Talk:French Community of Belgium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Belgium (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Belgium, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Belgium on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Politics (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of politics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

French Community of Belgium -- Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles[edit]

The new name that French-speakers and sympathisers give to their community creates a lot of confusion. They pretend it is just as legal, and should be accepted as 'Flanders': "likewise there is no mention at all of "Flanders" as a region and community in the Belgian constitution - something which also creates confusion about the differences between regional and community institutions". However, this is not relevant: the name 'Flanders' is widely used in officil belgian legislation (ordinary legismlation) and other Belgian documents. Moreobver, it is the only linguistically possible and correct name as the current Flemish institutions are not regional institutions, nor community institutions, nut merged institutions. Therefore, they do'nt refer just to the region, nor to the community, but to the whole, and what other logoical name can be found for the whole then 'Flanders'. And, contrary to 'Flanders', the new name 'Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles' is not used in any official belgian publication.--Rudi Dierick 14:23, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your remark. Since I still think it is relevant in this context to indicate, as a comparison, that the term Flanders is likewise not mentionned in the Belgian Constitution, I reworded the paragraph.
Two remarks:
1. Is it correct and most suitable to include these non-official terminology and discussions around it in an encyclopedia? Is this not to political and partisan, and to far removed from official and scientifically relevant and correct information? --Rudi Dierick 18:15, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
2. In case this inacciurate, coinfusiuon and unofficial name should be included, and in case some background information is to be added (as you did), then one cannot put that name on the same level as the name 'Flanders' in itself only referes to he Flemings and their nation and institutions, and thus not creates any political implications, nor any legitimate conflict with the French-speakers (as does the name 'Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles'). Therefore, i reworked this paragraphu, keeping the fact that the name sometimes is confusing as it refers both to the Flemish region, to the Flemish community, as tyo the actual Flemish institutions (parliament, ..) and to their political parties. --Rudi Dierick 18:15, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Otherwise, you wrote the expression "Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles" is "(...) contested by the Flemings as it creates confusion about the differences between regional and community institutions". It would be interesting I think to add your sources. Thanks in advance for your helpful contribution. --Edcolins 21:13, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
In order to find the most official references, i should do some background checking (more then ksut refeerring to press articles); i'll have a word on this with somebody working in the Flemish administration. As far as I reember, there is even an official complaint lodged by the Flemish government against that name.--Rudi Dierick 18:15, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You'll certainly note the huge political difference between '"Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles" and "Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles". It think the former is both much more precise, less contary to the spirit of the belgian institutions and its constitution, and less aggressive towards the Flemings. the former appears to me also linguistically more appropriate. --Rudi Dierick 18:15, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

at is the 'Communauté (française) Wallonie-Bruxelles'?[edit]

Apparently, it is extremely confusion what this names refers to.

Ed Collins tought it refers "to institutions of the French Community of Belgium or more broadly to institutions which are common to the French Community of Belgium, the Walloon Region and the Commission communautaire française (COCOF, an French-speaking institution of the Brussels-capital Region). I tought that it referred only to the French-Speaking Community of belgium, and NOT to any regional authority, nor Walloon, nor Brussels.

The source given by Ed Collins appears not to refer to the 'Communauté (française) Wallonie-Bruxelles', but to 'WBRI', being a working cooperation between:

  • French-speaking Community of Belgium
  • Walloon Region

This suggests to me that the name of 'Communauté (française) Wallonie-Bruxelles' got confuised with 'Wallonie-Bruxelles Relations Internationales' WBRI, where the latter (WBRI) NOT with the Brussels regional authorities. A furterh confused might have arisen in the description of the cOCOF. According the law, the COCOF is basically the internal executive level for the brussels regional area assuming most competencies of the Community level for the Frech-speakers, whereas its (long) name 'Commission communautaire française de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale' might suggest tha it has certain competencies that were defined in the constitution as regional.

Conclusion: 'Communauté (française) Wallonie-Bruxelles' refers only to the French-speaking Community of Belgium. Checking the webstite of the 'Communauté (française) Wallonie-Bruxelles' and especially the comptencies listed overthere confirms this.

'Comm. Française Wallonie-Bruxelles' versus 'Comm. Wallonie-Bruxelles'[edit]

Starting point of this short analysis is that the current institution of the 'Communauté Française de belgoque' naming itself now more and more with teh 2 other inconstituional names has today ONLY legal compeencies in the area of the communties (and none at all in the area of the regional competencies). So far the objective facts.

Seen from a scientific and communication point of view, out of the 2 new names, 'Comm. Française Wallonie-Bruxelles' might be better: it designates clearly which legal competencies and what demographic and political group of persons is implicated, being the French-speaking citizens in Brussels and Wallonia. Even better would have been 'Communauté Francophone Wallonie-Bruxelles'. Those names also avoid any confusion between the the nature of the legal competencies involved, nor about what public is covered.

From a political point of view, the first name thus avoids any conflict between regional versus community institutions, and also between the two main communities. For the latter, there is an official complaint from the Flemish governement against the use of 'Comm. Wallonie-Bruxelles'.

Sociologically, anoher observation can be made: the relative public use of all those terms reerring to the french-speaking community in belgium (the "Communauté française de belgique", the "Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles" and the "Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles" can easily be estimated by doing a Google check. The results are clear (status 15 dec 2004):

  1. "Communauté française de belgique" : 104.000 hits
  2. "Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles": 15.100 hits
  3. "Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles": 12.100 hits

In short: given all these considerations, I think Wikipedia should stick with actual, neutral and objective truth, being '"Communauté française de belgique', and explain what this community is about, its media, its culture, universities, its political parties and institutions, ... and then refer all political projects for how some French-speakers would like to change things towards an article on the Walloon movement, or on detail articles on politics of the French-speaking community.


What is the population of the French Community of Belgium? That would be a helpful bit of information to include.

Alas, no official figures exist. They're also imposible to gve as there is no official status for the 'citizenship' of the communities. regards. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rudi Dierick (talkcontribs) 22:11, 16 March 2007 (UTC).

Renaming proposal[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 23:32, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

French Community of BelgiumWallonia-Brussels Federation – The French community decided to rename itself the "Wallonia-Brussels Federation" or "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" in French, so the article should be moved to reflect this change. Link to the news in Dutch and French: [1] [2].--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 11:55, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

You're right. Someone really needs to update every use of the word 'French Community', both in the article and the rest of the encyclopedia. I don't have the time these days though. Oreo Priest talk 14:34, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

POV and misleading[edit]

The name "Wallonia-Brussels Federation" for French Community is controversial, for example this new name is not accepted by Flanders and has no legal basis. The proper name for this level is the "French Community of Belgium" as mentioned in the Belgian Constitution. On top, it is confusing, as the French Community only has cultural and educational competencies. Economic matters in Brussels for example are covered by the Brussels Region and Dutch cultural and educational competencies in Brussels belong to the Flemish Community. Morgengave (talk) 08:44, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Why was this article renamed?[edit]

I do not understand the section herebefore ("Renaming proposal"). It seems to refer to a discussion I do not see. Who decided to rename this article? And why?

Before renaming French Community of Belgium into something else, why not checking the name of the entity in the 3 national languages that are official in Belgium:

Asavaa (talk) 20:13, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the last section (POV and misleading). What happened is that the French Community, as explained in the dutch and franch artile for instance, calls herself the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. But this name has no real existence. To give you an example, it would be like the state authorities of Texas deciding to rename the state into "Tex-Mex Federation". As long as they would not change anything else than the name, no-one would really care, but not one public authority (other than those submitted to texan authorities, that is) would use that name. This is exactly what happened: the "French Community", which is an entity created and organised by the Belgian constitution and various Belgian laws, decided to change its name. But that name has no legal existence and nowhere in the laws organising the Community you can find that the Community has any authority to do that. This new name can only be a "nom d'usage" or a surname, that will exist only if it is actually used. And other Belgian authorities (the federal state and Flanders) have aleady very clearly expressed that they would not use that name and wil not acknowledge any document that would bear that name.

Really, the only way to deal with this is to keep the name of the article in French Community of Belgium, and mention in the introduction that since may 2001, the Community refers to herself under the name of Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Asavaa (talk) 10:55, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

No other body recognizes the name? This is news to me, although I must admit I haven't been keeping current. Where were you guys when the rename was still a proposal? Oreo Priest talk 17:14, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Asavaa, there was a space for discussion just above your post, which has been open for a week and yet nobody opposed the proposal. Why didn't you oppose the proposal while it was current?--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 20:28, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Only one person agreed (Oreo Priest), clearly indicating that this page is not visited or checked frequently... It's not really fair to blame users - - most of whom are busy people - for not checking all pages each week. Now that's clear for everyone that this move shouldn't be done without a proper discussion, I propose that the article name be restored to its neutral name (the constitutional name). Morgengave (talk) 22:08, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Page move proposals are listed on the appropriate page (WP:RM) as soon as they are proposed, and they can be carried out after seven days if nobody is opposed, so there was nothing unusual about this case. If you want to move it back, your best bet is to simply open another renaming proposal instead of asking the closing administrator to undo the move as you did, as it's by no means obvious that you have the necessary consensus to do so.--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 22:41, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Ultimate Destiny, really, if that is actually the procedure around here, you should expect that on an article like this one (only 18 edits between January and the rename proposition), you will get an article renamed after 1 week with 1 person agreeing, and then people coming by a little later to ask what happened. You cannot seriously talk about a consensus when 2 guys agree on something without nobody noticing.
Anyway, I did not ask the admin to undo his edit, I just asked him how the rename should be reversed (although I know that I can technically do it myself).
To go a bit further into the discussion re the name
A very clear advantage to the use of "Communauté française", example: Rudy Demotte célèbre la Communauté française (while the article does address the "new name", the choice of the the journalist is clear. Same thing here, where the title uses "communauté", but the article itself also uses "fédération". All in all, journalists seem uncertain about what to do (except of course journalists paid by the community), but continue to use the "communauté" much more largely than "fédération" (as the figures above show).
So as I said above, the "French Community", which is an entity created and organised by the Belgian constitution and various Belgian laws, decided to change its name. But that name has no legal existence and nowhere in the laws organising the Community you can find that the Community has any authority to do that. This new name can only be a "nom d'usage" or a surname, that will exist only if it is actually used. The only neutral way to deal with this is to restore the name of the article in French Community of Belgium, and mention in the introduction that since may 2001, the Community refers to herself under the name of Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
I will make a new request in WP:RM. Asavaa (talk) 10:01, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

The Tex-Mex Federation argument is fallatious. If the State of Texas decided to rename itself whatever, that name would be reflected in Wikipedia, regardless of its "legal status" in other legislations. The Belgian government and Flemish government argument is misleading. The current Belgian prime minister who made the comment in DH is from a Flemish political party and was previously the Minister-President of Flanders and therefore hardly a neutral figure. Referencing the Belgian government gives the impression of a weight of opposition in Belgium against the use of the name, which may or may not be true but is not proven by the quotes posted by other users here. The reality is that there is no evidence of objection from anyone who is not Flemish. As for delays in adapting to usage, that is surely to be expected with a new name and says nothing about its legality. Please remember that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a Belgian or Flemish legal document. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:22, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

This is not a question of flemish or not. The newspapers in french who are still overwhelmingly using "Communauté" are not flemish. Maybe someday "federation" will be used and this article will be named accordingly, but I can see no reason for WP to create a use that does not exist (see the WP articles in the national languages). Asavaa (talk) 18:26, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move back to original name. Aervanath (talk) 04:38, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Wallonia-Brussels FederationFrench Community of BelgiumFrench Community of Belgium is the previous name of the article that was renamed into "federation" a week ago without real discussion. The "federation" name is not official although it is used by the french community itself, but it is refused by other entities of Belgium. The legal name that the "federation" uses in its official acts remains "French community". The fact that the community now uses for his internal communications the name "federation" can be mentionned in the article, but the name of the article should be the name used in the Constitution and in the special laws who organise the communities in Belgium. See also "Why was this article renamed?" in the talk page Asavaa (talk) 10:11, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose. What the Belgian constitution says is not a determining factor here, WP:PLACE is. "Wallonia-Brussels Federation" has been the most commonly used denomination for this entity since it was renamed earlier this year, it was chosen by the entity itself and widely adopted by the francophone press. I don't even think that the Flemish use is relevant, either. The guideline states that "if no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English, use the local name". In this case, the local name is clearly the most commonly used French name, and that is the current title.--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 11:40, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
First I think the page should be renamed except if you can provide a convincing argument, as the previous rename was done without any real debate. And my argument is not only based on the COnstitution.
Then, I wonder how you can say that the local use is "Wallonia-Brussels Federation", when all the wikipedias in the national languages of Belgium still use the official name after discussing the matter.
Finally, when searching "Le Soir" archives for the use of either one for the period since 16 April 2011 (thus the period wherein there has been a large discussion on the subject), we can find 214 occurences for "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" and 809 using "Communauté française".
So based on your own argument, the local use tells us that the name of the article must be French Community of Belgium.
By the way, I think WP:PLACE is not really relevant: the community, or the federation, is not a place. It is a governmental entity. WP:NC-GAL may be more relevant. Asavaa (talk) 12:06, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
The only way you have to move back this page is by reaching consensus to do so. The previous nomination was closed by an administrator after a regular renaming proposal. I don't have to convince you of anything, the page stays at the current title unless your proposal is supported by the community.--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 13:11, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
So what you're saying is that you were able to change the article name to a POV-name in a moment when people were busy doing other things, and that now we cannot change it back to its non-POV-name because you can block the consensus? Let's put things in perspective: the move was done with only the support of one person and is clearly not with a "real" consensus as can be seen by our move-back request in only one week later after the move. Using the absence of other editors during that particular week as basically "bad luck for them" does not seem in line with the general spirit of Wikipedia. This move should never have been done without a proper discussion, even if that meant waiting a bit more and trying to involve other editors. Morgengave (talk) 13:26, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, Ultimate Destiny, as you are the one who proposed the previous change, I can understand this can be your position, but I'm afraid that the fact that the previous request was a bit hastily closed cannot have an impact here: your request was not consensual, as is shown here and now.
But besides this procedural point that may have to be dealt with by admins, I note that you do not adress any of my arguments, not even the argument that adresses your sole argument about the "local use": the local use is Communauté française, as I showed above. Asavaa (talk) 13:28, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I agree with Asavaa. The name Wallonia-Brussels Federation is controversial and not generally accepted and thus constitutes a POV. The name French Community of Belgium is the established name for this Belgian state institution. It is also the official, generally accepted and constitutional (and legal) name. Moreover, the institution does not have the power to change its name. In addition, the name Wallonia-Brussels Federation is misleading and can confuse readers: first of all, this is not a federation between Brussels and Wallonia, and secondly, its competencies are limited to the education and cultural matters of French-speakers in Brussels and Wallonia. Morgengave (talk) 13:10, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Asavaa seems to be acting like a bit of a troll here. Of course the page on the French Wikipedia, marred as it is by countless revert wars, is at Communauté Française instead of Fédération, as soon as it was renamed he moved it back himself, I can't tell if it was done after reaching community consensus or it was just a spurious act of the moment. And the policy WP:NC-GAL is clearly irrelevant here, as this is not a "government office" but a territory (why would it need a location map otherwise?!) and add to this the canvassing attempts at and this new renaming proposal is off to a bad start.--Nero the second (talk) 13:41, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Hum, quite a strange way to adress arguments. I do not see how a discussion can be possible as you just launch personnal attacks and do not address any of the arguments I raised. This page was renamed because the procedure was a bit hastyly closed (considering the small amount of people that can be interested - 18 edits on the article between January and the move), obviously that move was not consensual, is controversial, as is the "new name", and should be reversed.
I am not interested in wikilawyering or in personnal attacks, hence I detailed all the arguments who make it obvious that the article should be renamed. Should I understand that your personnal attacks are just a sign of lack of arguments? I think that you should then refrain from intervening here.
(and by the way, no, the french community is not a territory. The territories are the Regions. As art 127 of the Constitution puts it: "[the decrees of the french community and of the flemish Community] are enforceable respectively in the french speaking region et the dutch-speaking region as well as towards institution established in the Brussels region who are attached to the relevant community." - free translation)
Asavaa (talk) 14:25, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
A territory is "an area of land under the jurisdiction of a ruler or state". The WBF is a territory under this definition. As another user has pointed out already, what the constitution says is of no interest whatsoever to the argument. As for the wikilawyering, that was all your doing, you were the one who feigned surprise and indignation after seeing this page renamed, after having reverted a similar attempt (with no authority and without following procedure) on the French wiki. I can't assume good faith in your regard after this masquerade you put up to fool us into renaming the article. As for the accusations of "personal attacks" you're more than welcome to take it to WP:WIKIQUETTE, if you think they will take you seriously, I doubt they will however.--Nero the second (talk) 15:14, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but you are mixing concepts here. The community does not rule over a territory, it rules over a certain category of belgian citizens within certain limits. For instance french-speaking citizen living in Brussels, although they live on the territory of the Brussels Region.
Whether you are willing to accept it or not, calling a contributor a troll and saying that you refuse to assume good fait are personnal attacks. Please stop it.
I do not think this is the appropriate forum to criticise what happens on other wikipedias, but on fr:Wikipedia, moves are supposed to be discussed. If they are not the subject of a consensus, they do not happen. On fr:WP, this is exactly what happened: undiscussed moves were reverted. I made one of these reverts. This does not alow you to question my motives, as I always have been willing to discuss the issue but never saw a valid argument for the move. Asavaa (talk) 15:32, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Nero, I assume you are not Belgian (if I am wrong, please do not take this wrongly), so to clarify: the French community is a Belgian government institution with certain powers (mostly education and culture) over a part of the inhabitans (all Walloons, all French-speaking Brusselians, but NOT Dutch-speaking Brusselians) of a defined territory (that's the reason we show a map), but it is clearly NOT the name for a territory, so your argument does not hold ground. PS: I do not understand why it's necessary to launch a personal attack against Asavaa. What he did do or not do on the French wikipedia according to you is irrelevant. Here on the English Wikipedia, he has raised a really valid point, he is using arguments why this is the case, and he is following procedure. Morgengave (talk) 16:29, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Many of the "communauté française" results are false positives:
...Madagascar abrite la plus grande communauté française en Afrique... communauté française installée dans ces deux villes marocaines...
...militants UMP de la communauté française de Londres... (UMP is a French party)
...exaspérant la communauté française d'origine arménienne....
...etc. Wallonia-Brussels Federation is unambiguously related to Belgium, so we don't encounter the same issue with this name.--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 15:29, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't necessarily approve of Nero's manners but I think that Asavaa should have been more upfront about his involvement in the matter on the other wiki, especially since he comes from "outside" the project, it almost seems that he's tipping the scale in his favour after a consensus of sorts was already reached (even if it was out of general disinterest).--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 15:41, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I checked the 100 first results of the search on Le Soir, and did not see any "false positive". There can be some in the 809 occurences, but I do not think there are more than a fistfull. The overwhelming use is clearly in favour of "communauté française".
I do not see what I should have said about my involvement in other wikis. I am not responsible for the fact that the german and the dutch WP have kept the old name. And as far as the WP:fr is concerned, I have applied the rules that ask for a consensus for a move. I was the guy who made the last revert I think (there had been others) and who initiated a new discussion on the subject on the talk page and on the talk page of the relevant project. I had not been involved in the starting edit war (and quite frankly, these subjects do not really interest me, check out my contributions on WP:fr, although I sometimes, like in this case, try to help in solving issues that are controversial), I reverted the undiscussed move and started the discussion, I think that on any wiki it is the appropriate method. The discussion did not develop a lot, but various sections on the french talk page indicate a strong consensus towards keeping the name.
Lastly, I do not see what "he comes from "outside" the project" means. You mean the "Belgium" project? Asavaa (talk) 15:55, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Even assuming that there are no false positives on Belgian websites, "Fédération Wallonie - Bruxelles" yields more results on the site of Le Soir than "Communauté française".--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 16:18, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Is is the contrary. For the period since April, it is 214 "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" vs 809 "Communauté française". (If you do not limit the search to this year, then you get 438 "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" vs 42489 "Communauté française", but I reckon this is not fair for "fédération";-). Asavaa (talk) 16:39, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
The point is that Wallonia-Brussels Federation is a POV-name: not generally accepted, unofficial, controversial and misleading. I do not really see what you are trying to prove with some links? That chunks of French-speaking press now adhere to the controversial name is not a secret. However, this is still a Belgian institution and just like Flemish parties cannot split BHV without support of French-speaking parties, francophone parties cannot change the name of a Belgian institution without Flemish support. If the new name were for instance to be adopted in the Constitution and become, the article name ought to change. As long as this does not happen, we should stick with the neutral, official and non-controversial name. Morgengave (talk) 16:29, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Agree. This does not preclude the article can say clearly, including in the introduction, that there is a "secundary name" or "surname" that is also used, but the title should stick with the reality of the official name that is still overwhelmingly used.
Besides this, as Morgengave says, using the "fédération" name is POV, dramatically, as the mere use of the new name is heatly debatted in Belgium.
But again, the article should be "communauté française" and reckon the existence of the "fédération" name, and explain clearly what it is about. Asavaa (talk) 16:39, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
In the list of arguments I list in "Why was this article renamed", a very compelling one in my opinion is the fact that the president of the community himself acknowledges that the new name isn't offical nor legal: in this article of Le Dernière Heure, the journalists says that "the new name is illegal, as article 2 of the Constitution says that Belgium comprises three communities, the french community, the Flemish Community and the German speaking Community", and when asked about this point of view, the spokesperson of the president of the community rebukes the argument but sort of acknowledges its validity by saying that the general idea is to vote a resolution that will add the name "Wallonia-Brussels Federation" to the name "French community", and to use the first one alone when doing so does not create a legal insecurity ("L’idée est ici de voter une résolution pour adjoindre la mention Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles à l’appellation Communauté française, voire à ne recourir qu’à la première dans tous les cas où son usage ne crée pas d’insécurité juridique."). Asavaa (talk) 16:56, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
The name was not changed by "a Belgian party", it was changed by a Belgian institution, it was the FC itself that decided to alter its name. Btw, if we did change the name, how would you explain the logo?50px--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 16:38, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, the problem is that the french community, like other federated entities in Belgium, is organised by the Constitution and by the (special) law, and does not have the legal capacity to determine its own name. As showned by various sources mentionned above, the decision of the french community is, if not illegal, not legal to say the least. As the spokesperson of the president of the community said, the general idea is to vote a resolution that will add the name "Wallonia-Brussels Federation" to the name "French community", and to use the first one alone when doing so does not create a legal insecurity.
But even if you do not consider these legalities (check out the name of the institution as it still appears in the official gazette), the fact is that the change is controversial, and that not even mentionning official acts (where the fédération does not even exists), the old name is still what is used by most journalists for instance. So the move is clearly controversial and POV.
I do not see how the fact that there is a new logo changes anything. What does it add to the "name change"? It is the same issue. Asavaa (talk) 19:02, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Oppos I follow the discussion with interest and the current name is right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kososseg (talkcontribs) 13:22, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

You know, this is not a voting page. Would you have any argument? Asavaa (talk) 17:50, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
At time of his comment, it was literally Kososseg's only edit to the English Wikipedia, so I don't think his opinion should be given very much weight. Oreo Priest talk 18:51, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Comment I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of civility, and also a bit surprised at the absence of most of the regular players in Belgium-related discussions. I should also mention that I was the person who supported Ultimate Destiny's proposal, but at the time I did not realize that the name was being seriously challenged in the real world. It should be noted that 2 people's opinion does not count as consensus, and there was a serious lack of quorum.

As for the actual issue, I'm not really convinced of either position. On the one hand, I see the argument that FWB isn't the legal/constitutional name as very weak, and I recognize that it makes sense for bodies to dictate the name they use publicly, and hence recognizably. Notably, the Flemish Region/Community presents itself publicly as 'Flanders' in many circumstances, despite that not being the constitutional name. So again, I'm unconvinced by the 'legal name' argument. On the other hand, I'm unconvinced that the name FWB has actually seen wider adoption than FC (or vice-versa), which would be the reason to pick the one legal(?) name over the other. I understand that counting Google hits can be difficult and misleading, but I also have never really followed the news in Belgium that much, so I can't offer even a personal opinion on which version has the wider adoption. Oreo Priest talk 18:51, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Flanders is a whole different issue. As you will read in Flemish Community, this community and the Flemish Region have merged, which was something that was authorised by the Constitution. So the use of a name that covers the merged entities is quite normal, and generally accepted in Belgium, although we still have here Flemish Community and Flemish Region (there is an article Flanders, but is is not referring to the political bodies).
The Walloon Region is also currently going by under the name of "wallonia" (see their website. That is a bit more controversial however, partially because people living in the Region say that they never were inhabitants of the historical wallonia, and "Région wallonne" is still very commonly used. Anyway, in WP, we still have Walloon Region (federal region) (I wonder why there are brackets, as there is no disambiguation issue) and Wallonia who are 2 different things (while Walloon Region (federal region) does say that the region is commonly called Wallonia).
But more importantly, the biggest issues with the new name is that
  • it is not widely adopted. Check in the section "Why was this article renamed?" above the search I made with the search engine of the 3 most largely distributed newspapers to see if they used the new name since it was adopted in April 2011. Since that date they continued to use "Communauté" much more often than "fédération" (about 3 times more occurrences for all three newspapers)
  • it is controversial. In the newspapers first (example), but quite notably a large part of Belgium (the flemish government, the federal government and the flemish official media organisation) has very clearly said that it considered the change as illegal, unconstitutional, and that they will refuse to acknowledge the existence of that name. And that is also a quite different story than Flanders.
Bottomline: the new name is not commonly used, and is very controversial, which means that renaming the article was contrary to WP rules on various levels, as it was POV.
The only reasonable solution is to reverse the move, rename the article into French Community of Belgium and to include in the article the fact that the community has adopted a "nom d'usage". There is no problem in being very clear and straightforward in the article about this "surname".
This solution is in line with naming rules, NPOV, and the way other federated entities are dealt with in WP. Asavaa (talk) 20:09, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, my use of Flanders was an imperfect analogy, but there are some parallels still. Also, as I mentioned, I'm not convinced by search engine hit counting as a strong argument. And what other (federated) entities are dealt with in the way you mention? I'd like to see some examples if you could come up with some. Oreo Priest talk 21:51, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Re search engine, well, I see no other way to illustrate the use of the name and I thought your comment was specifically adressed to Google searches (while I used the search of each newspaper).
Re use for other federated entities, not sure what you want. There are not that many federated entities in Belgium :-) Other countries you mean? I do not know if there is any other coutry where a name can be controversial :-o The examples I gave are still valid:
BTW, I just noticed that the parliament of the community was using both names. Probably because using only the "fédération" name might cause legal issues. Asavaa (talk) 06:11, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
The positions of Wallonia and Brussels reflect consensus on en:WP, so do not move them. The position on this WP is that the distinctly Belgian obsessions with distinguishing territories and people from the bodies that govern them takes a back seat to the more normal view of conflating them. The page Walloon Region (federal region) was made for the specific details of the history of that institution as an institution, but not the subject as a whole, which is Wallonia. The problem with the page Flanders is that nobody (including me) has made a serious effort to clean it up into a normal format and subject, which is why it's such a mess. Oreo Priest talk 13:25, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Comment I also encourage editors to hold back from changing references to the FC/FWB elsewhere in the encyclopedia until this issue has been resolved. Oreo Priest talk 18:53, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
The only reasonable outcome is to look for more outside opinions from uninvolved editors and wait for the discussion to be closed by an administrator. Which is how the renaming procedure works, by the way.--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 21:08, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Getting opinions from other editors, that sounds like a good idea, but the message I posted on the Belgium project does not seem to have had any effect. Any suggestion? Asavaa (talk) 21:26, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Give them the time to notice it? It's been less than two days. If that fails, there's always requests for comments.--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 00:03, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
As for the current title being "controversial": that's not a factor, there are countless other articles which use "controversial" titles because they are, in any case, the most preferable forms, like Falklands, Taiwan, etc. Contrary to what Asavaa claims, the renaming did not violate any policies or guidelines.--Ultimate Destiny (talk) 21:18, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't you agree that for Falklands or Taiwan, any choice would be controversial? Here, there is one name that is controversial (ie criticised, not used and rejected by over 60% of the country) and the other that is official, widely used, and not subject to any critic. Asavaa (talk) 21:26, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
The controversy with using FC instead of WBF would be that that's not the new name (if it is to be considered the legitimate new name that is). Neither choice is uncontroversial. Oreo Priest talk 13:25, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Support After personally reviewing the newspapers' usage, it is clear that usage in French is divided, with a notable tendency towards FC. No Dutch source seems to use WBF at all. Although the body has tried to implement the name WBF, the fact that other bodies do not recognize it and the fact that actual use of WBF is certainly not widespread have convinced me that the article should go back to French Community of Belgium. As mentioned before, the article should make very clear that the body calls itself WBF, and that usage is divided. Details of status and usage should not be in the lead but in a separate section. Oreo Priest talk 14:30, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Support The FC has used different names in the past, none of which have ever been reflected in the article title. The new WBF name has not been recognized by other government bodies (for example the Belgian Federal Government[3] still uses FC) and legally the WBF itself still needs to use the FC name on official texts. Furthermore WBF is at present not widely used, not even in the French-speaking press. All this could change in future, but today we should stick to the FC name. Of course the article should reflect that the FC itself uses WBF. By the way, I don't believe some newspaper announced the new name, they probably only reported the FC did. BertK (talk) 23:01, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
    FYI, each of the three newspapers shown by Asavaa above has used the name outside of the context of the renaming, but in each of the three, WBF is much less common than FC. Oreo Priest talk 00:32, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I was quite surprised to see "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" listed on Communities,_regions_and_language_areas_of_Belgium and it not being a redirect. I recall that the rename was in the news here in Belgium already quite some time ago, but it seemed more of a publicity stunt or move towards claiming Brussels as their territory (which is the real reason behind this rename, for your information). When they announced it, there was no single mention of the name on their website. Now, viewing their website again, they clearly indicate the rename. I might be not neutral, but I don't think this should be named FWB, because, as mentioned above, it has no legal grounds. The names of the regions and communities are fixed in the constitution. SPQRobin (talk) 20:23, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
    A Fleming is as neutral as a francophone on the matter, IMHO. Also, I've added support to your comment for clarity, I hope that's ok with you. Cheers, Oreo Priest talk 20:37, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: the main argument is definitely the fact that the constitution only mentions French Community and that this is the term used in the media and common speech. There are no parallels with the articles on the Brussels-Capital and Walloon Regions being subsumed under "Brussels" and "Wallonia" respectively, since these are geographical terms that correspond to the territory of a political level ("Flanders" is a specific case). The use of "Wallonia-Brussels Federation" is merely a self-designation worth mentioning but should in no way replace the constitutional name of the "French Community". --Hooiwind (talk) 13:19, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Change of content following the move[edit]

I make a quick elementary change further to the rename, especially in the intro, but I will have a further look later. Asavaa (talk) 06:43, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


Regarding this edit:
1. The parliament of the then-French Community of Belgium has officially adopted the name Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles. As the parliament is a recognized legislative power, this name does in fact have legal standing, just not constitutional standing.
2. I bet you can't provide a reference for your claim that "more than half of the country rejects" the new name.
- TaalVerbeteraar (talk) 09:56, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

1. It cannot change its "legal name" because simply these names are defined by the constitution. The community parliament did however change its own internal "working name", but that name is not its legal name. PS: I will check whether it has the legal power to change its working name in the first place. (I do not dispute that it has changed its de facto name, like in websites, communications, logo, etc.) 2. I meant "more than half of political Belgium". And sure, google the controversy, all Flemish parties fiercely rejected the new name (if you insist, I can list some newspaper articles here that mention that all Flemish parties rejected the new name plus that the new name is controversial - seen the huge storm in Belgian media, that will not be difficult.). Flemish parties represent more than half of the Belgian population. Hence, your argument that only "some Flemish nationalists" rejected it, as you argued here, is not correct: [4]. Consequently, the description of "not universally accepted" is just plain wrong. My preference went to the article version we had here, with just the word "controversially" mentioned in the lead: [5]. Seen this "controversy" in Belgium, it cannot be denied that their new name is "controversial". I took the liberty to restore the article to the version before our interventions - let's wait and involve other wikipedians until we reach a consensus. Vrachtschip (talk) 10:43, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Just for the people that are not aware. Parts of the controversy are: the Flemish parliament will not accept invitations using the new name. Or: Flemish television channel VRT has decided not to use the new name. Etc. Vrachtschip (talk) 10:52, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Vrachtschip is correct about the fact that the new name is legally shaky to say the least. Check out for instance Communauté/Fédération the website of the Community/Federation that says that "All ordinary communication we make, whether internal or external, will use the official name Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Under "ordinary communication" we understand any communication that has no legal effect. Because the Constitution was not modified, all text with a legal impact must use the words "Communauté française". This means mainly all regulations and all texts or acts that have a legal impact (authorisations, contracts, etc)".
So even they do know that this name cannot be used all the time, only when there is no legal impact.
Now for "controversial"...well I do not know, because the guys of the "Communauté/Federation" have been very cautious, I did not hear any controversy on the subject recently. Asavaa (talk) 05:58, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Percentages of population[edit]

The percentages given, 58% for the Flemish Community and 41% for the French community are not correct, as the Flemish community also includes the 1 million people in Brussel. It doesn't make a lot of sense to compare these to each other, as they will sum to more than 100%. The correct figures are 67%, 41% and 1%. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:29, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

The 80% of Brussels that is French speaking doesn't form part of the Flemish community in any meaningful way. That's how the percentages have been apportioned. Oreo Priest talk 16:54, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
It's pointless to include percentages of how many belong to a community since there are no official statistics and people in Brussels often use the services of both the Flemish and French Community. For the Regions it would have make sense, but not for the Communities.--Wester (talk) 20:24, 25 February 2014 (UTC)


"The Walloon Region and the Commission communautaire française (COCOF, a French-speaking institution of the Brussels-Capital Region)." As this lacks a verb, it does not appear to be a sentence, and I don't know what it is supposed to mean. Thank you. Mannanan51 (talk) 22:31, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Hey can you show where the sentence is placed in the article? I will try to sort it out.--Gabriel Haute Maurienne (talk) 23:13, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
After the first sentence in Alternate Name. Mannanan51 (talk) 16:04, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Salut Mannanan51, Is it better? --Gabriel Haute Maurienne (talk) 19:17, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Oui, merci. Mannanan51 (talk) 19:19, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
That changed it to a not very coherent text. I've now restored the original meaning. Several edits screwed it up along the way, [6] and [7]. SPQRobin (talk) 21:57, 30 May 2015 (UTC)