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Aflevering 4, 1989 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen

Informatiegaring en meningsuiting in de pers

enkele bedenkingen over de actualiteit van het Belgisch persrecht

Auteurs Jan Ceuleers

    Belgian Constitution needs a face-lifting. The right of information, both active and passive, must be recognized, along with a prohibition ofcensorship; this right implies the right of free communication and freedom of the media. It also implies the abolition of the notion press-delict and of special administration of criminal law. Legislation too has to be actualized: expansion of the right of answer to all means of communication. Furthermore, introduction of the duty of speech for anyone who holds information that may concern the community. Finally, the need for a law protecting the privacy of the citizen, including protection from aggressive use and misuse of data banks, spying pratices and suchlike.

Jan Ceuleers

    On 17 April 1962, Genera! de Gaulle's proposal to establish a political union between the six EC Member States, better known as the 'Fouchet Proposal', was vetoed by Belgium and The Netherlands who made their further support dependent on British participation in the negotiations on a political union. This article examines the position of Belgium, represented by its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. P-H. Spaak and more particularly its evolution from a rather favourable position to a rejection of the project. The contradictory Belgian demand for a more supranational political union at the same time as British membership can be considered in the light of Belgium's wish to promote both the process of European integration and the principle of Atlantic solidarity, the basis of its security. The article describes how the final deathblow to the negotiations was not given by Belgium and The Netherlands but by the French veto of British accession to the EC and the signing of the Franco-German Cooperation Treaty of Elysee in ]anuary 1963.

Sophie Vanhoonacker

    Within the Belgian political system political issues are hard to deal with. The institutions do not provide a problem-solving mechanism: no referendum, no direct election of a one-party cabinet. Moreover, electoral campaigns usually involve a lot of heterogeneous issues and almost never focus upon a single one. Active political participation of citizens is, by definition, selective and, compared with electoral participation, limited, although, the number of people taking part in a political demonstration is sometimes considerable. An investigation of the Belgian political elite shows that active political participation, sparked off by a single issue, can be considered as one of the most polyarchie types of political decision-making in Belgium. This involves an increase of tension and conflict, a slowing down of the process of decision-making and a selective accessibility to this type of participation. Belgian politicians try to avoid these difficulties by either opting for non-decision or consociational politics.

Wilfried Dewachter

Les élections européennes de 1989

Analyse des résultats pour la Belgique

Auteurs William Fraeys

    Organized for the third time, the elections for the European Parliament at direct universal suffrage, in June 1989, had the following main characteristics: a still weak turnout, a progress for the socialist parties in most countries, a rather distinct rise of the Environmentalists and an indisputable rise of some far-right parties. In Belgium, the results cannot be compared exclusively with those of the 1984 European election. They must be seen in the continuation of the 1985 and 1987 general elections. Then, the main characteristics are as follows: a near disappearance of the farleft lists associated with the absence of communist lists, a very marked rise of the Environmentalists, stronger in the Walloon Region than in Flanders, a progress for the Christian lists, especially for the C.V.P. in the Flemish districts, a setback for the Flemisch Socialists and a progress for the French-speaking Socialists in comparison with the 1984 poll. This progress, however, was not important enough as to enable them to regain their 1987 level. The Liberals are experiencing a setback compared with 1987 in the three regions of the country and, as far as the P.R.L. is concerned, even in comparison with 1984 and 1985. The Volksunie is suffering a serious setback, that is certainly benefitting to the Vlaams Blok, which, however, is also attracting voters from different political origins on issues similar to those of the far right. The analysis also contains a comparison between the results of the European election and those of the election for the Council of the Brussels-Capital Region, in a set of three districts where the voters were exactly the same.

William Fraeys

    The classical "western" model of modernization assumes that economie development in the end will lead to a more uniform world of political democracies in free market economies. However, this western model turns out to be too deterministic for non-western countries. A selective review of the theoretical and empirical literature on the question learns that the western model runs into problems because it does not make a clear distinction between preconditions for political democratization and demands posed by modernization. Empirical studies show, contrary to the western model logic, that there is no direct positive relationship between economie growth and political democratization. Cultural and structural thresholds may inhibit democratization: an intolerant culture, absence of a free market economy, external influences, a history of constantly wavering political regimes. As concerns the demands posed by modernization, modern political regimes tend to develop common characteristics, one of them being the design ofmore participatory structures and procedures. But there is no theoretical evidence whatsoever of the western model being the final destination for all modernizing societies.

Liesbet Hooghe