Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy edition:3rd edition pages:164-167
The dual organization of Belgium's federal state has created a complex institutional setting. Belgium has no less than six governments and six parliaments, of which five are active at the subnational level. In addition, each of the governments relies on its proper administration. In this contribution, we describe the main features of Belgium's state structure and its politico-administrative setting. This description provides the background to understand how and to what extent government continuity and urgent issues could be addressed during the country's longest period of caretaker government (541 days) at the federal level in 2010-2011.