One 2007 report put the figures for Flemish-Walloon marriages at 1%
November 20, 2017 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Flemish bitterness about this lies close to the surface, as so much else does in the fields of Flanders. At the monument on an autumn morning I met a local writer, André Gysel: “There are six million Danish people; they have a country,” he told me. “We have six million but we share our country with these other people and we give them €1,000 a year from each of us. And they never say thank you.” He paused, witheringly: “Mer-ci!
posted by Chrysostom (53 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh god the petty place name bullshit is So. Annoying.

I once had to buy a ticket to Namur (a Walloon city in Wallonia, mind you), and the fucking agent in Brussels would not sell it to me unless I said the name "correctly".

"I'm going to Namur."
"Namen"
"What?"
"You are going to Namen?"
"Is that Namur?"
"It's Namen. Are you going to Namen?"
"... is that the same place as Namur?"
"It's called Namen"
"... Yes?"
"OK, here you go"
posted by xthlc at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2017 [22 favorites]


This article is drolly well written..
posted by Oyéah at 12:15 PM on November 20, 2017


A friend of mine at the BBC visited the Belgian equivalent, and said the office literally had a line down the middle.
posted by w0mbat at 12:51 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


That's not so much a country as an overused sitcom trope.
posted by acb at 12:54 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Only country founded by an opera riot. Still can't believe they were allowed to rule the Congo, the crimes of Leopold ought to be better known.
posted by Diablevert at 12:58 PM on November 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


A few years ago a friend in Brussels hooked me up with a motorcycle for a solo riding vacation around the Alps. Sometime in my second week, probably in Switzerland or Germany, I’m a little bewildered and maybe even a little lost, this guy rides up to me on a newer motorbike, evidently because of my Belgian plate, and starts speaking to me in Flemish. I apologetically tell him I’m actually from Canada and can’t understand him, but I do speak a little French. Francais? And he just rides away.
posted by rodlymight at 1:01 PM on November 20, 2017 [18 favorites]


For personal reasons I've often had reason to visit Brussels so I can tell you that the article misses out the good points of Belgium, which are these:
Best french fries in the world.
Best beer in the world.
French-quality food with German-sized portions.
posted by w0mbat at 1:08 PM on November 20, 2017 [18 favorites]


They're so unhoopy.
posted by RakDaddy at 1:08 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


They're so unhoopy.

Froods, each and every one.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:13 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


So In Bruges was... right?
posted by Naberius at 1:19 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I can add to that (spot on) list.

*Best chocolate in the world.
*Best waffles in the world (they have a waffle *isle* in the grocery store - and those aren't even those ones you should get - street waffles are the best)
*Seriously good cheeses, breads.
*Country most dedicated to the prospect, 'oh yeah, we'll just deep fry that' (undoubtedly the most deep-fryers per capita)
posted by el io at 1:20 PM on November 20, 2017 [6 favorites]


Best waffles in the world

Ah, but which waffles are the best? Brussels or Liege?

Belgium: They can't even agree about waffles.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:32 PM on November 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


Oh, and there's also the folks in province of Liège that speak German.

They're a source of separatist concerns.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:42 PM on November 20, 2017


*Country most dedicated to the prospect, 'oh yeah, we'll just deep fry that'

...even more than Scotland?
posted by tavella at 1:44 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I have fond memories of taking a train through Belgium, and the electronic signs kept switching between Flemish and French, like 10 times in a 60 minute ride, apparently depending on which was the main language in whatever part we happened to be at that moment.
posted by signal at 1:48 PM on November 20, 2017


Street Waffles is my new band name
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Honestly all these things are precisely why I love Belgium.
posted by Braeburn at 2:12 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


To reach Diksmuide, I was instructed to change trains in Gand. At the appointed time, I arrived at a station where the word Gand appeared nowhere. It was Gent. I was lucky there was a sign at all.
Having lived in Belgium for a couple of years now, I find this confusion pretty hard to believe. (I would not disbelieve problems with the trains in general... like insane delays, not being able to buy a ticket at the station, or just general nonsense, but getting lost? Nah.)
posted by fmoralesc at 2:14 PM on November 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


Still can't believe they were allowed to rule the Congo, the crimes of Leopold ought to be better known.

Yes, but to be clear the Belgian Congo (1908-1960) was different than the Congo Free State (1885-1908), which was King Leopold's private slaughterhouse and not controlled by the Belgian state. Many anti-imperialist socialists in the Belgian parliament had advocated for annexing the Congo to at least try to introduce some kind of accountability to the administration of Congo.

Not to say that the Belgian Congo was particularly "good" -- indeed, even in comparison with other European colonies in Africa, Belgian Congo (soon joined by Rwanda and (B)Urundi after World War I) was poorly treated -- but the crimes of King Leopold did not happen in "Belgian Congo."
posted by dhens at 2:21 PM on November 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


For personal reasons I've often had reason to visit Brussels so I can tell you that the article misses out the good points of Belgium, which are these:

The wife and jaunted to Europe last spring, and Brussels was the high point. Everything you mention is true, although the funny thing about the beer was that I didn't discover anything new. There doesn't seem to be much of a craft market there, because the mainstream beers are so fucking good. So I just drank my Tripel Karmeliet and a few others that I usually enjoy...at about the same price, no less.

I would also describe Brussels as having Parisian sophistication without Parisian manners. The people were uniformly gracious and kind. Surprisingly little English but they gamely tolerated my atrocious French - I guess that probably would have gone down differently in Flemish country.
posted by Edgewise at 2:27 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder if it might be to the EU's advantage to be OK with separatism, as long as the new states stayed in the EU. Who cares who the local politicians are as long as the money is the same and there is free movement?
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:28 PM on November 20, 2017 [12 favorites]


I would also describe Brussels as having Parisian sophistication without Parisian manners.

My impression was that, if you took Paris, scaled it down slightly, deleted all the immediately recognisable bits (the Eiffel Tower, Champs d'Elysées, and so on) and used some sort of urban-landscape version of content-aware fill on the gaps, you'd get Brussels, modulo the Flemish signage.
posted by acb at 2:31 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Over 20 comments and nobody has written "Stupid Sexy Flanders"? (or if they have, it has been mercifully deleted, as this will soon be)

Still, you can't talk about that country's image issues without observing the conflict between Belgian Waffles and Brussels Sprouts... and the claim that they invented what is now known as French Fries. Now I'm hungry...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:44 PM on November 20, 2017


I love Belgium, such a lovely, goofy country full of people with a sorta grim fatalistic sense of humor that comes from being a continuous battleground for European adventures
posted by drewbage1847 at 2:50 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Why would The New Statesman pay a sulky and incurious person who spent five days in Belgium to write about the country? There are certainly a lot of things to complain about in Belgium, but it is also a lovely place to be, and generally people are really friendly and helpful regardless of language and nationality. Given that it is just a tiny country, the range of interesting things you can do and experience there is amazing, and yes, the food is great.
In my experience, most people in Belgium speak Flemish, French and English, but few suffer fools. It's a tiny country with hundreds of thousands of foreign residents, quite a few of whom are arrogant and ignorant, and my impression is that many Belgians don't bother to engage with people who won't take the trouble learn about the country they are in.
Phew, that was a bit of a rant. I just really like Belgium.
posted by mumimor at 2:51 PM on November 20, 2017 [10 favorites]


Why would The New Statesman pay a sulky and incurious person who spent five days in Belgium to write about the country?

Bashing Belgium as "fake" and "dysfunctional" is a common trope among Eurosceptic Brits (and also among a handful of Euroscpetic Flemish nationalists) who like to use this as a way to not-so-subtly attack the EU by proxy.
posted by dhens at 2:57 PM on November 20, 2017 [6 favorites]


The impression I get is that the Walloons care far more about not being Flemish than anything else. I dunno. I've been to Belgium a bunch of times and never had anything less than a thoroughly lovely time, especially Antwerp and Ghent.

The other significant thing is that despite the apparent animosity, the country functions - the public infrastructure is generally excellent, broadly regardless of fractious political affiliations. Hell, they went for nearly 2 years without an actual government and stuff... worked? It's an interesting case study in the role of public servants versus governmental politics, if nothing else.
posted by parm at 2:59 PM on November 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


The New Statesman is hardly a nest of pro-Brexit jingoists. They're generally left-wing and not so institutionally delusional to have bought into the whole “Lexit” bullshit.
posted by acb at 3:03 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Anybody who can write without qualification or explanation in 2017 that "We should know by now that immigration without acculturation is doomed to fail" is not a part of any left wing I recognize and has at least even odds of eventually being unveiled as an actual Nazi.
posted by enn at 3:06 PM on November 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


Maybe some British wanker with a week to spare is not the best source of an authoritative opinion on a country?

What has really struck me most about living in Belgium is just the absence of fear here. People don't tend to fear the cops (aside from maybe the very hard left who work very hard at trying to need to), no one fears being unable to afford healthcare, no one I know fears their boss, few fear for their next meal, everyone is more bemused at their government(s) than afraid of it, and no one fears being unable to afford a pregnancy or a kid. Hell, even the fear of failing that undergrads and masters students in Leuven where I live have is fundamentally different from the fear I knew back home being more reasoned and a hell of a lot less desperate. Its pretty neat getting to live in a country with more kinds of beer than my liver could conceivably process, a frietkot on every corner where I can get deep fried steak as well as the package of delicious fries the size of my head for a couple euro, a functional social welfare system, and a government where you really can assume laughably absurd incompetence rather than malice when shit goes wrong. Maybe its that I've gotten to experience the darker side of the American dream skewing my perspective, but its like I tripped across the Atlantic and landed on my ass in heaven.

That said, as a foreigner, I've found that there is a point in the development of a friendship with at least most Belgians where you get the talk. It functionally signifies that you've formed a friendship with a Belgian close enough that they feel they can trust you with what is for them the essential truth of the country. If your new found friend is Flemish then this talk may focus on the laziness and perfidy of Walloons who leech on the welfare system supposedly funded by Flemings - all while still looking down their long francophone noses with airs that no longer even make any sense. If your new found friend is Walloon then this talk may focus on the bigotry and hypocrisy of Flemings, who lord their new found wealth over Walloonia while conveniently forgetting that the tax revenue that comes from Eurocrats in functionally francophone areas more than makes up what blood can be squeezed out from their stones, as well as how the good decisions that created this wealth were made in the 80s by a very small number of forward thinking people and not some abstract race of Flemings. Either way this talk is at least as likely to focus on how ridiculous the zealots on both sides are, and how much both halves of the country are basically identical in every way but language, as well as how much both sides benefit enormously from the other.

This douchebag seems to have only gotten the first, and most absurd, of the three talks.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:25 PM on November 20, 2017 [27 favorites]


"and the claim that they invented what is now known as French Fries. Now I'm hungry..."

Well, I don't think the French actually (want to) take credit for it, and the Belgian's sure the heck perfected fries, so I'll give it to them. From the wikipedia entry on 'freedom fries': In response to the change, French Embassy spokeswoman Nathalie Loiseau commented "It's exactly a non-issue ... We focus on the serious issues", and noted that fries originated in Belgium.

If you are an English only speaker, I'd recommend sticking the the Flemish country; everyone under 35 speaks great English (and Dutch, some French, potentially German). The Waloons speak... French.
posted by el io at 3:26 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah no shit, enn, that made my eye twitch.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 3:26 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


In my experience, most people in Belgium speak Flemish, French and English, but few suffer fools.
This is really one of my favorite parts of Belgium.

There is an incredibly endearing phenomenon I've heard referred to as "Flemish Face," the almost pouty frown that at least many Flemings will make when they feel like you are full of shit but are too instinctively polite to tell you.

...If you are Flemish and find yourself confused, it is possible that you may be making a "Flemish Face" right now.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:30 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


If you are an English only speaker, I'd recommend sticking the the Flemish country

While it's true that young Flemings are more likely to know English than young Walloons, I wouldn't let it stop you from visiting beautiful cities like Namur and Dinant and Mons, or taking a trip in the Ardennes.

Besides, when I spoke French with Walloons they were universally impressed (my grammar and vocab are good, but I started learning when I was 18 so I have a strong accent) whereas French people tended to just shrug and say that I could do better.
posted by dhens at 3:32 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Having calmed down a bit, it strikes me that it is quite ironic that a Brit of all people would find it strange that there are more than one nationality in Belgium. I don't imagine anyone in the UK thinks the Scots and the English are one nationality? Is it that hard, in a country with at least four different nations each with their own views on politics and culture, to imagine that another country might contain two (and a large minority)? Would you sincerely claim that the UK has a functioning government at this point?
(I'm not arguing with any MeFites here, and maybe I haven't calmed down after all)
posted by mumimor at 3:36 PM on November 20, 2017 [6 favorites]


Any country that produces a Jacques Brel is doing something right.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:50 PM on November 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


As an ignorant American, I must point to this explainer on Belgium's political structure [YT] which I found quite surprising and instructive, even though I have always tried to keep up with European politics as a general principle. The mind boggles that anything at all gets done, but it does seem to be an overall well-run sort of place even by European standards, even when it goes months without a (political) government per se. The true brain explosion stuff begins about two minutes in.

Also, In Bruges is a contender for my top favorite film. And I have some sympathies as a distant ancestor hailed from German-speaking Alsace. I hope to travel there one day if my health holds up, so the field notes above are appreciated.
posted by dhartung at 3:52 PM on November 20, 2017


Of course if you live in Bruges it's not pronounced brew-jes, it's more like broogguh
posted by mbo at 5:13 PM on November 20, 2017


The joyful contradictions that make them unique are raucously/engagingly portrayed in Jan Fabre’s latest opus Belgian Rules / Belgium Rules.

Great fun, and plenty of bière&frites for thought about a potential new EU paradigm...
posted by progosk at 12:14 AM on November 21, 2017


Of course if you live in Bruges it's not pronounced brew-jes, it's more like broogguh

Or BRUH-huh.
posted by Mocata at 3:50 AM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Honestly all these things are precisely why I love Belgium.

Seconded.

People don't tend to fear the cops (aside from maybe the very hard left who work very hard at trying to need to)

Hmm, I know some people who have had unpleasant run ins with the police here and it's the colour of their skin rather than their politics that unites them.
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:00 AM on November 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm married to a Belgian and I've been living in Flanders for the last 3 years. This guy isn't describing a place that I recognize.

Most Belgians I know speak 3 languages. They tend to be fairly humble though, so if you ask them outright, then they will most likely say, for example, "Oh, I speak Dutch, and some French, and a little English." But what that often actually means is: "Dutch is my native language, I can carry on a good conversation in French, and I can carry on a conversation in English too, but I am less confident in it." I get the feeling from this article that this guy is the sort of person who would hear the first answer and then not stick around for long enough to find out that it's more complicated than that.

Here are some fun, weird facts that this guy missed on his week in Belgium:

When you sign up for state-subsidized health insurance here, they ask you your yearly income, because you pay on a sliding scale (i.e. if you make less money, you pay less for insurance). You get the same services though no matter how much you pay (or don't pay) and there's a yearly maximum: if you pay over a certain amount in a year, all other doctor's fees and medical bills are covered 100%.

Belgian health insurance will fund up to 6 rounds of IVF for couples, as long as there is a doctor who can indicate that it's medically necessary and who can sign the relevant paperwork.

If you have a kid in Flanders, all of their check-ups and vaccinations are free up through age 3.

In Belgium, you get a vacation bonus, which means that you get a bonus before you go on holiday in the summer, so that you have some extra cash in your pocket for your vacation. You also get paid for a 13th month, so you have money for Christmas. For reasons I still don't understand, the 13th month of wages is not considered a bonus, so sometimes you get a year-end bonus on top of that.

The bus and train system is so extensive and tickets are so cheap that the national train company has constant trouble making enough money. As a traveler though, it's pretty amazing. On weekends, all train tickets are half-price. And if you buy a 10-ticket book (good for a year), you can travel anywhere in the country for 7 Euros one-way.

Pregnant ladies can upgrade their train seat to first-class for their entire third trimester, free of charge.

French fries are considered a legitimate lunch, dinner, or late-night snack here. However, they are definitely not a late-afternoon snack for some reason, so if you want fries at 3 pm, you're out of luck.
posted by colfax at 4:23 AM on November 21, 2017 [18 favorites]


Also, based on the history of the two countries, using a Dutchman as a source for what Belgians are like is a lot like asking a conservative Texan what San Franciscans are like, and then taking that as the gospel truth.
posted by colfax at 4:40 AM on November 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


Who cares who the local politicians are as long as the money is the same and there is free movement?

From a practical viewpoint, it would make representation in EU offices trickier, same as coordination of policies.
posted by ersatz at 6:26 AM on November 21, 2017


People don't tend to fear the cops (aside from maybe the very hard left who work very hard at trying to need to)

I like the beer and the fries too but I don't think our cops are anything to be proud of. Brussels police has a serious problem with racism and violence, and not exclusively against leftist protesters.

Riots and lootings in the centre of Brussels following the celebration of the victory of the Moroccan soccer team last week gave rise to the usual anti-immigrant commentary, but also raised question over police intervention possibly provoking the incidents.

Since 2014, the federal government is formed by an unprecedented coalition of the traditional right-wing and the flemish nationalists.

A visible manifestation of the changing social climate is the now constant presence of heavily armed military on the street in every major city. They have been out there for 3 years, and even though the army themselves admit that they have been and will be powerless in preventing attacks, it seems that they are now here to stay.
posted by robinhoudt at 6:40 AM on November 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


CTRL-F mussels. Not Found. smh.

Anyway, the funniest part of growing up with a parent from Brussels is that we were one of those families that was awkward talking about sex, even the basics, really, yet I grew up surrounded by Manneken Pis tchotchkes. It was very confusing!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:32 AM on November 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


CTRL-F mussels.

It's an open secret that most mussels served in Belgium are harvested off the coast of the Netherlands, though.
posted by dhens at 1:36 PM on November 21, 2017


I think it's legitimate to focus a story about the sectarian tensions between the Flemish and Walloon communities. People are pointing out good things about Belgium like healthcare and paid leave, and those sound legit awesome, but there are other aspects of the country, and it's okay to write about those, too. If someone wrote a story about Anglophone/Francophone conflicts in Quebec, I don't think you have to mention that Montreal has great food and the Laurentians are beautiful.

To the extent that the piece is wrong about tensions between the communities, open fire, but I do think it's okay to write about Belgium and not bring up mussels.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:18 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think it's legitimate to focus a story about the sectarian tensions between the Flemish and Walloon communities. People are pointing out good things about Belgium like healthcare and paid leave, and those sound legit awesome, but there are other aspects of the country, and it's okay to write about those, too.

Yes, but this piece is, in my humble opinion, making a mountain out of a molehill and intentionally trying to make Belgium look bad. I say this as someone whose doctoral dissertation was about the language conflict in Belgium.
posted by dhens at 3:05 PM on November 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


Well, the language politics are a thing in Belgium, and interesting. Personally, I think it's worth writing about - but I don't think the author did the subject justice.

If you are in the country any amount of time (as I was), you'll ask yourself 'whats up with this'.

What it taught me though, is that many countries have politics around language issues - and each country has a different history (and present) around such conflicts. In the US it's (generally) English vs Spanish (non Americans are often startled when told there is no official language in the US), in Canada its French vs English, in Belgium its French vs Dutch (oh yeah, German is an official language as well, but no one really cares, other than the German speakers I imagine). The specifics behind the language politics in various countries are all varied (and often times involve or resemble racism).

An example of the weirdness Louvain-La-Neuve - a city created in the 60's as the University of Leuven split up. I was told that when the French speakers left the university they would take *every other* book from encyclopedia sets (a sort of academic 'splitting the baby in half' solution that was actually executed).

The thing is, other than some fringe Flemish nationalists, no one really discusses or cares too much about these conflicts. The country has set up cultural districts (Flemish [Dutch], French, German) to promote the respective cultures; because if there is anything the brings the Belgians together, it's the love (and hate) of bureaucracy.

And yeah, the Walloonian countryside is absolutely gorgeous; it looks like a friggin' carefully cultivated garden from the train. I only know this because I was tried to take a train to Leuven, but accidentally took a train to Louvain-la-Neuve (apparently not a completely uncommon mistake, as city names have both a Flemish and Walloonian version for some fucking reason).

Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken about any of this stuff, these were an outsiders impressions after living there for awhile.
posted by el io at 7:21 PM on November 21, 2017


The way the Belgian situation is written up is a bit strange. I've had some family or friends living in all parts of the country for about 30 years of my life, beginning when I was 13, and the language divide is interesting in a jokey way when you are 13, or even 17. But in reality, it isn't unusual in a European context for a country to have different language/cultural groups. Switzerland has German, Italian, French and Romansh. In Italy the relation between distinct languages and dialects is complicated because of politics, but Sardinian is clearly a distinct language. The Finns have large Swedish and Sami minorities. The situations in Northern Ireland and in Spain are both much more serious than it has ever been in Belgium. Every European country has some sort of minority group, though they might be smallish.
It's my impression that the Belgians themselves love to talk and joke about this and make it special, and that the huge contingent of international diplomats, military, lobbyists, communications people and journalists, guest workers etc. etc. all think it is a fun subject. But if one was strictly rational about it, it wouldn't be much of a issue.
posted by mumimor at 2:05 AM on November 22, 2017


This article isn't just about language differences in Belgium though. It's about painting Belgium as a uniquely dysfunctional, fractured place. It's right there in the title.

It's true that this criticism has a long and storied history. Most recently this narrative got a bump because terrorists blew up a part of Belgium's main airport. But before that, anyone who had a beef with the EU talked like this, often eliding the EU with Brussels (i.e. talking about how "Brussels" or "those bureaucrats in Brussels" were making up new unfair regulations, as if it was just a group of cranky Belgians making everyone's life more difficult for fun). And before that, most of Europe (but particularly the French and the Dutch) used Belgium as the punchline for their jokes, conveniently ignoring the fact that one of the main reasons why Belgium is the way it is is because the French and the Dutch and the Austrians and the Spanish Habsburgs spent hundreds of years carving it up into different pieces and treating the citizens of Brugge and Brussels and Antwerp and Leuven and Namur, etc, pretty horribly.

We could have an interesting discussion about language use and ethnicities in Belgium. We could also have an interesting discussion about the way Belgium is unusual in this day-and-age for having a population that is not soaked in patriotic jingoism, and the benefits and drawbacks of having a state that is quite secular and is focused mainly on taking care of its citizens (instead of on starting wars, or inculcating loyalty or religious devotion in its citizens, for example).

But this guy isn't well-informed enough to even start either of those discussions. Frankly, he just seems pissed off about Belgium because he got confused in the Brussels metro, and because a bureaucrat told him that in order to get Belgian citizenship, he'd have to live here for a few years and prove he could speak one of the local languages. Which, I think my Belgian friends would tell me, is sort of typical for British people in Europe: expecting special treatment without feeling the need to reciprocate (see: Theresa May's proposals for what Brexit should look like and which rights the UK should hold onto).
posted by colfax at 2:09 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


The immigration thing is weird to make a sticking point out of because five years is a pretty short residency period as far as these things go. Checking now, it doesn't look like that's accurate though: it's 5 if your spouse is Belgian, but 10 if you're coming in with that kind of pre-existing connection to the country. Belgium did have a notably short residency period of 3 years before 2013, however.

I was curious, and pulled together a quick gloss of minimum residency requirements across Europe, at least according to wikipedia. All assuming no special categories:

10 years: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland*, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
9 years: Denmark,
8 years: Estonia, Germany, Slovakia
7 years: Greece, Iceland, Norway,
6 years: Portugal,
5 years: Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, UK

*Poland's minimum residency is 10 years, or 3 years after acquiring permanent residence, whichever comes first

US: 5 years of permanent residence
Canada: 3 years of permanent residence, counting non-permanent residence at half the rate
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:12 PM on November 22, 2017


« Older How Alibaba co-opted anti-Valentines day and...   |   "5.2 percent of the hospital’s liver transplants... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments