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De drie deconcentraties in het sociaal domein

Verbeter verhoudingen tussen Rijk en gemeenten

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden decentralization, deconcentration, municipalities, public finances, public policy
Auteurs Nils Nijdam
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2015, the three decentralizations in the social domain took place, a transfer of tasks and resources from the national government to municipalities in the Netherlands. Since then, the Dutch municipalities have been responsible for tasks related to work, care and youth. How the municipalities have tackled these tasks? What is the situation in the social domain seven years later? And what is the relationship between municipalities and national government?
    It appears that municipalities are struggling with their new tasks, mainly because of the insufficient financial resources and the limited freedom of choice. With regard to the characterization of the transfer of tasks, it is better to speak of the three deconcentrations, instead of the three decentralizations. Municipalities have received new tasks, but experience little policy freedom to tackle those tasks. In order to achieve the goals associated with the transfer to municipalities, it is necessary to increase the scope for municipalities to make their own choices. In this way, national government and municipalities can work on more equal relations.


Nils Nijdam
Dr. mr. N. Nijdam heeft van 2014 tot 2020 gewerkt in het sociaal domein van de gemeente Den Haag en is in oktober 2020 gepromoveerd op een onderzoek naar gemeentelijke sturing op de drie decentralisaties in het sociaal domein van 2015. Tegenwoordig is hij als onderzoeker en specialist bestuurlijke en financiële verhoudingen en sturingsvraagstukken verbonden aan de Algemene Rekenkamer en doceert hij aan de opleiding Bestuurskunde en Overheidsmanagement van de Haagse Hogeschool.
Dissertatie

Local government in times of global challenges

The implications of the Financial Crisis since 2007 on public finances at the municipal level in the Netherlands

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2021
Auteurs Jan Porth

Jan Porth
Article

Access_open The Determinants of Committee Membership in Belgium and the Netherlands

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden parliamentary committees, legislative organisation
Auteurs Tim Mickler
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article I analyse whether differences in formal committee structures affect how parliamentary actors organise their work within them. I compare the allocation of members to specialised committees in the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) and the Belgian Chamber of Representatives (Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers/Chambre des Représentants) to test whether committee assignments are given more serious consideration when committees are strong. Despite many similarities, both parliaments differ in their internal institutional arrangements: committees in the Chamber of Representatives are, at least formally, considerably more powerful than those in the Dutch Lower House. The article uses the congressional theories of legislative organisation as heuristic devices to deduce several rationales of the assignment process. The role of parliamentary party groups is highlighted. The results indicate the presence of stable, reoccurring patterns in both parliaments. Even in the House of Representatives, where committees present lower opportunity structures, assignments are given due consideration.


Tim Mickler
Tim Alexander Mickler is an assistant professor at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. Corresponding author: Tim Mickler at t.a.mickler@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.
Article

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Linkage Between Local Branches and Their National Party Headquarters in Belgium

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden local branches, national party headquarters, linkage, integration, multilevel parties
Auteurs Kristof Steyvers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article scrutinises local-national linkage in Belgium to better understand territorial power relations in multilevel parties. Drawing on a survey of local chairs of national parties, it adopts an innovative, informal and bottom-up approach. The descriptive analysis reveals two central axes in the morphology of linkage: scope (downward support and upward influence) and surplus (benefits versus costs). However, (the valuation of) this interdependence appears as a matter of degree. The explanatory analysis therefore probes into the effect of macro- (between environments), meso- (between parties) and micro- (within parties) level factors. It demonstrates that variance is explained by different parameters. For scope, differences between parties trump those within them. For surplus, specific differences between parties as well as within them matter. The answer to our guiding question is therefore variegated: it depends on for what and for whom.


Kristof Steyvers
Kristof Steyvers is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science of Ghent University (Belgium). His research is conducted in the Centre for Local Politics, where he focuses on topics such as local political leadership, parties and elections at the local level, local government in multilevel governance and local government reforms (often from a comparative perspective).
Article

Fiscal Consolidation in Federal Belgium

Collective Action Problem and Solutions

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy, federalism, intergovernmental relations, High Council of Finance
Auteurs Johanna Schnabel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Fiscal consolidation confronts federal states with a collective action problem, especially in federations with a tightly coupled fiscal regime such as Belgium. However, the Belgian federation has successfully solved this collective action problem even though it lacks the political institutions that the literature on dynamic federalism has identified as the main mechanisms through which federal states achieve cooperation across levels of government. This article argues that the regionalization of the party system, on the one hand, and the rationalization of the deficit problem by the High Council of Finance, on the other, are crucial to understand how Belgium was able to solve the collective action problem despite its tightly coupled fiscal regime and particularly high levels of deficits and debts. The article thus emphasizes the importance of compromise and consensus in reducing deficits and debts in federal states.


Johanna Schnabel
School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, Rutherford College, Canterbury CT2 7NX, United Kingdom.
Dossier

De Europese vakbeweging en de vormgeving van sociaal beleid

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Social Europe, European Union, Social policy, Trade unions, ETUC
Auteurs Drs. Saskia Boumans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The European project currently faces not only an economic crisis, but a moral one as well. The economic growth model of social justice combined with market-oriented policies, also referred to as the European social model has lost much of its meaning after ten years of austerity and financial calamities. In 2012 ECB President Draghi says in the Wall Street Journal that the European social model is “gone”, a thing of the past. While only a couple of years later the European Pillar of Social Rights is put in place. What is happening with ‘Social Europe’? And how do trade unions, as a historical motor of social policy in the member states, relate to the European social model, especially since the financial crisis. This article deals with the position of trade unions vis-à-vis European social policy and the European institutions. The European social model, economic governance and the collective bargaining system are discussed as examples of post-crisis European social policy. It will be argued that although the European Commission gives institutional space to social policy and to a role for trade unions, it has always been subordinate to economic integration. And moreover that the recent economic crisis is used at the European level to obtain almost complete control over social policy in the member states.


Drs. Saskia Boumans
Drs. Saskia Boumans werkt als promovendus bij AIAS-HSI (UvA) aan een onderzoek naar werkgeversorganisaties in collectieve onderhandelingen, en heeft de afgelopen vijftien jaar voor de vakbeweging gewerkt.

Professor Christoffer Green-Pedersen
Christoffer Green-Pedersen is professor of Political Science at Aarhus University, Denmark. He is the author of The Politics of Justification. Party Competition and Welfare-State Retrenchment in Denmark and the Netherlands from 1982 to 1998, Amsterdam University Press 2002.
Artikel

Welvaart gemeten, verdeeld en verduurzaamd

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden Welfare economics, Asymmetrical information, Situational contracting, Political theory, Behaviourism
Auteurs Prof. dr. Dik Wolfson
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper shows how interactive governance can be helpful in dealing with information asymmetries in the design and administration of public policy. It describes the checks and balances of a properly incentivized mechanism design of contextual or situational contracting that reveals information on diversity in demand for public intervention, deals with complexity, creates commitment to the public cause and disciplines uncooperative behavior. The contractual mode, moreover, discloses the actual trade-offs between rivalling criteria of good governance such as individual freedom, efficiency, distributional concerns and sustainability, deepening our insight in who gets – or pays for – what, when, where, how and why, as the key issues of policy analysis. Evidence from early applications is combined with suggestions for rolling out this new mode of relinking public policy, implementation and external control.


Prof. dr. Dik Wolfson
Prof. dr. Dik Wolfson is emeritus hoogleraar economie, en geniet gastvrijheid bij de afdeling Bestuurskunde en sociologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

    Values like quality of life, efficiency of services, solidarity in finances and privacy of clients are being compromised continuously in daily practices, inspired by opinions and ideology of (groups of) individuals. Yet, systems like healthcare are dominated by technocratic procedures to enforce transparency and efficiency. This functional rationality pushes away the more fundamental debates on values. This doesn’t mean they are not being compromised, but it’s done in a hidden way. It’s the nurse taking decisions on the amount of time available for a patient. Although restricted by procedures nurses compromise differently. The same counts for healthcare executives in their boardrooms. Restricted by system requirements they take decisions differently, inspired by their convictions. It is all ‘hidden ideology’ in institutions, interactions and intuitions. Even the political arena is imprisoned by the self made technocratic way of debating and deciding on important societal issues. Political debates should be about the values behind procedures instead of technocratic in its essence. Critical checks and balances have to be reinstalled (or reanimated) in political decision making in order to do this and meet patients’ or citizens’ needs, instead of maintaining a procedural attitude that drives politics and ideology away from society.


Kim Putters
Prof. dr. K. Putters is hoogleraar Management van Instellingen in de Gezondheidszorg (Professor of Health Management) bij het Instituut Beleid Management Gezondheidszorg, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, tot 15 juni 2013 lid van de PvdA-fractie in de Eerste Kamer en eerste ondervoorzitter van de Eerste Kamer. Per 15 juni 2013 is hij directeur van het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.
Artikel

Ontbrekende alternatieven en gevestigde belangen

Een studie naar de posities van overheden in hervormingsdebatten tijdens de financiële crisis

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2012
Auteurs Daniel Mügge PhD en Bart Stellinga MA MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The credit crisis that began in the summer of 2007 has fundamentally challenged much financial regulation and the political institutions that produced it. Measured against the criticisms that have been brought forth against previous financial governance, the extent of governments’ overall reform ambitions has been disappointing. Starting from this observation, this article asks: what explains governments’ reform choices, and thus also their limited ambitions? To explore this question, this article focuses on the positions that four governments central to global financial regulation (the USA, the UK, Germany and France) have taken in advance of the G20 meetings in 2009 across four key issue areas: accounting standards, derivatives trading, credit ratings agencies and banking rules. It evaluates both the overlap between positions across domains and governments as well as the differences between them. Such variation, we argue, provides key clues to the overall drivers behind reforms – as well as their limits. The overall picture that emerges can be summarized as follows: governments have been staunch defenders of their national firms’ competitive interests in regulatory reforms. That has not necessarily meant that they followed industry preferences across the board. It has been the relative impact, compared to foreign competitors, that counted in reform positions, not the absolute impact. These differences of opinion have played out within the context and the limits of the overall debates about thinkable policy alternatives. In spite of fundamental criticisms of pre-crisis regulatory orthodoxy, convincing and coherent alternatives have been forthcoming slowly at best. This has made reform proposals less radical than criticisms, seen on their own, might suggest.


Daniel Mügge PhD
Daniel Mügge is universitair docent politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Correspondentiegegevens: D. Mügge, PhD, afdeling Politicologie, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 237, 1012 DL Amsterdam, d.k.muegge@uva.nl.

Bart Stellinga MA MSc
Bart Stellinga is medior wetenschappelijk medewerker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid. Correspondentiegegevens: B. Stellinga, MA MSc, Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid, Lange Vijverberg 4-5, 2500 EA Den Haag, stellinga@wrr.nl.

    The contraction of the labour force evokes both promising and gloomy prospects. Promising, because unemployment is expected to be a thing of the past, gloomy, because a shortage of labour could endanger our future prosperity. This article shows that both prospects are wrongfully based on a static perspective of the labour market, which neglects the underlying dynamics. Since the demand and the supply of labour adjust to one another, the future labour market will not be completely different from the present one. Moreover, the ageing of the labour force has nearly reached its apogee and the age composition of the labour force will not change much in the next 25 years. Thus, the problems of a contracting labour market will be remarkably similar to the problems of the expanding labour market of the past decades.


Paul de Beer
Paul de Beer is Henri Polak-hoogleraar voor arbeidsverhoudingen aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Tevens is hij verbonden aan De Burcht (Centrum voor Arbeidsverhoudingen) en het Amsterdams Instituut voor ArbeidsStudies (AIAS). Correspondentiegegevens: Prof. dr. P.T. de Beer Universiteit van Amsterdam Amsterdams Instituut voor ArbeidsStudies (AIAS) Plantage Muidergracht 12 1018 TV Amsterdam p.t.debeer@uva.nl
Article

Tactisch steekspel of tijdverspilling? Strategische meerjarenplanning in Vlaamse gemeenten

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2008
Trefwoorden Strategic planning, local government, rationalism, logic incrementalism
Auteurs Thomas Block, Koenraad De Ceuninck, Herwig Reynaert e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Nowadays, municipalities form strategies and interact with the challenges and opportunities offered by the context in which they operate. From now on, Flemish municipalities are even obliged by the municipal decree to draw up a multiannual strategic plan (albeit in a transitory phase for the current legislature). That plan must formulate a coordinating strategy for the municipality and must contain guidelines for policy. In our contribution we want to examine on the one hand the particular meaning of this strategic plan for local governments. Which contents are given to these plans? How did these plans came about? What is the further course of these plans? What is the possible infl uence of local finances? Etc. On the other hand, we also want to take a broader look: how do we place the strategic plan in the light of the challenge of broader strategy formulation and decision-making which plays a vital role in contemporary local government?
    Starting from a case study in the city of Kortrijk that incorporates both research perspectives, we consecutively conduct an exploring study into this young practice of strategic planning in all Flemish municipalities. Thereby we use in both cases opinion research by interviewing/surveying some key actors (politicians and/or civil servants). They help us to (re-)construct a provisional picture of the contents, the lay out and the future possibilities of strategic plans in contemporary local government.


Thomas Block
Thomas Block (1973) is licentiaat sociologie en wetenschappelijk medewerker aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek (CLP) en aan het Centrum voor Duurzame Ontwikkeling (CDO). Hij heeft onderzoekservaring op het vlak van strategische planning in Vlaamse steden, besluitvorming op lokaal niveau en indicatoren voor duurzame stedelijke ontwikkeling. In de voorbije jaren coördineerde hij binnen het CDO het project ‘Stadsmonitor voor leefbare en duurzame Vlaamse steden’. Momenteel werkt hij aan een proefschrift over besluitvorming bij Vlaamse stadsprojecten.

Koenraad De Ceuninck
Koenraad De Ceuninck (1981) is wetenschappelijk medewerker aan de vakgroeppolitieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek. Daar bereidt hij een proefschrift voor over de politieke besluitvorming met betrekking tot de gemeentelijke fusies van 1976. Zijn onderzoeksinteresse gaat vooral uit naar lokale politiek en in het bijzonder schaal, besluitvorming en hervormingen op lokaal vlak.

Herwig Reynaert
Herwig Reynaert (1966) is hoogleraar aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is tevens voorzitter van het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de (vergelijkende) lokale politiek. Lokale politieke elites, hervormingen aan het lokaal bestuur, burgerparticipatie, tevredenheidsonderzoek op lokaal vlak... behoren tot zijn interessedomeinen.

Kristof Steyvers
Kristof Steyvers (1979) is docent aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de lokale politiek met in het bijzonder vergelijkende lokale politiek, lokaal politiek leiderschap, hervormingen aan het lokaal bestuur, partijen en verkiezingen op lokaal vlak en stadspolitiek als interessevelden.

Tony Valcke
Tony Valcke (1966) is historicus en assistent aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek en de Urban Policy Research Group van de Ghent University Association. Eerder publiceerde hij onder meer over politieke elites, provincieraadsverkiezingen, (de provinciale) politieke instellingen en besluitvorming. Hij bereidt een proefschrift voor over de gouverneurs in België en de commissarissen van de koningin in Nederland.

Jo Noppe
Vrij medewerker van het Centrum voor Politicologie van de KU Leuven in samenwerking met de secretariaten van de politieke partijen.

Jean-Benoit Pilet
Docteur en science politique. Chercheur au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, en collaboration avec les secrétariats des partis politiques.

Emilie van Haute
Assistante en science politique au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Jo Noppe
Aspirant van het Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen, aan het Centrum voor Politologie van de K.U.Leuven, in samenwerking met de secretariaten van de politieke partijen.

    The Christian-democrat/socialist government Martens IV resigned at the end ofMarch 1981, because the socialist party could not agree with an urgency plan to reorganize the public finances. Mark Eyskens, Minister of Finance in that cabinet, put together a new government as soon as April 6 of the same year. He succeeded as Prime Minister while all the other resigning ministers remained in their function. Minister Robert Vandeputte, an extra-parlementarian and honorary governor of the Central Bank, became the new Minister of Finance. Like the preceding governments, the Eyskens cabinet was strongly hampered by deep mistrust between the coalition partners, opposing views between the two communities of Belgium and by disagreements about the way to deal with the socio-economic crisis. The Eyskens cabinet was particularly confronted with the organization of the restructured steelmill Cockerill-Sambre and with the absolute low point of the economic crisis. The budget was strongly affected by the increasing unemployment benefits and the collapse of the fiscal revenues. Due to the continuing protest of the trade unions, Mark Eyskens did not succeed to adapt the automatic wage indexation in order to improve the competitive position ofthe Belgian enterprises. He did however manage to prevent the devaluation of the Belgian franc, which had come under pressure regularly on the financial markets.By the middle of September 1981 the Eyskens government fell as a result of disagreements between the coalition partners about the financing ofthe money loosing steelmill Cockerill-Sambre in Wallonia. Parliamentary elections were advanced to November 8, 1981. The Christiandemocrats lost a considerable number of seats. A Christian-democrat/liberal cabinet, again headed by Wilfried Martens, emerged by mid December. It would carry out a neoliberal policy. Mark Eyskens became the Minister of Economicaffairs in the new government.


Aloïs Van De Voorde
Article

De evolutie van de uitgaven van de Belgische gemeenten sinds 1974

Analyse in functie van het inwonersaantal en van de regionale ligging

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 5 1984
Auteurs Johan Coens
Samenvatting

    In view of a better comprehension of the current bad situation of the municipal finances, the evolution of the expenses of the Belgian municipalities has been investigated. Although the attention is focussed on a descriptive analysis, some explanatory indications are also given by analysing the expenses in functionof the number of inhabitants and of the geographical situation (i.c. belonging to the Flemish, Walloon or Brussels region). Special attention was given to the evaluation of the potential inffoence of the amalgamation of the municipalities, which in 1976 reduced their number from 2359 to 596. The global municipal expenses have increased by circa 25 % (in real terms). The pattern of expenditures (i.e. the relative share of the different earmarks) remained fairly stable. There was a positive - although not rectilinear, and important exceptions exist - correlation between the population number and the level of expenses. The number of inhabitants also infiuences the destination of the revenues in a significantway. The amalgamation process seems to have only an indirect repercussion on the expenses, particularly by the change in the spreading of the municipalities over the different categories. Especially the remarkable and relevant inter-regional differentiation of the expenses - W alloon municipalities spend more money per inhabitant and following other priorities - needs further research.


Johan Coens

Robert Henrion
Article

La fusion des communes

Un bilan provisoire

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3-4 1982
Auteurs Joseph Michel
Samenvatting

    The adaptation of the new municipal entities to present-day social life is a success. The concentration of the local administration with better organized services has left human relations unaffected. The amalgamation of the territory and its administration has effected a more equitable distribution of the casts. Considering the administration, the new municipalities could have been bigger but the human dimensions did not allow such enlargement. In most cases, the amalgamation contributed to the inception of a real social and economie entity. But the deliberations did not always lead to new municipalities that would normally have been required. In view of the rationalisation and improvement of the services the new municipality has succeeded. More goods and services are being distributed for the same cost. The amalgamation of the municipalities led to better organization and more efficiency of the administration. The power to manage increased. Concerning municipal finances, the amalgamation operation has not caused any deficits. The causes of the deficits have to be sought elsewhere: a tendency to extend social benefits and to overstaff, the transformation of the Centers for Public Assistance into Public Centers for Social Welf are, the failure of the national government to fulfil its financial obligations vis-à-vis the municipalities. In addition to these causes, errors in judgment have compromised the finances of many municipalities. On the whole, the amalgamations have been a success.


Joseph Michel

    The credit policy of the«Communal Bank» is based on objective criteria in order to respect local autonomy. The financial results of the consolidation are difficult to determine. Several factors could have influenced the present state of municipal finances: the consolidation being done in a period of economic difficulties, the crisis of the public finances, the reform of the Municipal Fund, and the transformation of the Centers for Public Assistance into Public Centers for Social Welf are. The consolidations did not generale any savings, but it al,so did not cause an alarming increase of expenses. With respect to budget balancing, the amalgamated municipalities should do better than the non-amalgamated municipalities. To keep the increase of expenses low in comparison with the revenues, the municipalities had to make cuts in several sectors. As to the current fniancial situation in the three regions, the municipalities of the Brussels regon are in a very painful situation; in Flanders, the number of municipalities with deficits is higher than in Wallonia, but the deficits in W allonia are bigger. To stop this negative evolution one must strive for balanced budgets and reshape them into reliable instruments.


Gerrit Van Daele
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