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officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.A small and densely populated country, it covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11 million.Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians.
Historically, Belgium lay in the area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states that also included parts of Northern France and Western Germany.
The region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica.
From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture.
From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, the area of Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, causing it to be dubbed the "Battlefield of Europe", and three communities, that exist next to each other.
Its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the mostly French-speaking southern part of the Wallonia region.
The Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual (French and Dutch) enclave within the Flemish Region.The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia.This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993.Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased; there is significant separatism particularly among the Flemish; controversial language laws exist such as the municipalities with language facilities; Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels.Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area.Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third.(...) Of all these, the Belgae are the strongest (...) .The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples.A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings.A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire.