DOI: 10.5553/RP/048647001977019002179

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Bilan des conseils culturels et des conseils régionaux

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Jacques Brassinne, "Bilan des conseils culturels et des conseils régionaux", Res Publica, 2, (1977):179-219

    The 1970-1971 revision of the Belgian constitution recognized the existence of three cultural communities (two main ones Flemish-, French-, and one minor German speaking) and three geographic regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels). The implementation of the constitutional provisions regarding cultural and regional autonomy led to the creation of several new subnational institutions of which the most important are the cultural and the regional Councils. Each cultural Council groups the senators and the representatives of similar linguistic group, while the regional Councils are composed of these same parliamentarians (plus municipal council members in the case of the Brussels Regional Council) in accordance with their geographic residence. These Councils may thus be seen as sub-groupings of the national Parliament. Although both are essentially advisory bodies, the cultural Councils do legislate decrees which, when enforced by the respective Ministers of Culture, have the force of law. On the other hand, the regional Councils are purely consultative assemblies, providing opinions and requesting clarifications and justifications of national decisions in the functional areas, specified by the Constitution. A ministerial committee of each region considers the Council's recommendations in enforcing national policies in the regions. The complexity of national-community-regional relations and the political discussions between the supporters of regionalization and those favoring culturalization shows the temporary nature of the present institutionalization.

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