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What are the devolved competences of the Flemish Parliament?

The Flemish Parliament makes decisions about aspects of people’s lives. This means that the Flemish Parliament has a huge influence over the life of every  Flemish citizen (environment, schools, welfare and so on). The Flemish Parliament is responsible for shaping Flanders, and it goes about this with the greatest possible transparency. This is an overview of the areas on which the Flemish Parliament can legislate.

Personal assistance

  • youth protection
  • youth policy
  • family policy (Child & Family)
  • family allowance, child birth allowances and adoption allowances
  • child care
  • policies for the elderly and the disabled
  • equal opportunities policies and the Equal Opportunities Centre
  • the integration of immigrants

Health care

  • hospital policy
  • preventive health policy
  • home care
  • policy for the elderly and homes for the elderly
  • mental welfare
  • assistance to disabled persons


  • arts
  • cultural heritage
  • museums
  • libraries
  • media (the Flemish Public Broadcaster VRT)
  • sports and tourism

Language legislation

  • use of languages by the authorities
  • use of languages in the business community


  • all aspects of educational policy
  • except for a small number of matters such as compulsory education and teachers’ pensions which are a federal competence

Environment and water policy

  • environmental protection
  • waste management (Public Waste Agency of Flanders OVAM)
  • drinking water
  • waste water purification
  • sewage systems

Municipalities and provinces

  • financial resources
  • administrative supervision

Public works, mobility and traffic safety

  • roads
  • waterways and inland navigation
  • seaports
  • regional airports
  • regional transport (public transport agency De Lijn)
  • Belgian institute for traffic safety and technical inspection
  • driving instruction, driving schools and exam centres


  • labour market policy and employment (Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training VDAB)
  • employment programmes


  • support to companies
  • permits for trading establishments
  • foreign trade
  • statistical research


  • distribution of electricity and natural gas
  • promotion of rational energy consumption

Agriculture and sea fisheries

  • support to agricultural and horticultural companies
  • Flemish Promotion Centre for the Marketing of Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries (VLAM)


  • building of social housing
  • financial housing support
  • rental of commercial and residential properties, leases, expropriations

Spatial planning

  • town and country planning
  • building permits
  • urban renewal
  • monuments and landscapes

Land-use planning and nature conservation

  • land consolidation
  • parks
  • forest
  • hunting
  • fisheries
  • animal welfare

Scientific research about the Flemish competences

Foreign affairs

  • international treaties regarding Flanders’ competences
  • Cooperative development
  • foreign trade

Justice policy for the Flemish competences