The evolution of Belgium’s political history is deeply associated to its social development. When the linguistic conflict reached its climax (for further information see: 1.1. LINGUISTIC CONFLICT: COMPETENCES), the main political parties subdivided into two branches: a Flemish-speaking one and a French-speaking one. Nowadays, political parties still maintain this subdivision. Even though they share common objectives, they are separate organizations.

Previously,  three parties were the most influential in Belgium’s political history: The Socialists, the Catholics, and the Liberals.

  • The BSP or Belgian Socialist Party, was a centre-left oriented political party which originated from the BLP, or Belgian Labor Party, which was dissolved in 1940. It did not function properly until 1945, after the german occupation of Belgium.

However, it subdivided in 1978 into the Parti Socialiste (PS; French variant), and the Socialistische Partij Anders (sp.a; Dutch variant). They share similar objectives which focus on social progress, the increase of public services, and a reduction of economic and social differences.

    (Public domain)

  • The Christian Social Party (CSP), which was a centre-oriented political party, was the successor of the Catholic Party (CP), and was created in 1945. It was dissolved into two branches in 1968.

These two parties are Centre Démocrate Humaniste (CDH; French variant) and the Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V; Dutch variant). They are based on Catholic ideas and defend values such as reconciliation and cooperation; they both defend a certain degree of Statal intervention.

(Public domain)

  • The Party for Freedom and Progress, which was a right-centre oriented political party, was founded in 1961. Its predecessor was the Liberal Party, which was the first political party in Belgium.

Actually, the party exists as the VLD or Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten in Flanders, and the Mouvement Réformateur in Wallonia. They both defend neoliberalist ideas such as free market, the reduction of taxes, and the limitation of Statal intervention.

(Public domain)

As we can see, the parties are basically the same, with only punctual differences. The only main difference is the languages which the parties use. Due to that, they often collaborate in decision-making processes, given their common ideals. Since they only speak either French or Dutch (Flemish), their areas of main influence are usually limited to the linguistic community which speaks their language.

We can also see parties such as Vlaams Belang and Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, which claim for the independence of Flemish territory, arguing the social, cultural and linguistic differences that they have with the rest of the State.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(Public domain)


  1. Rivera, R. (2018, March 19). Belgian Political Parties 101. Retrieved from be. – brussels express: https://brussels-express.eu/belgian-political-parties-101/
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2017, August 9). Christian Social Party (Belgium, defunct). Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Social_Party_(Belgium,_defunct)
  3. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2018, November 30). Belgian Socialist Party. Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Socialist_Party
  4. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2018, November 30). Party for Freedom and Progress. Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_Freedom_and_Progress

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s