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Issue 3-4, 1992 Expand all abstracts
Article

Overzicht van het Belgische politiek gebeuren in 1991

Authors Mark Deweerdt and Rolf Falter
Abstract

    België kende in 1991 een bewogen politiek jaar. De houding van de regering in het Golfconflict veroorzaakte spanningen in de regering-Martens VIII (christendemocraten, socialisten en Volksunie), die nog werden aangescherpt door de rel rond de aanwezigheid in het land van Walid Khaled, de woordvoerder van de terreurgroep van Aboe Nidal, waarover het doek pas eind juni viel. Tijdens de zomer stelde de regering, naar jaarlijkse gewoonte, de begroting voor het volgende jaar op. Tevens werden afspraken gemaakt over de verdere hervorming van de staat. Tot een parlementaire behandeling van de begroting en de staatshervorming is het evenwel niet gekomen. Een dispuut over de uitvoer van wapens naar het Golf gebied leidde in september tot een politieke crisis. De Volksunie verliet de regering, die kort daarop aan communautaire tegenstellingen ten onder ging. Bij de vervroegde verkiezingen van 24 november leden de aftredende regeringspartijen verlies. Pogingen om een nieuwe regering op de been te brengen, zaten eind december nog muurvast.


Mark Deweerdt

Rolf Falter
Article

Regering Martens IX

Authors Editor Res Publica

Editor Res Publica
Article

Belgian politics in 1991

Authors Ivan Couttenier
Abstract

    Whereas the Belgian political world had planned a calm transitional political year leading to the January 1992 general elections, 1991 was a year of political turmoil resulting in the resignation of the cabinet and general elections. The Martens VIII cabinet had planned to implement the third and final phase of its constitutional reform package. However, in the fall tension rapidly rose inside the cabinet. White the majority parties were positioning themselves for the next elections, a row over arms sale licences caused the fall of the cabinet. First the Volksunie left, but only a few days later Prime Minister Martens had to submit the resignation of bis cabinet. In the ensuing general elections, all the traditional parties lost ground except PW and the losses were particularly severe for the Flemish Christian Democrats (CVP) and the Flemish Socialists (SP). Winners were the ultra-right Vlaams Blok in Flanders and the ecologists (Ecolo) in Francophone Belgium.


Ivan Couttenier
Article

De Europese Gemeenschap in 1991

Wachten op de Europese Unie

Authors Liesbet Hooghe
Abstract

    The Twelve Member States agreed in December 1991 in Maastricht on an Economic Monetary Union, including a single currency and an autonomous European central bank by the turn of the century, and on "an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe". The structure of the European Political Union resembles a temple with three pillars: more powers for the European Parliament on a wider ranger of policy issues (European Communities), a separate framework for a common foreign and security policy, and intergovernmental cooperation on justice and internal aff airs. The new Treaty wilt replace the Treaty of Rome only after ratification in all twelve member states. White EMU and EPU dominated the public agenda, the internal market programme was drawing to a close with nearly all White paper measures adopted. Emphasis shifted to implementation problems. The prolonged conflict between Commission, Parliament and Council on the 1992 budget gave a taste of increasing tensions on budgetary issues, especially between "northern" and "southern" interests. That divide wilt deepen with or without ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. The budgetary battle of 1991 was partly on external relations. The external activities of the EC were all but successful in 1991: disparate conduct in the Gulf War, failure to contain conflict in Yugoslavia, near-collapse of negotiations with the EFTA countries, deadlock in Gatt-talks and the threat of a trade war between the three trade blocks. Ibe European Common Agricultural Policy remained a major stumblingblock in the Gatt-talks. The Commission proposed a radical reform package for CAP, fiercely opposed by France until the end of the year.


Liesbet Hooghe

Mieck Vos

    The implementation of a diplomacy that could put more emphasis on democracy and human rights was not an easy process in Belgium. Treatment of these matters have taken a different perspective in Zaïre, Rwanda and Burundi, Belgium 's three most important African partners. Reasons for that are twofold. Fore one thing, the Belgian foreign affairs service has always been overloaded by mercantile preoccupations. Secondly, knowledge on Africa has been limited to short circle diplomatic contacts while no instruments were ever implemented that could have ensured some following up of the African civil society at large. In the future, the continuation for a slow process of disengagement might be foreseable. New "partners" might come to the forefront such as South Africa while the U.S. and international financial organisations will definitely try to impose "good governance" together with a reasonable dose of human rights.


Jean-Claude Willame

Mieck Vos

Editor Res Publica
Article

Bibliographie de l'année politique 1991

Authors William S. Plavsic

William S. Plavsic
Article

Political opinion polls in Belgium in 1991

Authors Erwin Das

Erwin Das