Belgium, located in north Western Europe, covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres, and has a population of about 10.7 million people. Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, which used to cover a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters, as well as those of other major international organizations, including NATO. Tensions between the Flemish / Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region. A small German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.