Directorate-General for Secretariats and Coordination

Secretariats department

The Secretariats department takes care of all the administrative and logistical activities related to various meetings chaired by the Prime Minister:

  • the Council of Ministers
  • the National Security Council
  • the Consultation Committee
  • Committee A – a joint committee for all public services
  • the “General Administration” sectoral committee.

The Council of Ministers is one of the main epicentres of Belgian politics. It deliberates and decides on general policy and is the forum in which political cohesion is ensured within the governing coalition each week. The Council of Ministers meets weekly, in principle.

The National Security Council comprises the Prime Minister, ministers whose portfolios cover justice, security and home affairs, defence and foreign affairs, and the other Deputy Prime Ministers.

The following individuals will also attend the meetings of the National Security Council as and when required by the issues on the agenda:

  • the Administrator-General of State Security
  • the head of the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Armed Forces
  • the General Commissioner of the Federal Police
  • the Director of the Coordination Unit for Threat Assessment (CUTA)
  • the Chair of the Management Committee of FPS Home Affairs
  • a representative of the Board of Prosecutors General
  • the federal prosecutor

The National Security Council:

  • determines and coordinates general intelligence and security policy and sets the priorities of the intelligence and security services
  • coordinates the measures to combat the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • defines policy on the protection of sensitive information.

The Strategic Committee for Intelligence and Security is responsible for the preparation and coordinated implementation of the decisions of the National Security Council. This body, which is chaired by a representative of the Prime Minister, comprises the representatives of members of the National Security Council and of the departments and institutions authorised to participate in the meetings of the National Security Council.

The Consultation Committee consists of the ministers from the federal government and the ministers from the governments of the Communities and Regions. This committee discusses all the issues which, in the interests of good governance, require cooperation between the various levels of government and checks them with regard to the powers involved. The Consultation Committee generally meets once a month.

In addition to providing support for the Committee’s meetings, the Secretariat of the Consultation Committee:

  • monitors progress on the cooperation agreements between the various entities
  • publishes the cooperation agreements involving the federal state
  • centralises all the information of the Ministerial Conferences.

The joint committee for all public services (Committee A) is responsible for subjects that concern all civil servants (at local, provincial, federated-entity and federal level). It consists of a delegation from the government (federal ministers and ministers of the Communities and Regions) and trade union delegates.

Intersectoral agreements are also concluded within Committee A. These are known as 'framework agreements' in which the government pledges to take a number of actions in connection with, among other things, employment, working conditions, pensions and industrial relations.

Sectoral Committee I – ‘General Administration’ is responsible for subjects concerning the staff of the following institutions and departments:

The Department also provides staff to two control commissions:

  • the Control Commission on the Representativeness of Public-Sector Trade Union Organisations
  • the Commission for Trade Union Allowances.

Both commissions are independent and autonomous and are chaired by magistrates appointed for the purpose.

Coordination and Legal Affairs

The Coordination and Legal Affairs Department ensures:

  • coordinates government projects by providing legal and technical support to the Prime Minister, their strategic bodies or their own department
  • draws up the Prime Minister’s directives on legislative techniques and procedures
  • monitors the parliament's work and coordinates responses to written questions put to the Prime Minister or to several members of the government
  • manages disputes
  • coordinates the Council of Ministers’ interventions before the Constitutional Court
  • processes applications for honours and civil decorations for civilians
  • manages the granting of A number plates
  • ensures the order of precedence is respected

Public Procurement Department

The Public Procurement Department:

  • is responsible for preparing, coordinating, drawing up and monitoring legislation on public procurement, and the transposition of relevant European directives into Belgian law
  • issues legal opinions on public procurement
  • provides secretarial support to the Public Procurement Commission which brings together all Belgian stakeholders
  • is in charge of gathering, processing and reporting on statistical data on public procurement for all contracting authorities in Belgium, to meet European requirements

A Legal Translation Service is available to the Directorate-General.