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Issue 2-3, 1981 Expand all abstracts

Mark Deweerdt

Access_open Souveraineté régionale et finances publiques

Approche par les recettes et les masses budgétaires

Authors Arthur Dersin

    1. A short analysis of the institutional reform legislation of August 1980 allows the ascertainment that the competences «granted» by the central power to the regions are truncated.2. Financial means are also «granted». They consist in merely listing sources of revenues: receipts other then tax, black grants, tax shares, limited tax entitlement and borrowing power. Those financial means are arbitrary chosen, they are not related to the competences granted, they are insufficient.3. Anyway, the existing budgeting system (functional and economic classification) does not allow connecting policies and financial means. A new classification (program budgeting) should be of more adequacy to achieve this end.4. Actual regional sovereignty implies that all competences explicitely attributed to the federal level should belong to the regions. In the countries where such a system exists, the regions are mastering 40 to 60 % of the revenues. The kind of regionalisation implemented in Belgium only grants about 8 % to the regions. It is pointed out that 65 % of the current revenues and 46 % of the expenditures could technically be subject to federalisation. Should also the financial system of social security be federalized, then should the part of both ressources and expenditures belonging to the regions increase to 75 %. On the long way to federalism in Belgium, the new legislation is just a step, not an arrival. The forthcoming years will probably confirm it.

Arthur Dersin

Access_open Martens I, II, III, IV

Authors Marc Platel

    The year 1980 might become a basic reference year for the study of «political stability» and «governmental maintenance» in Belgium. Indeed, within this year, four different cabinet formulae have been used. The first cabinet included the two christian-democratic parties, the two socialist parties and the Brussels regionalist party. When the latter was fired, the combination of the remaining did not last long, for the cabinet fell in parliament - rare exception in Belgium -, by not obtaining a 2/3 majority. Therefore, a cabinet of the traditional parties (christian democrats, socialists and liberals, each split up in two parties) had to be formed to pass the devolution bill. Within a short time, this third coalition broke down on proposals on cuts in the budgets. A new negociation between socialists and christian-democrats led to the fourth Martens' cabinet. Although the Belgian classe politica favoured a cabinet that would last an entire legislature, all these coalitions arosefrom only one general election.

Marc Platel

Access_open Organizing Belgian Cabinets

Governments in Turmoil

Authors Hugo Van Gassel

    The internal organization of Belgian governments is described. Several ministerial committees for the preparation of governmental decisions have been institutionalized. The ministers and state secretaries who are members are chosen according the functional competence, region or community association, and party or faction affiliation. A core cabinet for general policy, which is chaired by the prime minister, and in which are represented the most important members of each coalition partner, tends to take over the role of the council of ministers on crucial matters as an instrument of collegial decision-making. This trend does not contribute to the consolidation of the prime minister's power. The existing ministerial committees, one for each community or region, developed into governments. The article deals also with the internal organization-charts and party distribution among members of subunits of the Belgian governments from 1972 to 1981.

Hugo Van Gassel

Access_open Het beleid inzake de staalnijverheid in België en Europa

Authors Jozef Dillewijns and Jean-Pierre Pauwels

    The european steel crisis is due to the steel production overcapacity in regard of a decline in demand, leading to a fierce price competition, with prices 15 to 20 % lower than in the USA and Japan. Measures were taken by the Commission of the European Communities and by the steel companies, consisting of imposing or proposing selling prices, limiting the deliveries, reducing import from third countries, closing down obsolete capacities, increasing productivity. Moreover, most governments have granted financial aid. In the second half of 1980, the market situation has deteriorated rapidly, which fact has led the Council of the European Communities to adopt Art. 58 of the ECSC-Treaty and to set obligatory production quotas. This has proved not to be sufficient. There is a strong tendency within the Commission towards a drastic reduction of overcapacity,as well as a decrease in state aid, the latter being considered as only allowed temporarily as a means of achieving the necessary restructuring and capacity reduction. It can be expected that, given the dramatic market situation, these measures wilt effectively be put into practice in the period to come. At the same time, voluntary agreements concerning production and prices are being discussed among steel producers (Eurofer 2).

Jozef Dillewijns

Jean-Pierre Pauwels

Access_open De nationale zeehavenpohtiek

Authors Vic Van Rompuy

    On august 9th 1980 the Belgian government took a number of important decisions with relation to the ports of Zeebrugge and Antwerp. The author takes this occasion to analyse and to evaluate the existing seaport policy in Belgium. The first section tries to give an answer to the question: why do public authorities intervene in port activities? Subsequently the article deals with the fundamental data for a port policy until 2000 and with the institutional organisation of this policy. The two last sections present an analysis of the general orientation as far as investment, competition, employment, environment and international relations are concerned. The author arrives at the conclusion that seaport policy in Belgium has to be prepared in a more systematic way and coordinated with other branches of transport, energy and economic policy.

Vic Van Rompuy

Access_open Vingt ans de libéralisme en Wallonie et à Bruxelles

Du Parti Libéral au Parti Réformateur Libéral (1961-1980)

Authors Viviane Hascal and Michèle Detaille

Viviane Hascal

Michèle Detaille

Access_open De staatshervorming en de Duitstalige Gemeenschap

Authors Edgard Van De Velde

    The existence of the German cultural community was guaranteed by the articles 3ter and 59ter of the Constitution and its organisation was institutionalized by the Law of July 10th, 1973. In 1980 the notion «German cultural community» in art. 3ter of the Constitution was replaced by the notion «German-speaking community». The reform of the statute of the German-speaking community has to be executed within the following limits: 1° an executive power that is accountable to the council can only be granted after revision of art. 59ter of the Constitution; 2° there seems no harm in granting power to modify laws and to legislate with exclusion of the national legislator to the council, as long as the exercise of this power is submitted to, judicial review; 3° the enlargement of the council's competence to the «personalized matters» does not require the revision of art. 59ter. The enlargement of the council's competence to some «regional affairs» is possible without revision of the Constitution, as long as the council does not receive the same competence as the Flemish, Wallon and Brussels region; 4° it is possible to grant the German-speaking community theyield of a part of some taxes.

Edgard Van De Velde

    White a generally acknowledged definition of «right» and «extreme right» does not exist, an external definition was accepted, departing from what the most important authors accepted as being «right and extreme right wing groups» in Belgium. In Flandern the most important ones situate themselves within the «Flemish Movement», although being a small part of this Movement. These groupings are classified into three categories: groups oriented towards the Flemish-Nationalistic past, students- and youth-organizations, and the recently activist groups. In Brussels and Wallonia two initiatives delineate this political field: Le Nouvel Europe Magazine, a well distributed monthly magazine, and the Front de la Jeunesse, initially founded as the youth organization of the magazine. The relevance of these rather small groups must be seen on two levels: that of the global Belgian political context, and on the level of the political Flemish Movement. To analyse strictly the amount of that influence needs more than a systematic review of the groupings that operate on this specific political field in Belgium last year.

Peter Verlinden

Jozef Smits

Access_open Bibliographie de l'année politique 1980

Authors Wladimir S. Plavsic

Wladimir S. Plavsic