GLOBAL ISSUES IN BELGUIMIdentifying and discussing these issues
Global issues in Belgium include; Globalisation Human rights and women rights Economic growth Political issues Poverty Natural resource conflicts Environmental issues Culture Global recession Population growth Global warming and climate change Natural Disasters Immigration
Globalisation• Globalisation refers to the radical change of the world into a global economic village where there is a more economic activity and better relationship between countries.• Globalisation has led to an increase in international trade activities in Belgium.• Globalisation is a necessary evil as it has good and bad effects in a country .• Globalisation thus should be regulated rather than combated by playing a role in it.
Human rights and women rights• Although Belgium respects human rights the were complaints about; prisons being overcrowded, unrealistic pre-trial detention, unfavourable detention conditions, abusing children ,trafficking of persons, violence against women and discrimination of persons in job employment.• The government has however tried to counter these problems by crating more prisons and improving on trial process.• Women rights are highly infringed in Belgium which record high numbers of rape and domestic violence against women. Rape in this country also includes spousal rape where women are raped by their partners, there is a high level of domestic violence where women are violated by their husbands.• Statistics in 2007 showed that cases of rape were 2,933 and that there was one case of domestic violence among five women.
Economic growth• Belgium has shown a positive growth in the past years after the global financial crisis that resulted to an increase in national debt almost up to 100% of the GDP.• According to previous statistics the GDP for the year 2011 amounted to approximately $467 billion.• The annual growth rate is estimated to 2.5% this increases on the per capital income thus an increase in the individual standards of living.
Political issues• Belgium is a federal state that constituting different regions.• Belgium has suffered cases of political instability due to major ethnicity difference between Dutch-speaking Flanders and Francophone Wallonia which has constantly lead to division of the Belgium economy.• In the 18th and 19th century the Industrialists Francophone Wallonia were economically and politically dominant over the Dutch- speaking Flanders who were agricultural oriented• Political conflicts have led to a sluggish growth of the Belgium economy.
Poverty and Wealth• Belgium as other developed economies enjoy a higher portion of par capital income and high living standards. It is ranked amongst the world best in human development with statistics showing a per capital income of $28,790 in a report dated 2000 making it the 7th best in world in that year.• The main problems in this country is wealth disparity with two extremes very wealthy and very poor.• There is need for programs that regulate the wealth distribution in the country so as to minimise this wealth disparity.
Natural resources conflict• Natural resource conflict has been experience in Belgium as a result of immigration in the country. There is decline in coal mining which was dominated by the Francophone Wallonia while the Dutch- speaking Flanders were involved in agricultural production.• The decline in coal production meant that there will a conflict economically as the agricultural activities of the Francophone flourished. The changes in the economy’s lead to conflict and immigration lead to an increased pressure to these resource conflicts.
Unemployment• Belgium has a low unemployment rate but in the recent years it has been increasing catching the attention of the government.• The unemployment rate in 2010 has raised to 8.3% compared to 7.9% in the previous year.• The increase in unemployment rate is a strain the budget as the government has to allocate more funds for unemployment benefits.
Environmental Pollution• Environment pollution is another problem associated to Belgium as different forms of pollution are experienced such as water, air an air pollution.• Air pollution is as a result of nuclear radiation and carbon dioxide from industry and pesticides used in agriculture industry. This results into acid rain that even affects neighbouring countries.• Water pollution is as a result of heavy metals (mercury and phosphorus) caused by industrial effluents into rivers and canals which is dangerous to individuals health.• Land pollution is caused by industrial waste and also chemicals used in agricultural activities. The Belgium government has come up with policies and strategies to eliminate environmental pollution in the country.
Global recession• Belgium is a member of the European Economic and monetary union making it vulnerable to the global financial crisis.• The global financial crisis had an adverse effect on the banking sector as Belgium became the first government to be hit directly by the global financial crisis. There was a collapsing of banks as Fortis became bankruptcy.• Due to the global financial crisis the govern meant has been struggling with an increased national debt and a shrinking economy.
Population Growth• The current population growth rate for Belgium is -0.04% meaning that there is more mortality rate than the birth rate in the country.• The result of this negative growth rate in this country is that there is an aging population in this country. An aging population means that there is little new labour in the labour market.
International trade• Belgium economy is inclined to trade activities with the rest of the European Union members. The global economic depression that hit Belgium directly reduced the volume of trade amongst the European countries.• It is until the recovery of the world economy that the international trade activities have grown upwards. The Belgian economy is an open economy with few trade restrictions and is a an export oriented economy. It is the centre of distribution of goods to other EU economies.• International trade supports the Belgium economy by earning it revenues.
Global warming and climate change• Climate change is caused by increased use of fossil fuels and this poses a great threat to human life.• The use of this fossil fuels have been attributed to emission of greenhouse gases that causes global warming.• Global warming causes adverse harm such as increased solar radiation increase precipitation and other effects.• Although the effect of global warming are associated with poor and developing countries some effects such as acid rain can be seen in the European Economies.
Natural Disasters• The are minimal natural disasters occurrence in the country. The main natural disasters experienced is flooding of rivers and reclaimed costal lands.• Flooding however is estimated to have cause a lot damage to property with amount estimated at from 1990 to 2006• To ensure that property loss is compensated the government has instructed insurance companies to include flood insurance in all fire insurance policies.
Immigration• During the 1930 century before the second world war the government had restricted immigration but after the war there was need for more labour in the coal mines and the domestic labour had already been exhausted thus the government opted for foreign labour.• Through time there have been more immigrants settling in the country thus bringing different cultures in the country.• Today Belgium is home to very many immigrants and this can be identified as the source of political instability in the country.• Immigration in the country hinders it to become one national government as the different ethnic groups.