Belgium is a State with complex institutional mechanisms.
In our country, the Federal State and the regions share environmental competences. Thus, the federal government - the DG Environment - works on matters within its sole jurisdiction. It coordinates with the Regions for the coherent implementation of certain matters.
Belgium is a country where consultation is essential for dealing with environmental issues in a coherent way. The Interministerial Conference for the the Environment (ICE) was established to ensure that environmental decisions are made in consultation by the relevant members of the regional, community and federal governments.
Yet, many environmental problems transcend our national boundaries. About 80% of national environmental policy originates at the international or European level. Due to the division of powers among our different authorities in the environmental field, dialogue is vital to ensure that our country speaks with a single voice in the international arena. The federal government is therefore also responsible for the coordination of international environmental policy, in collaboration with the Regions. It plays a key pivotal role, as it collects and assembles the opinions of the Belgian public stakeholders to defend a unanimous Belgian position to the European Union or the international organisations.
The Coordination Committee for International Environmental Policy (CCIEP) is the body that ensures the coherence of the international environmental policy of the Belgian government and the various federated entities. It determines, for example, the composition of the Belgian delegation to the Conferences of the Parties linked to certain conventions (COPs Climate, Biodiversity, CITES, etc.) and international organisations.
Employers' federations, unions and environmental NGOs are consulted while developing various environmental measures taken by the Federal government.