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Belgium
A Founder Member of the EU, Belgium, which lies at the heart of the latter, hosts many of the Union’s institutions; it is particularly committed to federalism but its political weakness does not always help it hold any strong influence. Segmented into principalities, some of which retained French as their language, whilst other became more German, the present territory covered by Belgium was unified in the 15th century and came under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy. The Southern Netherlands then fell under Spanish and then Austrian rule as of 1713. The Belgians revolted against the Austrians in 1790 but were then invaded by revolutionary France. The Vienna Congress re-attached Belgium to the Netherlands from which it separated in October 1830 following a revolution. Independent, in 1993 the country became a Federal State.
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