle of equality). Arrogant, because Flanders has the full and internationaly recognised right to give priority to public services in its official language. Sad also becuase of your erronous example on a public library, where at the same tim you seem to censor away the objective fact that the Frzench-speaking politicians in places as Wezenbeek-oppem excludes their inhabitants from public services as the pemployment service computer terminals from the VDAB.
Sad also because you accuse Flemish politicians of discrimination, without giving any proof at all! Every single politician has the right to choose whether he ants to wxork together with another politician or not. This is universal. This is what shoulder the excclusion from extreme-right politicians from ALL executive power in Flanders (because no one wants to cooperate with them). So what's your problem?
Boring and sad, yourself too. Because you're not even able to recognise that your point of view is just that: a point of view, an a partial one. As for arrogance, it is in the eye of the beholder. I happen to have a position and to stand with it, call that arrogance if you wish so, but then, are you less arrogant than I am ? Now for a few more precise points:
  1. "are immigrants who refused to recognise the laws of the place". FALSE. The law guarantees the facilities. Point, dot, PUNT AAN DE LIJN. There is no discussion about it.
Silly childish remark: as you insist on the law, well, why not then also accept the limitations on language facilities as written in the same laws?
Except that, of course, the flemish POV is that these laws were supposed to be transitory. The french-speaking POV is contrary. But that's not law, that's interpretation. (And about violating the law... what do you think about the recent initiative of flemish burgmesters to disobey the law, regarding the Brussels-Hal-Vilvoorde electoral district ? Ha, "de wet is de wet" only as long as it pleases you, I'm afraid... Maybe french-speaking people are not better at that, but I don't think they're really worse either.)
Oh so poor: this conflicht was basically about a contradiction etween the constitution on the one hand, and the electoral law on the other hand.
  1. "brutal disregard of relevant democratic principles (as the principle of equality)" Tell me where I was brutal ? tell me where I violated equality ?
Three ties for the same eurocent. This was explained already earlier on.
  1. "objective fact that the Frzench-speaking politicians in places as Wezenbeek-oppem excludes their inhabitants from public services as the pemployment service computer terminals from the VDAB." Any proof of that ?
Apparently, you are toally unaware of something written often in Flkemsigh press. Well, maybe it might be usefull, when insisting to discuss Flemish politics, that you also get to know the Flemish press and Flemsigh points of view on this. --Rudi Dierick 20:22, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And what is the link with the library ? Would this fact, if true, diminish ANYHOW my argument about the library affair looking like discrimination ? Discrimination from the W-O authorities (if true) is not incompatible with discrimination from elsewhere. 2 "censor": I was, and still am, totally OBLIVIOUS of that fact. Now how can you accuse me to censor a fact I didn't know is true, and still don't even know whether it is true ?
  1. "without giving any proof at all" that is, if you're unable to grasp my arguments, of course. I said there's a FEELING of discrimination.

Legislation on discrimination is clearly more complicated then on say theft and robbery. However, the legislartion ONLY recognises crimes that can be PROVEN. There is no single state of law in the world, were just a personalm 'feeling' is enough. --Rudi Dierick 20:22, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  1. "So what's your problem?" Aah, the favorite flemish argument : "I see no problem so you should see no problem". You sometimes just seem to be (genuinely or deliberately) blind to the feelings of us french-speaking people. Now suppose that I want to play nice with my neighbours, I want to build a relationship with them, and they just ignore me. What's my problem ? I wonder what is it.... Shall have to investigate... Sure, I have no problem, that must be an illusion, right ? -- OK, the flemish politicians have the right to do what they do. But, I have the right to consider that a problem... and a symptom of something quite dark, really.

--FvdP 17:28, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have, by anwering in detail on your arguments, and, elsewehere, on arguments of in the meanwhile, probably hundreds of French-speakers, aken great care of respecting their legitimate concerns. However, I do not feel that taking into account should mean 'always accepting ...'. However, I feel is is very sad that your only argument, after I exposed that the legitomate rights of Flemings should get priority in Flanders, as they do the righs for Frenchman in France, for Germans in germany, for French-speakers in the French-speaking areas of Switserland etc. your ONLY answer is again NOT to take into account the rights of the Flemings, but ONLY to ask again hat the claims and the self-attribued rights for the French-speakers should be granted. So, is that basically not pure racism: insisting that 'your' rights should be given preference, even in a territory internationally recognised as somebody else's?

Neutrality, discrimination (III)

Rudy, neutrality is about mentioning both opinions on a topic. Please do not remove matter which expresses the opinions you might not share. This is purely factual and neutral:

"On the other hand, there are reports and claims of discriminations against French-speakers in the outskirts of Brussels regarding access to health care, using their own language, and social housing [11][12] [13]."
What's the relevance of French-speakers who choose to live in the Flemish regiuon, thus outside Brussels, for this article in Brussels? --Lucas Richards 09:29, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. --Edcolins 12:48, Dec 23, 2004 (UTC)

Some folks might get confused with the terminology "outskirts" in the funny belgian situation, the outskirts actually are a different state. That is probably why there is objection to including subject remarks in an article about Brussels proper. Such information would probably be more at home in an article about the language conflict in belgium.


Something is clearly wrong with the description of the route network. I tried to correct it,but after my edit, I realized that it is not correct either what I changed. Like the article is written now, it seems like there are three rings: the R0, the inner ring, and the outer ring. This is not correct. There is the R0 (Grote Ring) = the big orbital motorway, which consists of the two directions which are called Binnenring (this is the clockwise direction, so called because it is the part next to the inner part of the city) and the Buitenring (counter-clockwise, because that direction is the outer part of the R0).

The distinction "binnenring" vs "buitenring" exists only in Dutch(Flemish), not in French. In French you'd hear things like "the ring at Wezembeek-Oppem in direction of Zaventem" rather than "the outer-ring at Wezembeek-Oppem". --FvdP

And then there is the Kleine Ring/Petite Ceinture, which is the ring which follows metro line 2 and is around the city centre.

There are more routes in Brussels with a number that begins with R. Like the Boulevard de la Woluwe - Woluwelaan(?). These are "rings" in some sense. The "Grande Ceinture" is a sequence of boulevards that were once design to encircle the whole city so they, in some sense, can be considered a ring too. But R0 is the only true motorway ring. --FvdP
A look at an IGN or Michelin map will show you that there is another complete ring (although not a motorway of course, more fun to drive than that!), the boulevards of the pentagon, and it is numbered R20, albeit secretly. And there at least two partial rings (arcs?) on the east of the city:
  • R21 is the bd Général Jacques ... Lambermont .. Ave de Croix de Fer up to Laeken
  • the R22 comprises Bds de la Woluwe (as mentioned above) & Souverain and Chaussée de la Hulpe as far as St-Job

And by the way the R0 is only complete in the world of numbers - to a geographer it is more of a horseshoe.

PS Does anyone share my wonderment that a national highways agency could number a road "R0". Truly it is the home of surrealism. Why is there no "N0"? TobyJ 18:49, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

My wild speculative guess is that they began numbering rings with R* numbers elsewhere in the country (R1 is probably in Antwerp) and then thought it was silly to give a relatively big number to the capital's ring. R1 was already taken, so they went for R0. --FvdP 17:09, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Is "grote ring" ever used in Dutch to name the "grande ceinture" ? --FvdP 19:36, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

To me, there are 3 rings, but only one which is actually called ring:

  • R0 Ring in every language
  • la Grande ceinture that I translated as Outer Ring in English: the sequence of boulevards which is followed by trams 3 and 23
  • la Petite ceinture (Inner Ring) that everyone knows (the pentagon)

Maybe the problem is just the translation, isnt it?Julien Tuerlinckx 18:37, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I completely agree with Julien. In Dutch, the "grote ring rond Brussel" is RO. I am not aware of a specific Dutch term for the "grande ceinture" and I don't think we should invent an English one. The "petite ceinture" is called "kleine ring rond Brussel".

I propose to use "Ring" for RO and "Little Ring" for the "petite ceinture". As for the "grande ceinture", since it doesn't "ceinture" anything anyway and could be confusing, I thing we should just forget about it inasmuch as this article is concerned. --Melodius 10:08, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

linguistic history section : VERY bad

The linguistic history section is very bad: it's basically the usual Flemish nationalist claptrap as "balanced" by some good soul with more uninteresting details on Belgian tribal wars, this time as seen from a francophone perspective.

As a foreigner, I'm not competent to assess the precise linguistic situation during the history of Brussels, but this his looks very much like 'just another' partisan point of view, being the French-speaking nationalistic line. ----

Same remark for the story about racial testing which is totally irrelevant in an encyclopaedic article about Brussels.

I suggest all that be edited out. As for the rest, it is misleading because it a. confuses Brussels dialect and Dutch b. systematically underestimates the use of French.

It is fundamental to distinguish between the Brussels dialect, which isn't written, and Dutch, which ordinary people didn't speak. The statement that most people spoke "Dutch" at any one period in Brussels history is misleading.

What is true is that Dutch has been in use as an official language for most of the city's history, but so was French, since Brussels has at various times housed important courts, e.g. the court of Charles V, which used French as a first language. Moreover, many Brussels natives spoke French as a second language on a daily basis for business reasons.

Strange, I remember having heard a scientific presentation by prof. Hervé Hasquin (correct orthography?), a French-speaking historian from one of the Brussels universities and a former member of parliament (no idea which party). He said Brussels was majority Dutch-language untill early 20-th century.

The statement that French was "imposed" during the XIXth century because of Walloon immigration is downright ridiculous. During the same period even more Flemings immigrated. The fundamental reason for the generalization of French among all classes of society is that most dialect speakers chose French as a language of culture rather than Dutch, for a variety of reasons which defy easy generalizations with propagandistic intent.

The same prof. Hasquin also acknowledged, being then among fellow historians from many other countries, that political and administrative pressure must clearly have played a major role too. he confirmed that schooling in Ducth was made impossible, and several othe forms of discrimination of Dutch language and it's speakers. The idea that many Flemings choose for French as it would have been the only language of culture therefore sounds a bit hypocritical and definitively partisan.

Finally, as I have written in the discussion on "Flanders", it is not true that 20% of the population of Brussels would be Dutch-speaking. I'd be surprised if the actual figure was as high as 10%. Some francophone activists give a figure of less that 5%... --Melodius 15:04, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes, and many Flemings speaks of 15, 20 and even 30%. So what the heck! Why not just consider all those figures for what they really are, being partisan points of view. The figures from scientific sources use more narrow ranges (between 10 and 18% Dutch-speakers, but also much more then 10% with other native tongue then Ducth and French). Lucas.
  • Well said, i totally agree and suggest that maybe some article could be created with the content of the "linguistic history" part to satisfy all the vlaams belanger out there, but we don't need the resentment of those people here. Unfortunately, my point of view is quite subjective as i am a French-speaking bruxellois, cheers Julien Tuerlinckx 17:37, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Just wanted to add that it is annoying to have a "linguistic history" part with more words (maybe not content) than the "real" history which is more relevant in this article. Maybe a paragraph in the history part could explain in some words the linguistic "evolution" (no hard feelings) in Brussels. Julien Tuerlinckx 17:40, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Very striking observation indeed. Lucas.

Your point of view is certainly much less subjective than Rudi's, who pretends to write "for" national newspapers, but forgets to mention that what he really means is that he writes them letters, which sometimes they publish (and that's how I first took note of him, since I read too many newspapers). Moreover, and this as a note for non-Belgian readers, "The Bulletin" whose "censorship" Rudi complains about is Belgium's premier English newspaper, edited by anglo expats who have no part in Belgian language quarrels. "Le Soir", which also "censors" Rudi, is Belgium's most widely circulated French language quality daily. I didn't want to start personal attacks, but I have been reading the discussions on the "Brussels" and the "Flanders" articles and have noticed that Rudi is responsible for most of the objectionable and inaccurate content, which reflects his anti-francophone extremism. --Melodius 09:57, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Come on, why not just admit that you don't like his political opinions at all? Not to say that you hate the amount of facts he also provides to support his claims. I must admit I admire his courage to continue, and that I appreciate the number of verifiable facts and precise arguments he adds. In addition, he is open about where his political sympaties and engagements lie. That's definitively something that cannot be said of most of his opponents. ----

Superfluous info

I deleted some superfluous info a few days ago which user Tuerlinckx added again. There are two issues here. First the list of hockey clubs. This does not belong in an article about Brussels, but could be added in an article about the sports clubs of Brussels. They aren't notable enough to be of interest for someone seeking for one page of info on Brussels. If anything, I had deleted not enough sportsclubs, not too many. Otherwise, you have to add all tennisclubs, golfclubs, squash clubs, ... which would turn out to be an almost endless list.

Fully agree with that! Lucas.

Secondly, I deleted a paragraph about the language problems in the periphery of Brussels. Two reasons: this is an article about Brussels, not about the periphery of it; and now the only mention in the article of language problems is the linguistic rights of the French speaking people in the periphery, while no mention is made of the linguistic problems of the Dutch speaking people in Brussels. It would be better if the paragraph I deleted was removed at all, as it adds nothing to the knowledge of Brussels and gives a one-sided impression of the language problems in Belgium to a casual visitor of this article. Either have a serious paragraph adressing all language problems, or leave them all out (the rest of the article is neutral enough and gives info on the bilingual sitaution). Fram 09:22, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

The problem, of course, is that isolating Brussels from its periphery is purely conventional and the choice of doing it or not doing it borders on the political. If we look at the landscape and the people, ignoring politics and administration, there is no such neat division (or it does not coincide with the political/administrative limits). As for one-sidedness, you are free to add content, that is better than simply removing the point of view that annoys you. I agree both point of views and both problems must be addressed. And of course doing it well and neutrally is a challenge... --FvdP 17:19, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
I beg to disagree with you. Frontiers are nowhere exact science. Nevertheless, respecting frontiers is an essentiel precondition to peacefull relations with neighbours. It appears to me that some of the French-speakers have some challenges in this area. Therefore, frontiers are, to my humble understanding, a valuable part of modern civilisation, as long as they are not abused as iron walls of cours.
So I do agree with you that doing it well and neutrally is a challenge. Lucas.

Editing war

First, it would be nice if people stopped fiddling with the figures about the Flemish population in Brussels. The figures I gave are already stretched to the limits, I just read in "Brussel Deze Week" that the "real" figure would be 10%, and if I'm not mistaken, BDW isn't published by the FDF. So please, stop this nonsense.

As for the political situation in the periphery, I think it's fair to give it a short and objective notice, since it is essentially a political issue between Brussels and Flanders which has a direct impact on the future of Brussels.

Is that not equal to suggesting that this article should also discuss the imperialistic plans from the far-right Vlaams Belang that wants to incorporate Brussels in their Flemish state? they clearly want to render the French-speaking majority in brussels into 'foreigners' in their own city! That's extrfemist. Hapilly that they have no part in actual Flemish governement. And does your logic not suggest the same for other extremist views? For me, an encyclopedia should NOT discuss such partisan, extgremist points of view in general articles, but only, and at most, in sepcific articles on ideology and extremism. ----

The linguistic problems of Dutch-speakers in Brussels, on the other hand, are not political, but practical. Although Flemings have the undisputed right to be treated in Dutch, it is almost impossible to guarantee the exercise of this right, for lack of Dutch-speaking doctors, nurses, etc. I don't mind if it is mentioned, provided an objective explanation is given. --Melodius 16:46, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Why those brackets around the undisputed? Your argument on lack of Dutch-speaking personel is quite revealing.
Your statement that it "almost impossible' to provide equal teatment of Flemings is quite stunning. The Flemings in Brussels are with more folks then the German speakers in the East of belgium. Moreover, when observing where the problem arises and when, in comparable situations, there are no problems, one can easily see why the argument smacks of ignorance on the local ground and of a easy excuse. The core of the problem lies in the willingness to respect a (local) minority and it's language! --Lucas Richards 06:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

"Brussel Deze Week", a VGC-sponsored weekly published some interesting figures this week (n° 1011, Dec. 1st to 8th 2005, front page) under the title "Less and less Flemings". Birth acts in Dutch represent 9.4% of the total, marriage acts 6%, death acts 13.9%. 12,14% of pensioners communicate in Dutch with the administration. That means that the figure of 15% Dutch-speakers is actually an overstatement. I uploaded a copy of the article : GAME OVER.--Melodius 13:16, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

As I personally know a couple of my Flemish friends here in Brussels who have been unable to obtain certain official documents from local administrations in Dutch, and as none of my far numerous French-speaking friends has ever experienced this, I think we shpould be carefull with this kind of conclusions. --Lucas Richards 06:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Please feel free to join me in telling our friend what we think about his vandalism : --Melodius 13:35, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Same thing for --Melodius 15:24, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

And for who now starts insulting me. BTW, could it be that this is just one person ? Is there anything we can do to stop this person/these people vandalizing this page ? --Melodius 09:41, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it wouldn't surprise me at all if these were all the same person. Certainly these three IPs are all in the Belgacom ADSL ranges used for Skynet customers (checked on RIPE whois). --David Edgar 14:16, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Given the marketshare of Belgacom ADSL (one of the biggest in Belgium), I'm afraid that this will not help us far. --Lucas Richards 06:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I "stand by your side" but I dont know how to stop vandals. Oh wait. Have a look at Wikipedia:Resolving disputes. They talk about arbitration... Maybe this can help? Julien Tuerlinckx 13:14, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Arbitration is only possible if both parties agree. We don't even know if this is just one guy or if there are several. He does/they do not answer the remarks on his/their page, btw. My understanding of the rules is that you have to talk to the person first, try arbitration if you can't agree on anything else and only after having been through all that can you ask for serious action. I thought about mentioning extremist claims (5% to 25%) but I feel it's unappropriate to disseminate lies. After all, would you write "some claim Kinshasa is 30% white" because some guy insists on prentending that ? Looking forward to read what you think. BTW, for our FDF-obsessed friend(s), do you know it stands for "Fils de Flamands" ? --Melodius 11:10, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

According to the Vlaams Belang, there would be less than 100.000 "Flemings" in Brussels:

As for the VUB study, sorry, but have a look at what the guy really says : "Uit het sociolinguïstisch onderzoek van Rudi Janssens uit 2001, gepubliceerd in het boek ‘Taalgebruik in Brussel’, blijkt dat 8,5% van de Brusselaars Nederlands spreekt in het gezin; 10,20% spreekt Nederlands en Frans in het gezin. Bovendien wordt het Nederlands in die gezinnen aan de kinderen doorgegeven. Daarnaast spreekt en schrijft nog eens 16,70% van de Brusselaars goed tot uitstekend Nederlands. Ook die groep gebruikt de Nederlandse taal actief. De conclusie is dat er in Brussel dus in het totaal 35,40% Nederlandskundigen zijn." (source : ) For those who don't understand Dutch, 8,5% speak Dutch at home, 10,20% speak both French and Dutch and 16,70% understand Dutch. I'm going to edit the article to reflect these figures. --Melodius 11:23, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

All those IP's must belong to the same person, since all of them are also involved in a FANTASTICALLY INTERESTING editing war on the Vlaams Belang page, about whether or not Blokwatch should be linked - our friend thinks not, would you have guessed that ?

Anyway, the reference to the periphery stays in, and just to spite our friend, so does "French and Dutch" rather than "Dutch and French". Consider it a sign of oppression, "een kaakslag voor Vlaanderen", you childish idiot. --Melodius 15:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Frankly, I don't care if it's "F & D" or "D & F", the latter may seem a tad more appropriate since it is plausible that most people who speak "D & F" at home are of D native languague (at least up to 50%); and this formal point does not deserve an edit war. On the rest, at first sight I agree with Melodius. --FvdP 20:10, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't have to look much further than my own family to find it hard to believe that this would be "plausible", but you're right, this minor point isn't worth an editing war. --Melodius 10:31, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

It is simply not true (except in the dreams of imperialistic -but aren't they all?- FDF members) that in most of the Flemish municipalities bordering the Brussels Capital Region, Francophones constitute a large majority. This is a list of the Flemish municipalities immediately bordering the BCR: Asse Wemmel Grimbergen Machelen Vilvoorde Kraainem Zaventem Tervuren Overijse Hoeilaart Sint-Genesius-Rode Linkebeek Drogenbos Sint-Pieters-Leeuw Dilbeek (Wezembeek-Oppem does not immediatly border the BCR) Only in five of them (plus Wezembeek-Oppem), some of which are rather small (Linkebeek, Drogenbos), Francophones constitute a majority, which is in the case of Sint-Genesius-Rode not "a large majority" (unless you agree that "a large majority of Belgians are Flemings). Hence, I return the phrase to the state in which I corrected it: "in SOME municipalities Francophones constitue a (SOMETIMES LARGE) majority. MaartenVidal 11:07, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

May I suggest this wording : "A number of the municipalities immediately bordering the Brussels Capital Region have a sometimes large majority of French-speakers." -- LucVerhelst 11:18, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Even better, and scirntifically more accurate and complete is: "A few the municipalities immediately bordering the Brussels Capital Region have a recent majority of French-speakers. This was caused by the large influx of French-speakers coming from Brussels and Wallonia during the last decennia." --Lucas Richards 06:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

FDF "imperialists" have a lot to learn from Flemish nationalist agit-prop on Wikipedia, if you ask me. Anyway, here's a map, with percentages. I have changed the wording again to take that into account, without making this paragraph longer than it should be. --Melodius 12:09, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Isn't "overwhelmingly so" a bit over the edge ? It has a number of connotations that are not really neutral. -- LucVerhelst 12:24, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

When we are talking about majorities which sometimes number over 80%, I think "overwhelming" is a fair description. Moreover, I wouldn' know which "non-neutral" connotations the word "overwhelming" would have. What would you suggest ? --Melodius 12:51, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

See Overwhelm. In Dutch, the translation is overweldigen, which also means to conquer. -- LucVerhelst 14:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
A new suggestion : "In some of the municipalities immediately bordering the Brussels Capital Region, the majority of the population is French-speaking, in a few cases over 80%." -- LucVerhelst 14:33, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Since on the map provided on there is only one municipality with 80%, there's no ground to say "in a few cases over 80%", since there is no case where the percentage is over 80%. And given the fact that the map was provided by the magazine carrefour, it can be suspected to show some bias. I think it is wiser to leave it "a sometimes large majority". MaartenVidal 18:12, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

That is a ridiculous argument, which btw would have made it impossible to write anything about this topic, since all the information used in the linguistic situation section is Flemish, hence, according to Maarten's francophone counterparts at least, suspect. This kind of tribalistic thinking makes any rational discussion impossible. Moreover, those figures are the only ones that exist (the Flemish gov't does not publish such figures, I wonder why...) and they do reflect the political reality in the periphery. Note that if Mr.Janssens logic for the use of Dutch in Brussels were applied to the periphery, it would be 100% "Franskundig"...

Anyway, although "overwhelming" does not mean "conquering" in English, I will follow Luc's suggestion AND correct my mistake - I really meant over 70%. (I started writing "close to 80%" and then edited my text, badly as it appears). --Melodius 09:18, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. -- LucVerhelst 09:56, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Okay, that seems to be a solution that represents reality. I didn't want to allege that the carrefour figures are per se wrong, but I just wanted to point out that you can hardly call them minimalistic :-) MaartenVidal 13:37, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Brussels/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Rated Start
  1. Cite sources for facts. WP:CITE, WP:FOOT
  2. Implement properly formatted references. WP:CITET
  3. Remove lists from article in favor of complete paragraphs. Consider creating list articles elsewhere. 19:16, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 19:16, 17 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 20:17, 2 May 2016 (UTC)