Res Publica

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Issue 3-4, 1994 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Overzicht van het Belgisch politiek gebeuren

Authors Mark Deweerdt

Mark Deweerdt

Access_open Belgian politics in 1993

Authors Kris Deschouwer and Mark Deweerdt

Kris Deschouwer

Mark Deweerdt

Access_open De profilering van Luc Van Den Brande

Kroniek van het politieke leven in Vlaanderen in 1993

Authors Guido Tastenhoye

    The year 1993 in Flanders will be remembered as the year in which the Flemish prime minister, Luc Van den Brande, builds himself a very sharp profile. He very explicitly occupies the new domains on which the Flemish authorities can now decide on their own policy. He clearly defends the economical interests of Flanders, even if this leads to conflicts with French-speaking Belgians and/or with unitarist Belgians. Van den Brande launches his project for thefuture ("Flanders-Europe 2002'') and promotes Flanders as a good place for economical investments. Within his own party, the CVP, he counterbalances the weight of the federal prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene.

Guido Tastenhoye

Access_open La Wallonie et les francophones en 1993

Authors Christian Bovy

    The State reform is at the root of a deep mutation of institutions in Wallonia. Indeed, the regionalist trend has increased. With this renunciation of the French speakers from Brussels, the two political parties, FDF and PRL, have decided to join their efforts in order to safeguard their interests. A lot of Walloons get worried about federal Belgium Kingdom. Being anxious to demonstrate their attachment to Belgium, they organize a unitary demonstration and thus show their affection to late King Baudouin, symbol of national unity. 1993 is also theyear of "juridical affairs". With the investigations about the murder of André Cools, some socialist politicians are harassed. Misappropriation of stolen securities, corruption, murder are the headlines in the newspaper almost wholeyear. From an economic point ofview, the province of Hainaut region highly reached by the economic crisis gets some help from the European Community being called "Objective I Europe". In the educative field, the French speaking teaching is deeply modified.

Christian Bovy

    After the disappointments of 1992, however a year that engendered a lot of expectations, it was not difficult for the European Union to perform better in 1993. But even then, the European Union has not been spared from serious difficulties. The economic recession raged through the old continent as never before and the stability and the survival of the ERM came under severe pressure. Only the last three months seemed to provide the first indications of a slow recovery. The Maastricht Treaty came finally into force, monetary stability came back and the first signs of the end of the recession showed-up. In the light of the serious political and institutional burdens of the enlargement of1995, one can only hope that this recovery will continue further.

Bart Kerremans

Peter Janssens

Access_open L'identité Wallonne saisie par l'enquête

Une approche constructiviste de l'identité collective

Authors Marc Jacquemain, René Doutrelepont and Michel Vandekeere

    At first view, the methodology of survey research may seem rather unsuitable to the study of such "holistic" phenomena as collective and social identities. That difficulty vanishes - at least partly - as soon as we consider social identity as the link between the individual and his belongings, as does the "social identity theory", developed from the work of Taffel and Turner. From there on, survey research may prove to be a useful device to cope with some main characteristics of social identity: mainly its variability among groups and classes within a same society and its particular sensitivity to socio-political contexts. Survey research, combined with the social identity theory may help to test historical assumptions at a macro-social level. It may also give some ''flesh" and some additional realism to the micro-theories of social behaviour, which are too often limited by their conception of a strictly rational and interested agent.

Marc Jacquemain

René Doutrelepont

Michel Vandekeere

    This paper examines the evolving ideological content of the concept of citizenship and particularly the challenges it faces as a consequence of the building of the European Union. From an epistemological point of view it is first argued that citizenship may be described as a dual concept: it is both a legal institution composed of the rights of the citizen as they are fixed at a certain moment of its history, and a normative ideal which embodies their political aspirations. As a result of this dual nature, citizenship is an essentially dynamicnotion, which is permanently evolving between a state of balance and change. The history of this concept in contemporary political thought shows that, from the end of the second World War it had raised a synthesis of democratic, liberal and socialist values on the one hand, and that it was historically and logically bound to the Nation-State on the other hand. This double synthesis now seems to be contested, as the themes of the "crisis of the Nation State" and"crisis of the Welfare state" do indicate. The last part of this paper grapples with recent theoretical proposals of new forms of european citizenship, and argues that the concept of citizenship could be renovated and take its challenges into consideration by insisting on the duties and the procedures it contains.

Paul Magnette

    In spite of its importance in European Union decision making, research on the functioning of the Council is scarce (Wessels, 1991). Based on empirical findings this article gives some new insights in the way Council decision making is institutionalized. The first part focusses on the characteristics of Council working groups and the different positions of actors in the decision making network. Our findings confirm the definition of the Council as a highly bureaucratized institution. Interesting is that the diversity of tasks of the different actors(working groups, Coreper, CSA etc.) strengthens the impact of national administrations in Council decision making. The second part explores the reasons for this impact. This article adds to the functional approach, which over-emphasizes the adaptive character of the Council, the perception of the Council as an intergovernmental component in a supranational system.

Jan Beyers