The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) is a public agency. The FPB makes studies and projections on economic, social and environmental policy issues and on their integration within the context of sustainable development. The FPB employs about one hundred staff members, most of whom are university graduates.
short-term economic forecasts, used by the federal government for drawing up its budget;
5-year outlooks for the Belgian economy in its international context. These outlooks analyse, in particular, the future of the main branches of industry, of employment, and of public finances;
long-term projections of the demographic evolution of our society and of the financial consequences of population-ageing;
energy consumption and production outlooks, as well as forecasts of greenhouse gas emissions.
assessments of the economic and social effects of policy measures such as a cut in social security contributions, of shocks like the increase in oil prices and of macroeconomic or structural trends such as the acceleration of technological progress;
regular and integrated assessments of the interests involved in and policies on sustainable development.
economic, social and environmental indicators, and also statistical descriptions of the Belgian economy such as input-output tables, environmental accounts and transport accounts;
decision-making tools supporting the federal mobility and transport policy;
innovative themes in collaboration with Belgian and foreign research institutions and also participation in the activities of international organizations such as the European Commission, the OECD and the IMF.
Who are we for?
Most of the FPB’s activities are legally defined. Other studies are made at the request of the government, social partners and parliament. The FPB can also undertake projects at its own initiative or within the framework of research contracts with third parties. All the FPB’s studies are published, presented publicly, and widely distributed, in particular via this website.
The FPB adheres to an approach characterized by independence, transparency and the defence of the general interest. It uses quality data, scientific methods and the empirical validation of analyses.
Management of the FPB is carried out by the Plan Commissioner, Henri Bogaert, and the Deputy Commissioner, Jan Verschooten.
The FPB's research is done in two departments: the Directorate General and the Sectoral Directorate. The Administrative Department fulfils supporting duties.
The Directorate General
Head of the directorate: Michel Englert
The Directorate General works on studies, which require a global approach and are focussed on the macroeconomic coherence. It comprises six teams with the following fields of activity:
Short-term projections and business cycles
- short-term macroeconomic projections for the Belgian economy, economic budget, analysis of the Belgian and international business cycle, leading indicators, short-term model MODTRIM
Medium-term macroeconomic projections and analysis
- medium-term macroeconomic projections for the Belgian economy, macroeconomic and macrosectoral analyses, medium-term model HERMES-Belgium
- macroeconomic projections for the European economy, macroeconomic projections for the world economy, macroeconomic analyses of the world economy, macroeconomic and macrosectoral analyses of the European economy, NIME model, NEMESIS model
- employment, unemployment, working hours, wages, labour market statistics, tool development (models, data bases) to study labour policy measures.
- public finances, tax system, fiscal strategies and evolutions
Social protection, demography and prospective studies
- social protection, demography, education, socio-economic behaviour, long-term analyses, secretariat of the Study Committee on Ageing, MALTESE model.
The Sectoral Directorate
Head of the directorate: Joost Verlinden
Sectoral, structural and economic issues are studied within the Sectoral Directorate. Since 1997, sustainable development has also been studied.
- The sectoral evolution of productivity and its determining factors are being studied. In particular, the following fields are analysed:
- The structure of the product markets: structural reforms (e.g. network industries), integration in the world economy;
- The structure of capital markets;
- Structural policy: relationship between innovation and productivity, giving special attention to R&D and training.
- The Belgian Input-Output tables are drawn up within the framework of the INA. The tables are also used for sectoral and inter-sectoral analyses.
- Environmental accounts are also drawn up: air and water accounts and environmental expenses.
Energy and transport
- Make long-term projections on the Belgian energy demand and supply. Analyse the impact of an alternative policy or changing economic and technological conditions on the energy activity.
- The electricity and gas markets are also examined, giving special attention to reforms in those markets.
The FPB is responsible for drawing up the Federal Report on Sustainable Development and for preparing the Federal Plan for Sustainable Development. The Task Force Sustainable Development (TFSD) is a group of staff members, which, since January 1998, implements this mission under the direction and responsibility of the FPB. In the Federal Report the TFSD analyses and evaluates the current situation and the sustainable development policy pursued. It also describes the expected evolution at unchanged policy or according to various relevant scenarios of the policies pursued.
The Administrative Department
Head of the department: Jan Verschooten
The Administrative Department carries out the so-called supporting duties. It is composed of different cells: informatics, translation, human resources, information and training, budget and accounting.
The FPB tries to stay in close contact with the main national and international institutions for economic analysis and information.
As such, the FPB attends meetings on a regular basis in the following committees:
- in international institutions, such as the UN-CSD, the OECD and the European Union;
- on national level: committees in the Central Economic Council (CEC), the National Labour Council, the High Council for Statistics (HCS), the High Council for Finance, the High Council for Employment, ...
The FPB has close contacts with scientific circles:
- members of the Bureau regularly participate in teaching activities and research programmes;
- FPB teams and various universities co-operate within the framework of common, national, regional and European research projects;
- welcome high-level university trainees;
- involve experts in the FPB activities.
Working Groups and Networks
The Federal Planning Bureau is also engaged in some working groups and networks, such as ENEPRI, NEMESIS, NEMESIS/ETC.
ENEPRI (European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes)
- CEPII, the Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales, Paris, France;
- CEPS, the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, Belgium;
- CPB, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, The Hague, The Netherlands;
- DIW, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Berlin, Germany;
- ETLA, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, Helsinki, Finland;
- FEDEA, the Fundacion de Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Madrid, Spain;
- FPB, Federaal Planbureau, Brussels, Belgïe;
- ISAE, Istituto di Studi e Analisi Economica, Rome, Italy;
- NIESR, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, London, U.K.;
- NOBE, Niezalezny Osrodek Bana Ekonomicznych, Lodz, Poland
NEMESIS (New Econometric Model for Environment and Strategies Implementation for Sustainable Development)
- Centrale Recherche S.A : (lab. ERASME : Equipe de Recherche en Analyse des Systèmes et en Modélisation Economique) (F)
- FPB, Federaal Planbureau, Brussels, Belgïe
- CCIP : Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris (F)
- ICCS/NTUA : Institute of Computers and Communication Systems (EL)
NEMESIS/ETC (New Econometric Model for Environment and Strategies Implementation for Sustainable Development - Endogenous Technological Change)
- FPB, Federaal Planbureau, Brussels, Belgïe
- CCIP : Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris (CCIP-Paris)
- ICCS/NTUA : Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (NTUA-Athènes)
- CESI : Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano (Milan)
- VUA-IMV : Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Amsterdam)
- FEEM : Fondazione ENI-Enrico Mattei (Milano)
- UHAM.ZMK.NA : Universitaet Hamburg (Hambourg)
- Centrale Recherche SA/ laboratoire ERASME (France)