The Parliament and the Governement of the Brussels-Capital Region were only created during the State Reform of 1988-89. (The Flemish and Walloon Region have had theirs since 1980). The fifth state reform introduces significant modifications with regard to the institutions of Brussels.
The Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region exercises the legislative power by means of ordinances. The Brussels Parliament is constituted by 89 deputies directly elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. The ordinances, voted by the Parliament, have the same legal force as decrees and federal laws. In strictly legal terms, ordinances have less "force" than a decree or federal law under certain circumstances.*
The executive power lies with the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region . The Government consists of one Minister-President and four ministers, two of them French-speaking and two Dutch-speaking. Three State Secretaries, at least one of whom must be Dutch-speaking, are added to the Regional Ministers.
The Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region is the most important instrument of the Brussels government for the execution of its policy. Both the Ministry and the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region have their own information service and official website.