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The Political System in Belgium

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The Political System in Belgium

The Political System in Belgium .ppt
1 The Political System in Belgium . 28who are elected directly by the
RoSa Documentation Centre and Archive for inhabitants of the Brussels-Capital
Equal Opportunities, Feminism and Womens Region. Those 6 Brussels council members
Studies. defent the communal interests of the
2 The political system in Belgium. Flemish inhabitants of Brussels. They may
Table of contents Unit 1 Historical only vote over community matters. 28. RoSa
overview - Introduction - The Kingdom of Documentation Centre. HOME.
Belgium: short historical overview Unit 2 29Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
Belgium: from a unitarian to a federal of state reforms. The Flemish Government:
state - The language laws - The state internal matters Better governmental
reforms Unit 3 Belgium after twenty five policy The Flemish Government is working
years of state reforms - The levels of on a large renovation project with a view
decision-making powers and their to creating a more transparent and more
competencies National Regional Provincial efficient government administration. The
Commmunal - Flanders within federal basic principles of the project have been
Belgium Unit 4 Women in politics - Why anchored in three decrees: a Framework
more women in politics? - Towards a parity decree Administrative Policy establishing
democracy - Features of the Belgian an organisation model and laying down the
electoral system - Features of an ideal tasks for the Flemish Administration; an
electoral system - Safe seats and Accountancy decree fixing all financial
combative seats - Changes in the matters: budget, bookkeeping, subsidies
electoral law - Consequences for female control and audits by the Auditors
representation Sources. 2. RoSa Office; a Framework decree Advisory
Documentation Centre. systems. 29. RoSa Documentation Centre.
3 The political system in Belgium. HOME.
Introduction Some elementary knowledge of 30Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
history is vital to understand which of state reforms. The Flemish Government:
political forces are taking effect today internal matters Better governmental
or where the complicated structure of the policy What we remember in particular is
actual Belgian government comes from. that later on there will be ten policy
Between the creation of Belgium and the fields: The Services of the
present government structures there was a Minister-President Foreign Policy and
long growth process. By gaining International Co-operation Sciences and
independence in 1830, Belgium became a Technological innovation Administrative
unitary state with a simple structure. Now matters Finances and Budget Education and
the country is run by various bodies which training Well-being and Public Health
discharge their allotted duties Culture, Youth, Sports and Media Economy,
autonomously. In order to understand why Employment and Tourism Agriculture and
the state reform in Belgium took place the Fishery. 30. RoSa Documentation Centre.
way it did, two historical components are HOME.
important: The history of the Belgian 31Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
language policy and the community of state reforms. The Flemish Government:
discrepancies between the Flemings and the internal matters Better governmental
Walloons; The Belgian socio-economical policy Within each policy field there
history with the development of the exists: a Flemish Ministry, composed of a
industrial bourgeois society in the department and one or more internal
Walloon provinces as opposed to Flanders self-sufficient agencies (IVAs); Possibly
which remained an agrarian society up to one or more external self-sufficient
the 20th century. 3. RoSa Documentation agencies (EVAs); a policy council. The
Centre. HOME. departement has policy supporting tasks.
4 The political system in Belgium. The self-sufficient agencies perform
Unit 1 Historical overview Origin In 1830 policy executive tasks. Agencies are
Belgium gains independence. A year later, established if: there is a sufficient
Leopold von Saxen-Coburg, a German quantity of executory tasks;
nobleman, is sworn in as monarch of the Products/services are measurable;
Kingdom of Belgium. The new state had Self-sufficiency is justified. You will
almost four million inhabitants. The find all details on Better Governmental
northern part, Flanders, was inhabited by Policy on the Dutch-language website:
2.200.000 Flemings, the southern part, the http://www2.vlaanderen.be/ned/sites/bbb/ne
Walloon provinces, by 1.700.000 Walloons. /. 31. RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
The economical, political and financial 32Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
elite, including the Flemish, used French of state reforms. The Flemish Government:
as the official language. Dutch (in fact a internal matters The Flemish ombud service
motley collection of Flemish dialects) You dont know which Service or
continued to exist as everyday language in Institution to turn to with your question?
Flanders. The Belgian territory is Are you treated unseemly by a civil
situated on the fault line between the servant or a Flemish government service?
Germanic and the Latin world. Its exactly Is a procedure lasting too long or has
those discrepancies in language and there been taken an unjust decision? Call
culture between both parts of the country for information or lodge a complaint with:
that originated the state reform. Possible The Flemish Ombud Service Hertogstraat
image explanation. 4. RoSa Documentation 67-71, 2nd floor 1000 Brussels Phone:
Centre. HOME. 02/552.98.98 E-mail:
5 The political system in Belgium. ombudsdienst@vlaamsparlement.be. 32. RoSa
Unit 1 Historical overview Economy From Documentation Centre. HOME.
the start Belgium performed very well 33Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
economically. Belgium was, after England, of state reforms. The Flemish Government:
the first nation where industrial internal matters The Flemish Public
capitalism flourished. In the middle of Institutions When executing government
the nineteenth century, Belgium belonged policy, not only the Ministry of the
to the world leaders in industries such as Flemish Community is involved. Specialized
glass, textile and steel. Not all Belgians tasks are entrusted to the Flemish public
equally enjoyed the ensuing prosperity. institutions. The best known are: VRT the
Low wages, long working hours and bad Flemish Radio and Television Broadcasting
working conditions were part of the De Lijn the Flemish passenger transport
labourers life. Whereas Flanders mainly company Kind & Gezin child &
stayed an agricultural and poor society, family care OVAM Public Waste Matter
steel and coal industry flourished in the Company for the Flemish Region VDAB the
prosperous Walloon provinces. 5. RoSa Flemish Service for Labour Mediation and
Documentation Centre. HOME. Vocational Training For a full list of
6 The political system in Belgium. Flemish public institutions (in Dutch),
Unit 1 Historical overview Language Dutch click here. Contrary to the Ministry, the
was the majority of the Belgian Flemish public institutions are widely
populations native language. self-sufficient. Yet they are under the
Nevertheless, it was banned from supervision of a Flemish minister and are
government, jurisdiction, education, financed with government money. If you
commerce and industry, also in Flanders. want to learn more, our source (in Dutch)
Linguistic and cultural discrimination is:
also implied economical discrimination. http://www2.vlaanderen.be/ned/sites/overhe
The Flemish Movement joined battle with d/verder/n_2_3.htm. 33. RoSa Documentation
the discriminatory position of the Dutch Centre. HOME.
language and of the Flemish people in 34Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
Belgium. The original aim of the Flemish of state reforms. The Flemish Government:
Movement was to enforce upon the whole of internal matters The Flemish governments
Belgium a bilingualism of Dutch and money Refunds Refunds are federal money
French. This appeared to be impossible. part of which is refunded to the regions:
That is why Flemings started to work hard income tax, VAT, The percentage is fixed
to completely dutchify the Flemish by the Finance Law which also stipulates
territory. That process was wound up more that the regions have to pay up part of
or less in 1968. Brussels remained the public debt. Proper taxes The Flemish
bilingual. 6. RoSa Documentation Centre. government also feeds its purse with taxes
HOME. of its own, such as environment levy, real
7 The political system in Belgium. estate advance levy, death duty and
Unit 1 Historical overview Discrepancies registration fee. Loans The raising and
After the second world war, more and more contracting of loans is limited, in order
Belgians on both sides of the language to keep interest burden under control. If
barrier started to realise that the you want to learn more, our source (in
differences between the northern and the Dutch) is:
southern part of the country had grown too http://www2.vlaanderen.be/ned/sites/overhe
big. People became convinced that it would d/verder/n_2_3.htm. 34. RoSa Documentation
be advantageous for both regions to have Centre. HOME.
more competencies of their own and to 35Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
leave less to the central Belgian of state reforms. Possible image
government. As from the sixties of the explanation. The Flemish government and
20th century, Flanders outperformed the the outside world Consultations and
Walloon provinces economically. Until cooperation agreements Flanders has to
then, it had always been the opposite. Now confer and come to terms with the federal
both parts of the country wanted more government and with the other Regions and
autonomy: the Flemish wanted cultural Communities in matters crossing regional
autonomy, the Walloons wanted to pull borders. The Consultation committee plays
through economically by applying their own a central part in both procedures. The
methods At the same time, the Belgian arbitrators: In competence conflicts: The
demographic development tipped the balance Council of State goes into competence
permanently in favour of the Flemish conflicts about texts of law. Its advice
population (56 % in 1971). Politically and is not legally binding. The Court of
ideologically there was a yawning gap. In Arbitration is entitled to cancel a law or
the Walloon provinces the socialist party a decree. It is a special court of law
managed to expand its power, in Flanders which gives a verdict on the correct
it was the catholic centre party which had application of the distribution of
power. The glaring contrast between the competences. No appeal is possible against
anticlerical Walloon provinces and the its judgements. In conflicts of interest:
catholic Flanders intensified the Here we may be dealing with, for instance,
Walloons fear for a Belgian country economical interests. In the case of a
dominated by the Flemish. All those facts conflict of interest, the aggrieved
created a consensus on both sides of the authority can call in the Consultation
language barrier to reform Belgium from a Committee which attempts to negotiate and
unitarian into a federal state. 7. RoSa arbitrate. If it concerns a conflict of
Documentation Centre. HOME. interest between regional parliaments, the
8Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a Senate may be called in for advice. The
federal state (1970 1993). Language laws Senate can only achieve results if
Hertoginnedal The Louvain Issue An political goodwill is present on both
important step in the Belgian state reform sides. 35. RoSa Documentation Centre.
was the language laws. They were voted HOME.
between 1873 and 1963. Those laws 36Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
regulated that French, Dutch and German of state reforms. The Flemish government
were reckognized as official languages in and the outside world Flanders
Belgium. They also laid down rules for the international Flanders obtained the right
use of those languages. The language of treaties. Since 1993 the Flemish
barrier (1962) After two big marches on government may conclude legally binding
Brussels, organized by militant Flemings, treaties with a partner abroad on all
the Government Lef?vre-Spaak decided upon matters belonging to the Flemish
the demarcation of the language barrier competencies. One example is the Water
and the bilingual territory of Brussels. Treaties between Flanders and the
By doing so, they hoped to take the wind Netherlands from 1995. Commerce Since 1993
out of the federalists sails. From that the Flemish authorities define their own
moment Belgium had four regions: international commerce policy. In order to
Dutch-speaking regions: Flanders execute that policy, a service called
French-speaking regions: the Walloon Export Vlaanderen was set up. The service
provinces German-speaking regions: 9 has about eighty Flemish economical
municipalities in the south-east: the representatives all over the world. They
East Cantons Bilingual promote Flemish products and explore
Dutch-French-speaking region: export possibilities for Flemish
Brussels-Capital. Possible image enterprises. Language and culture Flanders
explanation. 8. RoSa Documentation Centre. concluded cooperation agreements with,
HOME. among others, countries in Central and
9Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a Eastern Europe and with South-Africa in
federal state (1970 1993). Language laws the field of culture and education. 36.
Hertoginnedal The Louvain Issue RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
Hertoginnedal (1963) Some mixed 37Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century
municipalities such as Voeren and Komen of state reforms. The Flemish government
were granted allowances: the linguistic and the outside world Flanders in the
minority was allowed to use its own European Union The Maastricht Treaty
language at the counter in local (1991) provides that regional ministers
government offices or in relations with are also allowed to seat in the European
the authorities. The language agreement of Council of Ministers. Moreover, Flanders
Hertoginnedal (1963) granting some is represented in the European Committee
concessions to the Flemish was disregarded of the Regions which was set up at the
whenever possible by the radical same time. Because of its independence,
Francophones in Brussels. The Louvain Flanders is now a direct partner of the
Issue (1968) Meanwhile the Louvain European authorities. All member states of
university had become the scene of a the European Union are obliged to
fierce language conflict. From 1966 till transpose the European Directives into
1969 Flemish students protested massively their own legislation. The Directives
against the French-speaking Belgian concerning the Flemish competence fields,
episcopacy who wanted to expand in Flemish such as environment, are to be turned into
territory. For fear of the region to decrees by the Flemish parliament. That
become frenchified, the Flemish Movement works the other way round, because Flemish
joined in the protest. The university got experts participate in the technical
split up in a French-speaking preparation of European Directives. 37.
(Louvain-la-Neuve) and a Dutch-speaking RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
(K.U. Leuven) institution. Possible image 38Unit 4 Women in politics. Introduction
explanation. 9. RoSa Documentation Centre. Since the introduction of the universal
HOME. suffrage in Belgium on 27th March 1948,
10Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a women and men have equal political rights.
federal state (1970 1993). The state Women obtained full voting right
reform in four steps The language laws (compulsory voting) and were allowed to to
alone did not reform the state. The put themselves forward for all levels of
Constitution, being the foundation of political decision-making. Optimists
polity, also needed to be reviewed. At the believed that the battle was won. As from
start of the negotiations preparing the then, women would increasingly participate
actual state reform of 1970, both the in political decision-making.
Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking Progressively all decision-making bodies
Belgians had prepared their list of would be evenly composed : the parity
demands. The Flemish insisted on cultural democracy would be a sure thing. More than
autonomy, the Walloons demanded more half a century later, we see that equal
economical independence. The latter also rights were no guarantee for equal
wanted to be safeguarded against political opportunities. Though female participation
marginalization due to their demographic in politics progressed it went but slowly
minority position. 1970 The first state and irregularly. Only in the past decade
reform 1980 The second state reform 1988 the authorities intervened. The favourable
The third state reform 1993 The fourth influcence of legislation with regard to
state reform. Possible image explanation. female representation has become obvious.
10. RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME. 38. RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
11Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a 39Unit 4 Women in politics. Why do we
federal state (1970 1993). 1970 The first want more women in politics? Democratic
state reform Cultural communities deficit The term is used for the female
Communities are population groups. With shortfall in democratic decision-making.
the constitutional revision of 1970, three Politics should represent all of a
cultural communities were created: a countrys inhabitants. The only right
Flemish, a French and a German-speaking democracy is a representative democracy,
community. All three cultural communities in which men and women are evenly
have a proper parliament. This is when the represented. Women are no minority group
state reform process gets started. The that needs to be protected. Women make
cultural communities acquire a certain actually up half of the population. We are
autonomy with respect to language and talking about the basic principles of our
culture, although limited: only part of democracy itself. Human capital Women
the competencies related to education, for possess half of the talents, half of the
instance, are transferred to the knowledge and half of the skills. The
communities. Regions Regions refer to chance of finding the most competent
parts of soil. In 1970 Belgium is divided person is twice as big when you recruit
into three Regions: the Flemish Region, among women as well. The maximum
the Walloon Region and the utilization of the potential results in a
Brussels-Capital Region. The splitting-up better filling-in of political mandates.
in regions reflects the wish for more Specific interests and needs Women have
economic autonomy expressed by the their own interests and needs. They are in
French-speaking Belgians: Walloons and the best position to defend those
French-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. interests. If you are personally
As for the demarcation of the territory confronted with a problem, you will sooner
and the competencies of the Regions they be inclined to tackle the problem
didnt reach an agreement at that time. fundamentally. For instance, the relation
But the forming of the Regions clearly was between care and work is a typical agenda
the starting point of economical item for female politicians, because it
decentralisation. Guarantees In 1970 a still is the women who find to their cost
number of constitutional guarantees were how problematic that relationship can be.
inserted with a view to protecting the 39. RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
outnumbered French-speaking population in 40Unit 4 Women in politics. Why do we
Belgium. Thus the national parliament was want more women in politics? Enriching
divided into language groups. The voting Women are believed to have a proper style:
of new laws touching the Belgians theyd be different when they meet, confer
fundamental rights, needed a two third or cooperate. An evenly participation of
majority as well as an ordinary majority women and men may lead to a diversity of
in both language groups. At the same time ideas, values and patterns of behaviour
the Constitution regulated that the that can only result in an enrichment.
Belgian government should be composed of Serve as an example An evenly
an equal number of Walloon and Flemish participation of women and men in
Ministers, exclusive of the Prime political decision-making is a must as a
Minister. 11. RoSa Documentation Centre. roll model for society in general and for
HOME. other policy fields in particular. 40.
12Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
federal state (1970 1993). Possible image 41Unit 4 Women in politics. Towards a
explanation. 1980 The second state reform parity democracy Parity democracy means:
The work is continued. The cultural both sexes take equal part in political
Communities of 1970 simply become decision-making. The road to equal
Communities. The Flemish Community, the participation is hard and we move along
French Community and the German-speaking jerkily. Parity needs a push in the right
Community all have a Council, which is direction to cross the threshold. How do
their Parliament, and a government. Apart we deal with that? scientific research
from culture, the Communities become sensitization campaigns education and
competent to deal with matters relating to training structural measures. 41. RoSa
the people who make up the communities, Documentation Centre. HOME.
such as health care and welfare. The 42Unit 4 Women in politics. Towards a
Regions are competent to deal with parity democracy Scientific research
territorial matters such as town planning, Research keeps abreast of current events
the environment, regional economical and delivers the weapons to tackle the
development and employment policy. Two situation. The collection of numerical
Regions are created in 1980 : the Flemish data allows to represent the real
Region and the Walloon Region. These also situation, to evaluate it and follow it
have a Council and a Government. Flanders up. Based on those figures, certain trends
merges those institutions immediately: for may be displayed, advice may be given and
both the Flemish Community and the Flemish strategies may be developed. Being
Region there is one Government and one confronted with the bare facts may also
Council. The formation of the Brussels have a sensitizing effect. The media
Region is put off. 12. RoSa Documentation divulge study reports among the millions.
Centre. HOME. So gradually a new state of mind may grow.
13Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a Sensitization campaigns You can attempt to
federal state (1970 1993). 1980 The obtain a change in attitude by means of
second state reform The French-speaking information campaigns shaking awake public
inhabitants did not merge the institutions opinion. During the late seventies
of the French Community and the Walloon political womens groups and womens
Region. The francophone inhabitants of associations conducted the Vote
Brussels didnt want that. They insisted Womancampaign, supported by the
on being independent from the Walloons authorities. Although most Belgians are
because there are a lot more convinced of the equivalence of men and
French-speaking than Dutch-speaking women, only a tiny minority votes
inhabitants of Brussels. The exclusively for women. Those are mostly
German-speaking Community got a Culture highly educated women who are already won
Council in 1970. Now it adds advisory for parity democracy. Other target groups
power in personal affairs to its have to be reached. 42. RoSa Documentation
competencies. For regional affairs the Centre. HOME.
East Cantons remain under the Walloon 43Unit 4 Women in politics. Towards a
Region. In 1980 Belgium had a national parity democracy Education and training
Government and a national Parliament, a Political education is necessary when you
Flemish Government and a Flemish Council, attempt to convince people. Education can
a French Community Government and a French break out of the formation of an image
Community Council, a Walloon Regional (Politics is mans work), it may supply
Government and a Walloon Regional Council with a sound grasp of the functioning of
and a German Culture Council. In 1984 the democracy and it may provide useful
Court of Arbitration is created to solve experience. You also have to train new
competency conflicts between the federal female candidates. That is done by
state of Belgium and its parts. The Court political womens groups among others.
consists of 50% magistrates and 50% former There is also Sofia Politica: that
political figures. It has two language institution organises training for women
groups. Its judgements get an absolute who want to go into politics. Sofia
authority. 13. RoSa Documentation Centre. Politica is politically neutral. It has no
HOME. ties with political parties. Besides, the
14Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a Power Indicator of the Dutch-speaking
federal state (1970 1993). 1988 The third Womens Council (NVR) is a useful
state reform The extension of competencies instrument. It teaches how women can
in 1988 is impressive. Environment, nature respond to power mechanisms of men during
conservation, town planning, economy, meetings. Women learning for an active
energy, transport, employment, life the training you are now following
municipalities and provinces, scientific on the internet, is part of the European
research and public works are withdrawn Commission educational programme Socrates.
from the power of the unitarian state and A well-known project of Socrates is the
shifted to the Regions. The Communities Erasmus project which permits students to
obtain education, language legislation, study abroad for a few months. Another
culture and matters relating to people. project is Grundtvig. The
Financing of Regions and Communities is Grundtvig-project aims to enhance the
regulated. They no longer depend on quality, availability and accessiblility
donations from the national government. of lifelong learning through adult
Now they can count on a fixed share of the education in the European Union. It aims
federal taxes. And what about Brussels ? at offering a new chance for education to
Brussels becomes a full Region with a people who left the schooling system
proper Parliament and proper a Government, without basic skills. It wants to give a
with guaranteed representation of the new impulse to innovation by means of
Dutch-speaking numerical minority. The alternative learning methods.Therefore,
Flemings want to keep the link with the Grundtvig concentrates not only on the
Flemish inhabitants of Brussels. That is formal educational system but also on
why the Flemish Region choses Brussels as self-tuition. 43. RoSa Documentation
its capital, whereas the Walloon Region Centre. HOME.
choses Namur. The official name for 44Unit 4 Women in politics. Towards a
Brussels is Brussels-Capital Region. 14. parity democracy Structural measures:
RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME. legislation adapted It is regretful that
15Unit 2 Belgium: from a unitarian to a research, sensitization campaigns or
federal state (1970 1993). 1993 The education are not sufficient to establish
fourth state reform When the federal the parity democracy within a reasonable
members of parliament ratify the term. Therefore, structural measures are
Saint-Michaels agreement, Belgium becomes necessary to enhance female participation.
a full federal state. On the 14th of July Some people are against imposing an
1993, the first article of the obligation. Now it appears that the
Constitution is modified into : Belgium parity laws from 2002 imposing gender
is a federal State, composed of the quota for the composition of lists of
Communities and the Regions. The direct candidates, meant a key factor in
election of the regional parliaments enhancing female presence in the political
becomes possible. The federal Parliament scene. 1994 According to the Smet-Tobback
and the Community and Regional Councils law, also called the quota law
are mutually autonomous. Homogeneous political parties were no longer allowed
packages of competencies polish the sharp to present lists of candidates on which
edges of the former state reforms. 15. candidates of the same sex amounted to
RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME. more than two thirds. In reality this
16Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century implied that at least one third of the
of state reforms. Introduction Governing candidates had to be a woman. The law is
the unitarian state was more than often officially labelled: Law of 24th May 1994
balancing on the tight-rope. Every measure with regard to promoting an evenly
in favour of Flanders had to be countered partition of men and women on the lists of
by a measure favouring the Walloon candidates for the elections. Belgian Law
provinces or the other way round. This Gazette of 1st July 1994. 2002 After a
policy of the wafer iron spoiled constitutional amendment introducing the
billions and harmed the quality of fundamental legal principle of equality of
government. The new federal structure men and women, Parliament passes a number
removed the fuse out of the powder keg in of bills for parity on the lists of
many community difficulties since the candidates, called the quota laws or
Regions and Communities could make parity laws. Further on we shall take
independent decisions. In principle that stock of the impact the changes had on
should result in a more efficient female representation in politics. First
government. The areas make their own laws we explain how the Belgian voting system
over a number of specific matters and works and next we look at an ideal voting
control their execution. Yet they have no system for more women in politics, as set
proper constitution. The federal up by the scientific researchers Petra
Parliament decides on any adaptation of Meier and Kris Deschouwer. 44. RoSa
community and regional structures. 16. Documentation Centre. HOME.
RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME. 45Unit 4 Women in politics. Features of
17Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century the Belgian voting system Not neutral The
of state reforms. No hierarchy of laws The proportional system The party magnitude
decrees of the communities and regions are Closed or open nature of lists of
legally equivalent to the federal laws, candidates. 45. RoSa Documentation Centre.
whereas in most other federal states there HOME.
is an agreement over hierarchy. Thus, a 46Unit 4 Women in politics. Features of
federal law can never rescind a decree of the Belgian voting system Not neutral
the Flemish Parliament. That system of Voting systems are not neutral. They play
equivalent laws is rather rare. That a key part in the distribution of seats.
remarkable difference has an historical Consequently they have an impact on the
explanation. In Belgium, the regions had transposition of votes into political
developped from a central state, whereas representation. The proportional system
most other federal states were composed of The Belgian voting system is proportional.
former independent areas. In order to The parties obtain a number of seats in
avoid confusion: Flemish and Walloon laws proportion to the number of votes they
are called decrees, laws of the got. If a party X obtains let us say 23%
Brussels-Capital Region are called of the votes, then the party X also gets
ordinances. The federal government just 23% of the seats in parliament. In Belgium
calls them laws. 17. RoSa Documentation the mechanism is phrased as follows:
Centre. HOME. Every constituency obtains as many seats
18Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century as the federal divisor is included in the
of state reforms. The different policy population figure of that constituency.
levels in Belgium: an overview Policy The federal divisor is obtained by
level Territory Legislative Executive Body dividing the population figure of the
Body Europe 25 Member States Parliament nation by 150. In other words: You devide
Commission Council of Ministers Council of the number of Belgians by 150 : the result
Ministers Federal Belgium Federal is the federal divisor next you devide
parliament Federal government Communities the number of inhabitants of a
Flanders (Flemish Flemish Council Flemish constituency by the federal divisor the
government Community) Walloon provinces result of the second division gives the
French Community French Community (French number of seats for that constituency. 46.
Community) Council Government 9 East RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
Cantons German-speaking German-speaking 47Unit 4 Women in politics. Features of
(German-speakng Community Council the Belgian voting system The party
Community Government Community) Regions magnitude Party magnitude indicates the
Flemish Region Flemish Parliament Flemish average number of seats per party and per
government Walloon Region Walloon constituency. In Belgium party magnitude
Parliament Walloon Regional government is rather limited. The proportional nature
Brussels-Capital Brussels-Capital of the voting system, in combination with
Government of the Brussels- Region Council the shattering of votes as a consequence
Capital Region Provincial 10 provinces of the voters choice, often results in a
Provincial Council Permanent Deputation relatively large number of parties
Municipal 589 municipalities City Council obtaining seats. The shattering of the
Mayor and the Bench of Aldermen. 18. RoSa votes between several parties makes the
Documentation Centre. HOME. number of seats per party and per
19Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century constituency relatively small. Closed or
of state reforms. Competencies of the open nature of lists of candidates Lists
federal authorities The federal of candidates may be of a closed or an
authorities are competent for: Defence the open nature. In the case of closed lists
army and all related matters. Justice the order of the candidates is fixed. It
jurisdiction and the organisation of the cannot be changed by preferential votes.
judiciary remain a federal affair. Social In that case the political parties
security health insurance, unemployment determine the mix of elected candidates.
regulations, pensions, social benefits. In the case of open lists, the mix is
Home affairs supervision on police forces, determined by the electorate. The Belgian
enforcement of order, public security, lists of candidates have a semi-open
assistance (civil protection). Foreign nature. Here the order still plays a part
affairs development co-operation, foreign but it may be adjusted by preferential
policy, coordination of foreign trade. votes. Yet the list order is seldom
Apart from that, the federal authorities breached. From 1919 until 1999, only 0,6%
remain competent for a number of fields in of the members of parliament who did not
which an independent course persued by the stand for a safe seat, were elected. 47.
Regions would endanger the economical and RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
monetairy unity of Belgium: Monetary 48Unit 4 Women in politics. Features of
policy Tax policiy Price- and income an ideal voting system for women There
policy Right of competition Commercial and exists a close relationship between female
company law Labour law. 19. RoSa representation on the political scene and
Documentation Centre. HOME. the voting system. According to the
20Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century researchers Petra Meyer and Kris
of state reforms. Competencies of the Deschouwer (VUB), four interdependent
Flemish authorities The Flemish Government features determine the number of female
exercises its competencies in all Flemish winners: 1. strong proportionality 2. high
provinces. Flemish decrees about culture, average number of seats per party and per
education, health care and public welfare constituency (party magnitude) 3. closed
also apply to Brussels, that is for the lists of candidates 4. rigid gender quota
Dutch-speaking institutions only. Public Quota may offer very strong guarantees
welfare: family policy, welfare policy, when taking into account the number of
migrants and refugee centres, senior safe seats per party. 48. RoSa
citizens policy, disabled persons policy, Documentation Centre. HOME.
youth protection. Culture: language, art, 49Unit 4 Women in politics. Features of
cultural heritage, museums, libraries, an ideal voting system for women
public radio and television, youth policy, Proportional voting systems may be in
support to the written press, sports and favour of women because political parties
open-air recreation, permanent education, tend to present lists with a variety of
artistic education, social promotion, candidates, which yields more votes and
tourism. Economy: economic policy, consequently more seats. The reason is
exploitation of mineral resources, that some constituents may refuse to vote
investment support, business support, on a list of which none of the candidates
economic state initiatives, foreign trade is a woman. In order for the proportional
(in cooperation with the federal voting system to be favourable for women,
government). Energy: distribution of it must not go along with a considerable
electricity and natural gas, promotion of restriction of the number of seats per
rational energy use, exploitation of new party and per constituency. A large party
sources of energy. Nuclear energy remains magnitude enhances thus the chance to be
a federal competency. Financial policy: elected for many candidates on varied
Flanders has a high degree of financial lists. If all parties have more than a few
autonomy and is fully competent and elected candidates per constituency, they
responsible for its own expenditure. will be inclined to present to the
Moreover, Flanders levies its own taxes, electorate a greater variety of
such as registration fees, inheritance candidates, among which women as well.
tax, real estate tax, road tax, etc. Closed lists of candidates are better for
Municipalities and provinces: full women. The candidates order is fixed and
organisation of domestic administration, cannot be modified by preferential votes.
such as the composition, organisation and In that case the parties determine the mix
operation of provincial and municipal of candidates. Through the introduction
institutions, municipal and provincial and observance of quota, parties are
financing, organisation and exercise of forced to include women and position them
administrative supervision of local on a safe seat. Quota may offer very
authorities (with the exception of the strong guarantees when taking into account
police and the fire service), the the number of safe seats per party. 49.
municipal and provincial electoral RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
legislation. 20. RoSa Documentation 50Unit 4 Women in politics. Safe seats
Centre. HOME. and combative seats The safe seats are
21Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century the seats on top of the list that match
of state reforms. Competencies of the the number of seats a party won at the
Flemish authorities Health care: support previous elections on that list. The last
and quality control of hospitals, safe seat is the position of the last seat
preventive health care, home care, nursing the party obtained on that list. The
homes for senior citizens, mental health combative seat of a list is the postion
care. The federal government remains which comes immediately behind the last
competent for hospital legislation, safe seat. Parties hope to win that seat
medication legislation and health if they get a better result than at the
insurance. Housing: construction of social previous elections. The seats in usefull
housing, allocation of housing premiums. order correspond with the the whole of
International co-operation: including the eligible positions including the struggle
conclusion of treaties in all areas of seat. (definitions by V. Verzele and C.
Flemish jurisdiction. Agriculture and Joly) The zipper principle means that
Horticulture: full agricultural policy alternately a man and a woman are
including sea fishing, scientific positioned at the list of candidates. The
agricultural research, agricultural parity law of 18th July 2002 introduces
investment fund, promotion of agricultural the paritary composition of lists of
and horticultural products, quality candidates and the obligatory
control. Land planning and nature representation of both sexes at the first
conservation: land consolidation of three positions on the list. Yet political
farmland, nature conservancy, planning and parties are not inclined to assign scarce
management of greenbelts and parks, positions to female candidates. The less
forestry, hunting and fishing, unnavigable eligible positions a list counts, the more
watercourses and polders. Environment: these are taken by male candidates. 50.
environmental protection against sound RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
pollution and soil, water, and air 51Unit 4 Women in politics. Possible
pollution, waste policy, supervision of image explanation. The changes in the
hazardous, unhealthy and polluting Electoral Law 1 Enlargement of electoral
industries. Education: design and districts 2 Introduction of the electoral
subsidising of education, from nursery threshold 3 Restriction of the list vote
school to university education. The impact 1 Enlargement of the electoral
federal government remains competent for districts for the Chamber of
teachers pensions, compulsory education Representatives From now on, the electoral
and determining minimum requirements for districts for the Chamber are larger:
graduation. 21. RoSa Documentation Centre. constituencies correspond with the
HOME. territory of the provinces. Consequently
22Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century the number of seats to be conferred mounts
of state reforms. Possible image from an average of 7,5 to 13,5. The
explanation. Competencies of the Flemish consequence is that political parties
authorities Development and co-operation: present lists of candidates with more
since 2004 Flanders acquired more diversity. So women stand a fairer chance
competencies in this field. Public Works of getting elected (K. Deschouwer & P.
and Traffic: construction and maintenance Meier, VUB) (Royal decree of 22th Janyary
of roads (including verges, bridges, 2003 Belgian Law Gazette of 7th February
viaducts, cycle tracks, lights), the 2003) 2 The introduction of the electoral
seaports (including locks, flood-control threshold Only the lists which obtain at
dams, dockyards, quays, embankments), least 5% of the total votes in an
navigable waters and regional airports, electoral district qualify for the
public city- and regional transport. Town distribution of seats. An electoral
and Country Planning: drafting of town and threshold diminishes the number of
country plans, creation of industrial parties, thus enhancing the number of
zones, urban renewal, protection of seats per party. An increased party
monuments and landscapes, construction magnitude leads to a larger presence of
permits. Language Legislation: supervision women in politics. (Kris Deschouwer &
of the use of language in government Petra Meier, VUB) (Law of 13th December
affairs, education and labour relations. 2002 Belgian Law Gazette of 10th January
The federal government remains competent 2003). 51. RoSa Documentation Centre.
for the language legislation in HOME.
Brussels-Capital. Water Policy: production 52Unit 4 Women in politics. Changes in
and distribution of potable water, waste the Electoral Law 1. Enlargement of
water purification, sewage systems. electoral districts 2. Introduction of the
Employment: job placement, special electoral threshold 3. Restriction of the
employment programmes, basisc training and list votes impact Restriction of the list
in-service training, employment of foreign votes impact The impact (devolutive
workers. Scientific Research: full power) of the list vote is curtailed with
scientific research with regard to all fifty per cent. As from now, only half of
Flemish decisionmaking areas. 22. RoSa the list votes go to the candidates. The
Documentation Centre. HOME. devolutive effect of the list vote means
23Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century that the votes given to the list as a
of state reforms. The 10 provinces and whole (on top of the list) are attributed
their competencies Flanders and the to the candidates according to the order
Walloon provinces each count five in which they appear on the list. The
provinces. Flanders consists of Antwerp, first candidate on the list gets a number
East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Limburg of list votes he needs to be elected, the
and West Flanders. The Walloon provinces remaining list votes go to the next
are Hainaut, Li?ge, Luxembourg, Namur and candidate enough for him to be elected,
Walloon Brabant. The nine communes of the and so on, until all list votes are
German-speaking Community are situated in exhausted. So now the transfer of list
the Li?ge territory. Brussels doesnt votes will be cut in half. Some people
belong to any province. The provinces fear that, when the weight of preferential
competencies are limited. Provinces are votes increases, the order of the list
competent for their own education and road will be turned over more often. That would
system and for the issuance and follow-up be a disadvantage for female candidates
of contingency plans. The Association of who, according to the parity law, have to
Flemish Provinces (VVP) is the pressure be positioned on top of the list, which
group supporting provincial policy gives them a fair chance of being elected.
officials, through a study service and Restricting the influence of the list vote
study groups preparing the definition of is believed to modify the useful order of
positions, negotiating and liasing with the list and undermine the parity law.
other administrations and organisations. (Deschouwer & Meier, VUB). (Law of
23. RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME. 27th December 2000 BLG 24/1/2001). 52.
24Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME.
of state reforms. Possible image 53Unit 4 Women in politics. The parity
explanation. The communes and their laws During 2002, several bills were
competencies The smallest policy units are passed obliging political parties on a
the communes. Belgium has 589 communes, of paritary composition of their lists of
which 309 are in Flanders. Communes, candidates, the so called quota laws or
Public Welfare Centres, police force zones parity laws. Law of 17th June 2002 to
and intermunicipal associations together guarantee equal representation of men and
form the local government. Their women on the lists of candidates for the
competencies are situated in the field of elections of the European Parliament. BLG
health and welfare, housing, economy, 282002. Law of 18th July 2002 to guarantee
registry of birth, death and marriages and equal representation of men and women on
population, culture and education, the lists of candidates for the elections
environment and nature, environmental of the federal Legislative Chambers and
planning, traffic, order and security. the Council of the German-speaking
Local administrations cooperate with the Community. BLG 28/8/2002. Particular law
Flemish and the federal government and of 18th July 2002 to guarantee equal
with the provinces. To do their job, they representation of men and women on the
need information, advice and consultation. lists of candidates for the elections of
They are assisted by the Association of the Walloon Regional Council, the Flemish
Flemish Cities and Communes (VVSG). 24. Council and the Brussels-Capital Council.
RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME. BLG 13/9/2002. The most important
25Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century difference with the Smet-Tobback law from
of state reforms. The Association of 1994 ( no more than two third of the
Flemish Cities and Communes (VVSG) The candidates of the same sex) is that the
VVSG is the representative membership parity law does not admit the disparity
organisation of all Flemish communes between the number of men and women to be
(308), the Public Welfare Centres (308) more than one. What is more, the first two
and about fifty intermunicipal positions on every list have to be for a
associations. The VVSG labours for man and a women. 53. RoSa Documentation
political mandataries as well as for civil Centre. HOME.
servants. From policy preparation and 54Unit 4 Women in politics. Possible
advice to protection of interests Staff image explanation. Consequences for female
members give advice to cities, communes representation Compared to 1999 the lists
and Public Welfare Centres about legal, of candidates of 2002 position more women
administrative, financial and human on eligible places. The number of women
resources problems or about matters with an eligible position for the Senate
concerning environment, culture, welfare, rose on average with 13%. For the Chamber,
local economy and Europe. They work on the the percentage went up from 17,6% to 31,8
preparation of viewpoints, development of % for Dutch-speaking parties and from 22%
opinions and follow-up of policy files. to 38,7% for the French-speaking parties.
The Association defends the interests of The number of elected women for the
local administrations by means of Chamber went up from 29 women in 1999 to
lobbying, consultations at ministerial 52 in 2003. For the first time in Belgian
cabinets, contacts with the Flemish and politics the 30% threshold was crossed for
federal government, European institutions, the Representatives of the people: 34,6 %
hearings etc. Information and training In the Senate that threshold had already
Publications: Lokaal, the e-zine been reached at the 1999 elections. In
VVSG-week, the VVSG-website, sectoral 2003, 15 women were elected or 37,5 % of
electronic magazines (environment, the directly elected senators. The legal
mobility, culture, police, senior force of the parity law of 18th July 2002
citizens care) and the had effect; in 60% of the cases the large
VVSG-Politeia-bookfund (www.politeia.be). political parties applied the zipper
A Training Centre for Public Welfare principle for the first two positions. The
Centre staff . A Congress Centre The extension of the constituencies for the
database Inforum offers legal information Chamber appears to have a great impact on
electronically to cities, communes and the rise of female presence in Parliament.
Public Welfare Centres. The data are The restriction with fifty per cent of the
brought up to date on a daily basis. 25. devolutive effect of the list vote seems
RoSa Documentation Centre. HOME. not to have had the annoying consequences
26Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century for the candidates some people had feared
of state reforms. Flanders in the federal for: the order of the lists still plays an
state of Belgium The federal structure did important part and women get a lot of
not end the community difficulties in preferential votes. (Source: Instituut
Belgium. There are a number of mechanisms voor Gelijkheid van vrouwen en mannen: De
acting as shock absorber whenever politieke deelname van de vrouwen na de
difficulties arise. The federal structure verkiezingen van 18 mei 2003. Brussel,
itself is not final. There is still a 2003). 54. RoSa Documentation Centre.
strong unitarian tendency across the HOME.
language borders and within different 55Sources. Documentary sources Witte,
political parties. There are still E., Craeybeckx, J., Meynen, A., Politieke
tensions between unionists and groups geschiedenis van Belgi? van 1830 tot
striving for more autonomy, the field of heden. Standaard Uitgeverij Antwerpen,
social security and health care for one. 1997. Instituut voor Gelijkheid van
More compromises will probably have to be vrouwen en mannen: De politieke deelname
reached in the future. 26. RoSa van de vrouwen na de verkiezingen van 18
Documentation Centre. HOME. mei 2003. Brussel, 2003 Verzele,V., Joly,
27Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century C., La repr?sentation des femmes en
of state reforms. The Flemish Government: politique apr?s les ?lections du 13 juin
internal matters Introduction The Flemish 1999. Courrier hebdomadaire du CRISP, n
authorities are constituted of the Flemish 1662-1663, 1999. Petra Meier, De
Parliament, together with the Flemish hervorming van de kieswet, de nieuwe quota
Government, the Ministry of the Flemish en de m/v verhoudingen na de verkiezingen
Community and the Flemish public van mei 2003. Vakgroep Politieke
institutions. Snap elections are Wetenschappen, Brussel, VUB, 2003.
impossible for the Flemish Parliament, Deschouwer, K., Meier, P., Recente en
because Parliament can in no way be geplande hervormingen van de kieswet: de
dissolved before legislature is expired. mogelijke impact op het aantal vrouwelijke
Legislature is the term members of verkozenen. Vakgroep Politieke
parliament have been elected for. For that Wetenschappen & Centrum voor
reason the Flemish Parliament is called a Vrouwenstudies, VUB, 2002. Europees
legislature parliament. Flemish Parlement, Variabele impact van de
representatives of the people are allowed kiesstelsels op de vrouwelijke
to send home ministers who do not perform vertegenwoordiging. Werkdocument van het
satisfactorily by means of a constructive Directoraat- generaal van de studi?n van
motion of no-confidence. At the same time het Europees parlement (reeks
they put forward a new minister. If you as vrouwenrechten W-10), maart 1997.
a citizen have objections against a Dhaveloose, E., Mijlpalen in de Belgische
decision of the Flemish Parliament, you politieke geschiedenis en vorming van de
can write to the Speaker of the Flemish Belgische staatsstructuur. RoSa Fact Sheet
Parliament, 1011 Brussels. Your letter nr. 5, oktober 2000, RoSa
will be treated in the Petition Documentatiecentrum en Archief, Brussel.
Committee. 27. RoSa Documentation Centre. Electronic sources Law Faculty University
HOME. Namen,
28Unit 3 Belgium after a quarter century http://obelix.droit.fundp.ac.be/droit2/ind
of state reforms. The Flemish Government: x.php The Flemish authorities:
internal matters Direct elections As from http://www2.vlaanderen.be/ned/sites/overhe
the 1995 elections, members of the Flemish d/verder/n_2_1.htm De Nederlandstalige
Parliament are elected directly. Before Vrouwenraad (NVR):
that, Flemings from the federal parliament http://www.vrouwenraad.be/pdf/genderwetswi
sat in the Flemish Council. The Flemish zer_politiek.pdf
Parliament counts 124 members. The http://www.vrouwenraad.be/persberichten/20
inhabitants of the Flemish Region directly 2/van_burgerdemocratie.html. 55. RoSa
elect 118 members. The other 6 are Documentation Centre. HOME.
Flemings from the Brussels-Capital Council
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The Political System in Belgium

The Political System in Belgium

The animals - GORILLA. The animals which live in the forest. EMU. The animals which live in the OCEAN. HIPPO. FOX. DOLPHIN. BOBCAT. PENGUIN. LION. SNAKE. LIZARD. The animals which live in the desert. TIGER. PANDA. The animals which live in the polar regions. GIRAFFE. The ANIMALS of our planet. WOMBAT. BISON. PARROT.

the woman - A womans tongue wags like a lambs tail. . - , - ; - . As great a pity to see a woman cry as a goose go barefoot. A good wife makes a good husband. . . .

The green movement - It became the first African who has headed this organization. National offices Green Peace are opened in 43 countries of the world as the independent units working over achievement of the purposes of the national projects. One of the largest victories in the given campaign can name refusal of flooding of an oil platform brent spar as it contained many toxic substances.

The english-speaking countries - Great Britain. Australia. Scotland. USA. The English-speaking countries. Disneyland.

Computer - this is a very popular technique. manypeoplebuycomputers. Iverylikeacomputer. andIwanttoopencomputerbusiness. and I will be happy to open such a beneficial. in this business a lot of competitors who are trying to thee . on the earned money I help the children's kindergartens. Computer equipment enjoys good success.

Olympic games 2012 - Oscar on the Olympic Games in 2012. Medal standings. Opening Ceremony. Olympic games in london. Oscar Pistorius is a man who never gives up. Closing ceremony. London became the first city to have received three Olympics. Summer Olympic Games 2012. Sports facilities. Olympic Torch Relay Olympic Games.

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