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Sint-Genesius-Rode ( ) is a municipality located in Flandersmarker, one of three regions of Belgiummarker, in the province of Flemish Brabantmarker. The municipality comprises the town of Sint-Genesius-Rode only. On January 1, 2006, the town had a total population of 17,927. The total area is 22.77 km², which gives a population density of 787 inhabitants per km².



The Dutch language, previously the majority language spoken by the inhabitants, and the official language of Flanders, is the official language in the area. However, Sint-Genesius-Rode is in severe linguistic flux, as, of the very few municipalities in Belgium not overwhelmingly either French or Dutch-speaking, it is one of the most evenly divided between the two languages. A relative majority of its present residents are Francophone, albeit only by a small amount.

As in several other municipalities on the periphery of Brusselsmarker, in the 1960s linguistic facilities were given to local French-speaking residents. These mostly stemmed from Francophone workers employed in the neighbouring Brusselsmarker migrating to the area. These 'facilities' allow them the right to obtain and submit official documents from the local administration in French, as well as to conduct business with the authorities in the language of their choice. The regionalization of Belgium has maintained that compromise, though politicians representing French-speakers have interpreted these facilities as a permanent right for Francophones in the Brusselsmarker periphery. The Flemish viewpoint is that these facilities existed temporarily in order to assist those French-speakers who already had come to live there, to better integrate in the Flemish region, and eventually learn the Dutch language.

Today, this particular municipality remains a controversial topic of local and national politics. A considerable number of Belgian French-speakers would like to see it integrated into the Brussels Capital Regionmarker, thus creating a common border between Walloniamarker and Brusselsmarker, as a consequence of the majority of residents who are Francophone. Politicians such as Elio Di Rupo counterpose this in response against Flemish demands to the extension of regionalisation to matters that are still administered federally. The reassignation of the area is strongly opposed by most Flemish people, their politicians and their institutions, who argue that the borders of Belgium's regions should not be changed simply because many people move from one state to another. They see the incorporation of the territory into the Brusselsmarker as a threat to the language and cultural rights of Flemish residents, and that a precedent could be set that would invite further Francophone migration to other municipalities with facilities. They also view this tendency as the extension of an already prevalent Francophone influence on the capital region.

See also

External links

  • - official website

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