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Glossary of political terms
- Benelux armed force
There is ever more international cooperation between armed forces, including within Europe. In anticipation of a European armed force, the N-VA is advocating a merger of the armed forces of the Benelux into a single Benelux armed force. This is...
A loan to a company or a government, which is paid back with interest. In contrast to shares, most bonds have a fixed duration and a fixed interest, which is usually paid out on an annual basis. Therefore, as a general rule, bonds have less risk...
Career break for the calculation of, specifically, civil servant’s pension. In order to obtain the annual pension amount in the public sector, the reference salary is multiplied by the number of employment years. That result is then...
- Bow Tie Agreement
The political agreement concerning the sixth State reform concluded by the six parties in the Di Rupo Government (Flemish and French-speaking socialists, Christian democrats and liberals), with support from the green parties, in 2011. The term...
- Capital gains tax
This is a tax that is only levied on the profits that a specific or full capital generates, and not on that capital. Examples of specific capital gains taxes are withholding tax on dividends of shares and on interest from savings certificates and...
- Cayman tax
Named after the Cayman Islands, one of the largest tax havens in the world. Also known as the “transparency tax”. The Cayman Tax ensures that complex foreign financial structures can no longer evade the tax authorities. These are often...
The Central Economic Council (CEC) is a body in which discussions are held between unions and employer organisations. The CEC regularly reports on the developments in salaries and employment in Belgium and its three neighbouring countries. Based...
- Civic integration
Flanders has a policy for civic integration. This is a guided and targeted form of social integration for people of foreign origin. The intention is that the newcomers are provided with a valuable place in society by including them instead of...
- Collective labour agreement (CLA)
A collective labour agreement (CLA) is a package of agreements reached between employer and employee representatives, concluded for a specific period of time. The CLA is an addition to the individual employment contract signed between an employer...
- Community issues
They refer to everything involving the relationships between the Regions and Communities. These relationships are regulated by comprehensive linguistic legislation from 1966 and the six State reforms between 1970 and the present. However,...
The extent to which companies in one country can compete with similar companies in another country. A law came into force in Belgium in 1996 to monitor competitiveness. This stipulates that Belgian salaries may not evolve faster than the average...
If we want to make structural changes, then we have to change the structures. Confederalism is the structural change that this country needs. The basic principle of confederalism is that Flanders and Wallonia are the owners of all powers. They...
The general meaning of conservatism is that it is a belief in the utilisation of established and traditional practices or, if necessary, is only willing to change slowly or gradually. The more specific, political meaning is that it represents a...
- Consumer price index
The index figure for consumer prices has been calculated monthly since 1920. This reflects the evolution of the price level of the indexation bundle. That is a commodity bundle of goods and services that is representative of household expenditures...
The N-VA is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a conservative, eurorealistic parliamentary group in the European Parliament. The N-VA shares their realistic view of the European project and also advocates for the correct...
- European Free Alliance
Through the European Free Alliance (EFA) parliamentary group, established in 1999, regional partners have received more power to get their voices heard in the European Parliament. This is what makes the EFA a part of a larger parliamentary group...
The N-VA opts for a realistic, feasible approach to the European project. That eurorealism is translated into a Europe that is strong where necessary, in order to achieve results that are tangible and specific to its own citizens. The European...
Eurostat provides good statistical information to the European Union. As a statistical office, it also contributes to harmonising statistics so that data can be compared. One of Eurostat’s important tasks is to also improve the statistical...
- Facility municipalities
A municipality with special bylaws governing the use of the official languages. The 1963 Administrative Language Law establishes the language in which communication with the government must be carried out in certain Belgian regions. There are...
The Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) is an umbrella organisation of Belgian employers from different company sectors. The FEB represents more than 30,000 businesses, making it one of the main interlocutors in social dialogue in Belgium.
- Federal Planning Bureau
The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) is a Belgian public agency which carries out studies and projections about economic, socio-economic and ecological policy issues. Its scientific expertise is at the disposal of the Government, Parliament, the...
A fee is remuneration requested by the government for a specific service that it provides. The difference between a fee and taxes is that there is an immediate service provided in return for a fee. An example is the parking charges that the...
- Financing Law
The Belgian Financing Law - officially the Special Financing Law of 16 January 1989 - establishes how money is distributed between the Federal State and the Regions and Communities in Belgium. The Di Rupo Government, which included Groen and Ecolo...
The gross domestic product (GDP) is the total monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country, both by companies and the government. This term is usually used as a benchmark for a country’s prosperity. This is why the N-VA...
- Health index
The value of the health index, implemented in 1994, is calculated by removing a number of products, more specifically alcohol, tobacco and fuel, from the consumer price index bundle. The health index figure is used for, among other things,...
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), established in 1945, focuses on monetary issues. The global organisation is governed by and accountable to the 188 member countries. In addition to financial stability, monetary cooperation and international...
- Index number
An index number measures the evolution of the cost of living and is therefore an important indicator of a price increase or inflation. The index not only measures the price level, but the fluctuation between two periods: the base or reference year...
The increase in the general price level. The original meaning (literally “to blow up”) is monetary inflation, which means that the amount of money increases. Today, inflation primarily refers to price inflation. This means an implicit...
An Interprofessional Agreement (IPA) is a cross-sectoral agreement between Belgian employers and trade unions. The most important part concerns the agreement on salaries. In Belgium, standard salary levels must be ratified by the Government.
- Lambermont Agreement
The Lambermont Agreement actually refers to three political agreements that laid down the fifth State reform in 2000-2001. This primarily provided extra money for education in the French Community. Furthermore a number of competences were handed...
- Language border
The language border between a Flemish and a French-speaking area was permanently established in the period from 1962 to 1963. The Brussels-Capital district, with 19 municipalities, became officially bilingual. The language border was not a Flemish...
- Moesen standard
In using the Moesen standard, created by economist Wim Moesen (KU Leuven), the public expenditure is frozen for several years in order to restructure the public finances and stimulate the economy. You can, however, still allow certain partial...
The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) is the Belgian central bank. Since the introduction of the euro, the NBB is one of the participants in the euro system, in which the European Central Bank, with headquarters in Frankfurt, plays a central role....
The National Employment Office (RVA/ONEM) is a federal public agency that primarily protects the rights to unemployment insurance in Belgium. The NEO is the largest public social security agency in Belgium. The NEO’s key missions include...
The National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI/RIZIV/INAMI) is a federal public agency that organises healthcare, a part of social security. The organisation is responsible for four key services: Medical Care, Benefits, Medical...
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), established in 1961 as a result of the Marshall Plan, is a cooperation agreement between 34 countries in order to study and coordinate social and economic policy. The member...
- Prosperity envelope
A “piggy bank” that serves to keep the lowest benefits, and especially pensions, and the replacement incomes inflation-proof.
- Raising accountability
Making federated entities accountable so that they are rewarded for good policy and penalised for bad policy. This was one of the N-VA’s demands during the governmental negotiations of 2010-2011 regarding the amendment of the Financing Law....
A reactionary attitude is also described as being extremely conservative. In contrast to moderate conservatism, reactionaries do not strive to keep the status quo in place, but rather, they advocate for a return to yesteryear. They want to turn...
- Social security
Social security is currently managed at the Federal level in Belgium. The most important pillars of Belgian social security are: sickness and invalidity insurance (NIDHI), pensions, unemployment insurance and child allowances. In addition,...
- Social work bonus
A discount on the employee contribution to social security, which is specifically translated into a net salary increase or extra purchasing power for the employee. This motivates your employees to work and to keep working. In Belgium, the...
- Special Taxation Inspectorate (STI)
The Special Taxation Inspectorate (STI) is one of the six general administration bodies within the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Finance. It is tasked with the structured combating of fraud in all of the taxes that fall under the authority...
- Structural balance
The structural balance reflects a budgetary balance that in principle can be maintained for years. It takes the potential growth of the economy into account, but does not include the purely conjunctural or exceptional elements, such as one-off or...
A principle that states that the lowest possible level at which a government is (still) effective is the most appropriate level from which to govern. It is for this reason that only the powers that a lower authority cannot exercise or cannot...
- Tax lift
Tax increase. See also: tax shift.
- Tax on capital gains
A tax on the profit that you make when selling stocks, such as shares or bonds, or assets, such as real estate. The capital gain is equal to the positive difference between the sales and purchase prices. A negative difference is a depreciation or...
- Tax shift
There is a tax shift when a new tax is implemented or an existing tax is increased in order to reduce or get rid of another tax. The N-VA is a proponent of a shift of the burden on labour to that on consumption or environmental pollution, for...
- Temporary stop of wage indexation
Belgium is one of the few countries that practices automatic indexation. This mechanism ensures that salaries and social benefits are always adapted to inflation. Since salaries increase along with the cost of living, a risk of a wage handicap...
The money flows from Flanders to Brussels and Wallonia are called transfers. The transfers from the federal budget, the Financing Law and social security amount to between 6 and 7 billion euros per year, and 11 billion euros if debt repayments are...
- Transparency tax
Also known as the “Cayman tax”, after the Cayman Islands, one of the largest tax havens in the world. A transparency tax allows the tax authorities to look through complex financial structures abroad and to tax the assets in these in...
- Trigger index
The threshold value of the levelled index, the quarterly progressive average of the health index. The threshold value must be exceeded in order to be able to index the salaries of the public employees.
The Unie van Zelfstandige Ondernemers (Union of Self-Employed Entrepreneurs), better known as UNIZO, is an association of self-employed entrepreneurs, in particular small and medium-sized businesses and liberal professions. In 2000, UNIZO became...
The Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding (VDAB, Flemish Public Employment and Professional Training Service) is a Flemish public service that coordinates supply and demand in the employment market, with its main task...
The Flemish Economic Alliance (VEV) was a Flemish employers’ organisation founded in 1926 by Lieven Gevaert, among others. The VEV wanted to be the Flemish counterpart of the Central Industrial Committee, which targeted French-speakers and...
The Vlaams netwerk van ondernemingen (VOKA, Flemish Network of Enterprises) is a Flemish employer’s organisation that represents more than 16,000 companies in Flanders and Brussels, about 65% of private employment. VOKA was created in...
- Wage handicap
The extent to which salaries in a certain country are higher than in one or more competitive countries. As a general rule, a wage handicap has a negative impact on economic growth and on the creation of jobs. This is why there has been a law in...
- Wealth tax
A direct tax levied on capital, regardless of the profits that you gain from it. While capital in the past mainly concerned real estate, it is primarily made up of shares and bonds today. The disadvantage of such a tax is the mobility of capital,...