The powers of the provinces

The provinces have extensive powers. They have devised initiatives in the fields of education, social and cultural infrastructures, preventive medicine and social policy. They also deal with the environment, with highways and waterways, the economy, transport, public works, housing, use of official languages, etc.

The provinces are secondary administrations that exercise their powers autonomously. And that does not mean that they exercise their powers without any supervision from higher authorities. For example, a provincial school is run under the supervision of the Community, while an initiative on town and country planning will be supervised by the Region.

The Permanent Delegation is responsible for the day-to-day running of provincial business. Among other things, it has the power to grant licences for the operation of industrial, crafts, commercial and agricultural premises that entail risks or are harmful and which need to be regulated.

The Provincial Governor has a range of powers relating to security and public order. He organises for example the co-ordination of relief campaigns in the event of large disasters.

In short, the province is responsible for everything in its territory that is of provincial interest, in other words anything which needs to be done in the interests of the province and which does not come under the general interest of the Federal State, the Communities and the Regions, or under the communal interest.