Res Publica

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Issue 1, 1975 Expand all abstracts

Access_open La conception parétienne de la démocratie

Authors Piet Tommissen

Piet Tommissen

    The revision of the Constitution in 1970 changed the so far unitary Belgium into a state made of four regions and three communities: the French, the Flemish and the German one.Specific organs guarantee their working: the «cultural councils». The French and the Flemish councils legislate by «decree». The Chambers vote the credit total allowed to each council, which, in its turn, by decree, appropriates that sum. The minister is responsable for the sanction, the promulgation and the execution of the decree. Yet, he has not to account for it before the council. Does it mean that there exists no political responsability before the cultural councils? We do consider that this responsability is equivalent to the responsability that prevails before the Chambers and that the Constitution recognizes expressively and implicity the right to incriminate the minister, even to compel him to resign, if he has lost the cultural council's confidence.

René Gérain

Access_open L'immunité parlementaire

Evolution et aspects nouveaux

Authors Guy Soumeryn

    In Belgian law, parliamentary immunity is stated as a principle under Article 45 of the Constitution. Pursuant to that principle, no prosecution may be started against Members of Parliament without the consent of the House to which they belang, unless they are caught in the act. This principle, in its application to cases by the Houses, received a new interpretation in recent years. The suspension of the prosecution against a Member of Parliament is naw requested when prosecution doesnot seem to be serious, when it would disturb the normal functioning of parliamentary work or whenever there appears to be a political element involved either in the prosecution or in the commitment of theoffense. The present comments primarily deal with the introduction of that new concept of misdemeanour commited under political circumstances.

Guy Soumeryn

Access_open La diplomatie moderne

Observations et réflexions

Authors Alfred Frisch

Alfred Frisch

    Could Soviet federalism provide a pattern for a European Union? The similarity between the national diversity of the Soviet Union (this multinational state) and that of Europe could lead us to think so.A careful examination of Soviet federalism reveals certain particularities which could be adapted to a federal Europe, but the most powerful element of centralisation and unity in the USSR is the Communist Party, besidesa tough political police and a common language - Russian - another cement of the Union.Bearing in mind the present institutions of the European Community, it is difficult to imagine an evolution towards such a federal state.Nevertheless, if some principles were applied, such as the safeguard of the common interest as well as that of the member-states, it may be hoped to go further than a timid confederation. In such a prospect, some institutions of the Soviet Union could be taken as examples and an institutionalisation of the present «summit» conferences could be imagined to act as a European collective head of state, in the same way as the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.Furthermore, Europe would need a common language and this should be a neutral one (latin or esperanto), so as to achieve among member-nations strict equality, for this is an element of success as are two other basicprinciples of federalism: autonomy and participation. Since the Communist Party just would not fit within a free and democratic Europe, it is in the above principles that the Community should seek the ferments of itsunion.

R. Ferrier

Access_open Le contraste entre communauté et société en tant qu'exemple d'une distinction dualiste

Réflexions à propos de la structure et du sort de ce type d'antithèses

Authors Carl Schmitt

Carl Schmitt

    The writings of Napoleon I and his contemporaries' testimonies reveal the image of a statesman more taken up with action than theories and whom circonstances have made go through different stages in his political convictions. During his youth, he takes up all the ideas of the eighteenth century, even to their contradictions, though the temper of the leader to come, sometimes shows through already. During the Consulate - a time of dissimulation - he tries to conciliate around him the most antagonistic ideas in order to strengthen his popular dictatorship. When at the height of his glory - about 1808-1811 - he longs to enter the «European Concert» white building a universal Empire, and he thinks of reviving the old regime society, white not admitting any intermediary between the Nation and himself. Defeated, then deported, he clearly analyses the causes of his failure and makes the most of future by reappealing to the ideas of the Revolution.

André Cabanis