|geographic coordinates:||50 50 N, 4 20 E|
|time difference:||UTC + 1|
|daylight saving time:||+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October|
Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.