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    This article describes and explains the development of the regional construct for the coordination of medical assistance in accidents and disasters, the emergency medical services in the region (GHOR), in the Netherlands in the period 1996 to 2020. The authors distinguish four stages of organisational development, which they analyse from a multi-actor perspective consisting of three elements: the impact of disasters and (negative) evaluations, the institutional context and the bureaucratic battle surrounding the GHOR. The GHOR was a solution for a perceived insufficiently coordinated functioning of all parties involved in medical assistance. The GHOR was positioned in a complex way. This made it predictable that the multidisciplinary GHOR process would gradually be integrated within the ‘nearby’ regular mono-disciplinary acute care process and the structures for it. This article gives policymakers involved in disaster and crisis management more insight into the history and development of the GHOR over the last two decades. This insight is important now that the added value of the GHOR has come under discussion, partly due to the doubts of the Evaluation Committee for the Security Regions Act, and decisions about its future have to be taken. For administrative scientists, this case study shows that public administration’s ability to foresee and break through known organisational development patterns is still inadequate.


Bernadette Holtkamp
Mr. B.J. Holtkamp BN is hoofddocent/onderzoeker Safety & Security Management aan de Saxion Hogeschool in Enschede.

Ira Helsloot
Prof. dr. I. Helsloot is hoogleraar Besturen van Veiligheid aan de faculteit Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

    How did Flemish and Dutch mayors experience the first months of the corona crisis? To find out, the Flemish and Dutch authors of this article first zoom in on the local government system of Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands in which these mayors operate. That system differs between the Low Countries from a functional, territorial and political perspective. However, a thorough document analysis and a series of interviews teach us that the position and leeway of mayors is quite similar in full corona time and during the corona struggle. Crisis decision-making is centralised in both Flanders and the Netherlands. Mayors therefore quickly made a significant shift in terms of (1) power and authority (respectively to the provincial governor and the federal level and to the regional mayor and the national level); (2) tasks (prioritising crisis management over other tasks); and (3) roles (increased importance for the executive role with impact on the ‘mayor father’ or ‘mayor mother’ role). And, with that, this contribution shows that Flemish and Dutch mayors, and if they are extended, local authorities, are indispensable for these days tackling a crisis, even if it extends far beyond their own borders.


Ellen Wayenberg
Prof. dr. E. Wayenberg is hoofddocent aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent. Zij is covoorzitter van de Permanent Study Group on Regional and Local Government in het kader van de European Group on Public Administration en redactielid van Beleidsonderzoek Online en het Vlaamse Tijdschrift voor Overheids­management.

Marieke van Genugten
Dr. M.L. van Genugten is universitair hoofddocent bestuurskunde in de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen. Zij is redactielid van het tijdschrift Bestuurskunde.

Joris Voets
Prof. dr. J. Voets is hoofddocent bestuurskunde aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is bestuurslid van de Vlaamse Vereniging voor Bestuur en Beleid en de International Research Society for Public Management en hoofdredacteur van het Vlaamse Tijdschrift voor Overheidsmanagement.

Sandra Resodihardjo
Dr. S.L. Resodihardjo is universitair docent bestuurskunde in de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen. Zij is redactielid van Risk, Hazards, & Crisis in Public Policy.

Inke Torfs
I. Torfs MSc is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent.

Bram Van Haelter
B. Van Haelter MSc is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent.

    Local political parties are clearly on the rise in the Netherlands in both the municipal council and the municipal board. Their average percentage of council seats increased from 25% in 1998 to 37% in 2018 and the percentage of councillors from 21% to 32%. This coincided with a greatly increased fragmentation. For example, the average number of political parties on the council rose from 6.5 in 1998 to 8.0 in 2018 and the number of parties providing one or more aldermen increased from 2.8 to 3.4 during this period. Fragmentation expressed in the number of effective parties shows a similar trend. If we use the Chapel Hill score, it appears that the average political colour of both the municipal council and the alderman part in the municipal board has shifted to the right. This is mainly because political parties are becoming increasingly right wing according to this index and not so much because there are more local votes for right-wing parties. Significant differences in the representative representation are also noted. The local parties as well as the Socialist Party (SP) are less successful than average in converting their seats on the council into councillor seats, while the three large traditional (and especially the CDA) and smaller Christian parties have succeeded above average in this.


Raymond Gradus
Prof. dr. R.H.J.M. Gradus is hoogleraar bestuur en economie van de publieke en non-profitsector aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, en is tevens verbonden aan de vakgroep Accounting en het Zijlstra Center for Public Control, Leadership and Governance.

Tjerk Budding
Dr. G.T. Budding is universitair hoofddocent Management and Financial Accounting en opleidings­­directeur van de Public Controllers­­opleidingen aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Elbert Dijkgraaf
Prof. dr. E. Dijkgraaf is hoogleraar empirische economie van de publieke sector aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en fellow van het Tinbergen Instituut.

Simon Otjes
Dr. S.P. Otjes is onderzoeker bij het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (DNPP) van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en universitair docent aan de Universiteit Leiden.

Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. J.J.C. van Ostaaijen is als lector Recht en Veiligheid verbonden aan Avans Hogeschool in Den Bosch en als universitair docent Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    The history of local parties in the Netherlands is quite a mystery. Since their first appearance at the dawn of the twentieth century, local parties were founded sooner or later in all municipalities. They seemed to have served as an addition to local representatives of national parties. Despite the variety in their ideologies, shapes and modi operandi, they could be qualified and studied as ‘niche parties’, offering an alternative to the viewpoints and divisions of the traditional (national) party politics. With this article, the authors aim to contribute to a better understanding of Dutch local parties, whose origins and development have largely remained a black box due to the scarcity of sources and studies. They do so by adopting a partly quantitative, partly qualitative or narrative approach, while looking at the election results of local parties in the past century, including salient regional differences, and by comparing these to the success of national parties in local elections. Within the boundaries of their research, their hypothesis seems to hold true that the popularity of local parties, as ‘niche parties’, depended largely on the strategies of national parties, which justifies the assumption that these two types of parties have acted as communicating vessels.


Ingrid van Biezen
Prof. dr. I. van Biezen is hoogleraar vergelijkende politicologie aan de Universiteit Leiden. Daarvoor was ze verbonden aan de University of Birmingham.

Geerten Waling
Dr. G.H. Waling is historicus en is als onderzoeker verbonden aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij studeerde geschiedenis en wijsbegeerte aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

    In this study, the authors analyse the development of the 46 Dutch local parties that received at least ten per cent of the vote in the 2014 municipal elections as a new party. The aim is to determine which factors are most relevant to the successful entry and survival of this group of parties. To this end, they conduct interviews with leaders of these parties, but also, for comparison, with the leaders of parties who failed to win a seat. An important common feature of the most successful local parties is that they express dissatisfaction with local politics in an appealing way and offer voters perspective. They do this by putting people on the list who are known in the small communities and who are actively involved. The following factors are present in varying compositions among the parties that even exceeded their election victory four years later: unity in the party or at least no ‘hassle’ visible to society, visible and appealing to residents, having clearly achieved something and being able to transmit that to society. Most founders of the most successful newcomers were previously politically active for a local branch of a political party. It is also striking that three quarters of the most successful newcomers come from municipalities with a maximum of 40,000 inhabitants.


Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. J.J.C. van Ostaaijen is als lector Recht en Veiligheid verbonden aan Avans Hogeschool in Den Bosch en als universitair docent Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Milou Peeters
M. Peeters BSc is masterstudent Management van de Publieke Sector aan de Universiteit Leiden. Ook doet ze als student-assistent bij de Universiteit Maastricht onderzoek naar de controlefunctie van gemeenteraden. Zij deed een bachelor Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Sander Jennissen
S. Jennissen BSc is masterstudent Management van de Publieke Sector aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij deed een bachelor Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    Local political parties are an important factor in local politics in the Netherlands. These parties, which participate in municipal elections but are not affiliated with national political parties, are currently the largest ‘political family’ in the municipal councils. Yet surprisingly little is known about these parties. The existing research indicates that this ‘party family’ has a protest character. But at the same time, more precise analyses indicate that this party family is more diverse: and that the label ‘local party’ describes all kinds of different movements. However, a comprehensive analysis of the programmatic positioning of all parties in this family in relation to national parties is lacking. That is the purpose of this article. For this research, all election manifestoes of the departments and parties that participated in the municipal elections in November 2013, March and November 2014, November 2017 and March and November 2018 were collected. On this basis, the positions of all these parties are estimated on the left-right dimension, a scale that measures anti-elitist rhetoric and a scale that measures localism, based on modern quantitative text analysis techniques (bag-of-words approaches). In this way, for the first time, a picture is obtained of the programmatic cohesion and diversity of this party family as a whole.


Simon Otjes
Dr. S.P. Otjes is onderzoeker bij het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (DNPP) van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en universitair docent aan de Universiteit Leiden.
Article

Morality in the Populist Radical Right

A Computer-Assisted Morality Frame Analysis of a Prototype

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering Online First 2021
Trefwoorden Populist radical right, morality, frame analysis, word2vec, crimmigration
Auteurs Job P.H. Vossen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article provides a computer-assisted morality framing analysis of Vlaams Belang’s 2019 manifesto. The VB is regarded in the literature as a prototypical example of the Populist Radical Right (PRR). We first concisely review what PRR politics is and what it consists of, tentatively distinguishing four elements that we hypothesise will materialise in corresponding subframes running throughout the manifesto. We point to a mismatch between the omnipresent role of morality in all PRR subframes and the little attention devoted to the concept in the PRR literature. We introduce a useful theory from social psychology into framing literature to create a novel methodological approach to frame analysis that builds a bridge between a qualitative content and a quantitative context approach. The results support our hypothesis that populism, nationalism, nativism and authoritarianism can be distinguished from one another. Additionally, we detect a fifth PRR subframe, crimmigration, by its unique role of morality.


Job P.H. Vossen
Job Vossen is a PhD candidate at the University of Antwerp. His research investigates (im)morality in political discoursing and its interacting with fear, solidarity and gender and sexuality. The corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Thema-artikel

Corona: stresstest voor het binnenlands bestuur?

Over de Nederlandse corona-aanpak: differentiatie tussen en inbedding in de veiligheidsregio’s

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden Corona virus, Health crisis, Safety regions, Local office holders
Auteurs Caspar van den Berg, Geerten Boogaard, Sofie Dreef e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands, the first period of the fight against the corona virus, which lasted from March, 1 until December 1, 2020, can be seen as a unique experiment. During this period, the 25 chairs of the ‘safety regions’ (veiligheidsregio’s), who are simultaneously the major of an important municipality in their region, were authorized for the first time to issue the most essential measures to tackle a national health crisis, partly on the binding advice of the Dutch health minister. The chairs of the safety regions gathered in the so-called ‘safety convention’ (veiligheidsberaad), in which they aimed to nationally coordinate their respective local measures. In this paper, we argue that the involvement of the safety regions provided a structure in which all local office holders in their respective regions (both on the municipal and the safety region level) could co-operate in the nation-wide fight against the pandemic, while at the same time take into account the existing (cultural) differences between the 25 regions.


Caspar van den Berg
Prof. dr. C.F. van den Berg is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Geerten Boogaard
Prof. mr. G. Boogaard is hoogleraar Decentrale Overheden aan de Universiteit Leiden.

Sofie Dreef
S. Dreef, MSc, LLM is promovendus aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en werkt als managing consultant bij Berenschot.

Gert Jan Geertjes
Mr. G.J.A. Geertjes is universitair docent staatsrecht aan de Universiteit Leiden.
Thema-artikel

Naar een politiek-bestuurlijke herdefinitie van pandemische paraatheid

Sturing van de COVID-19-respons in Azië en Europa

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden pandemic preparedness, COVID-19 governance, welfare state failure, mitigation and control, political economy
Auteurs Marleen Bekker en Ivo ten Have
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Despite the highest ranks on pandemic preparedness assessments European welfare states encounter great difficulty in responding effectively to the COVID-19 outbreak. In this article we compare the governance of COVID-19 response in 48 Eurasian countries and a selection of European and SARS (2003) exposed Asian countries during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak until 1 June 2020, using data from the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, recent scientific literature and policy documents.
    Pandemic preparedness during the first wave of COVID-19 evolved from specialist infectious disease control to a broad governance of population mitigation, which in at least half of Eurasian countries lacked appropriate authority and capacity. In the directly operational response in Asian countries, preparedness encompasses a whole of government approach, an engaged and active community and private actors. Preparedness requires and reflects both vertical and horizontal coordination as well as policies that fit with the political economy of a country and region.


Marleen Bekker
M.P.M. Bekker, PhD is universitair docent in de leerstoelgroep Health and Society (HSO), in het Center for Space, Place and Society (CSPS), aan Wageningen University and Research (WUR).

Ivo ten Have
I.L.F. ten Have, MSc heeft recent zijn master Communication and Health Sciences aan Wageningen University and Research afgerond met een thesis waarvan in dit artikel verslag wordt gedaan.
Thema-artikel

Wetenschappelijk advies en coronabeleid: een bestuurskundige reflectie

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden science for policy, policy advice, policy making, wicked issues, COVID19 policy
Auteurs Hans de Bruijn en Martijn van der Steen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper takes a public administration lens to look at the relationship between scientific knowledge en policy making during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemix in The Netherlands. Policy makers portrayed an eagerness for scientific knowledge to help them make ‘the right decisions’, and many scientist were just as eager to answer the call. However, there are many dilemmas involved in the relationship between policy making and scientific advice. How can de the relationship between science and policy best be organized? What scientific dicisplines and subsidsciplines should be involved? And what is the specific role of social sciences in policy advice?


Hans de Bruijn
Prof.mr. dr. J.A. de Bruijn is Professor of Public Administration/Organisation and Management bij de Technische Universiteit Delft.

Martijn van der Steen
Prof. dr. M. van der Steen is bijzonder hoogleraar bij de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, en is tevens co-decaan en adjunct-directeur van de NSOB en directeur van de Denktank.
Thema-artikel

Tweebenig besturen binnen zorgnetwerken

Besturen tijdens de ‘hamer’ en de ‘dans’ in zorgregio west

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden network management, health care managers, innovation, consolidation, health care networks, COVID-19, crisis management
Auteurs Jelmer Schalk, Eduard Schmidt, Suzan van der Pas e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Crisis management requires health care managers to simultaneously innovate, i.e. to adjust – and to consolidate, i.e. to provide stability. COVID-19 was no exception in this respect. In this study, we ask to what extent multi-actor and multi-level health care networks stimulate or hinder balancing innovation and consolidation. We present the results of a qualitative case study, drawing upon 29 interviews with health care managers in one region in the Netherlands. Our analysis chronologically follows the crisis management response and differentiates between ‘the hammer’ phase (the ‘lockdown’) and the ‘dance’ phase (learning to live with the virus). We show that, especially in the hammer phase, formal networks can contribute to consolidation, yet innovation comes mostly from informal and personal networks. While the hammer phase should help organizations prepare to live and dance with the virus, we show that multi-actor and multi-level networks focus more on idiosyncratic organizational interests, although some of these are in fact productive. We conclude with recommendations for practice.


Jelmer Schalk
Dr. J. Schalk is universitair hoofddocent bij het LUMC.

Eduard Schmidt
Dr. J.E.T. Schmidt is universitair docent bij de Universiteit Leiden.

Suzan van der Pas
Dr. S. van der Pas is universitair hoofddocent bij het LUMC.

Sietse Wieringa
Dr. S. Wieringa is huisarts bij het LUMC.

Sandra Groeneveld
Prof. dr. S.M. Groeneveld is hoogleraar Publiek Management bij de Universiteit Leiden.

Jet Bussemaker
Prof. dr. M. Bussemaker is hoogleraar Wetenschap, beleid en maatschappelijke impact bij het LUMC.
Article

Access_open The Resilience of Democracy in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Democratic Compensators in Belgium, the Netherlands and France

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden COVID-19, crisis-management, democratic compensators, exceptionalism
Auteurs Tom Massart, Thijs Vos, Clara Egger e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since January 2020, European countries have implemented a wide range of restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet governments have also implemented democratic compensators in order to offset the negative impacts of restrictions. This article aims to account for the variation of their use between Belgium, the Netherlands and France. We analyse three drivers: the strength of counterpowers, the ruling parties’ ideological leanings and political support. Building on an original data set, our results distinguish between embedded and ad hoc compensators. We find that ad hoc compensators are championed mainly by counterpowers, but also by ideology of the ruling coalitions in Belgium and the Netherlands and used strategically to maintain political support in France. Evidence on the link between embedded compensators and counterpowers is more ambiguous.


Tom Massart
Tom Massart is a PhD candidate at ULB / CEVIPOL. His research mainly focuses on European economic governance.

Thijs Vos
Thijs Vos is a political scientist and research assistant at Groningen University.

Clara Egger
Clara Egger is assistant professor in international relations at Groningen University. She is currently leading the Exceptius project on Covid19 containment policies in Europe.

Claire Dupuy
Claire Dupuy is professor of comparative politics at UCLouvain. She specializes in comparative public policy with a focus on multilevel governance, federalism and regionalization processes.

Constance Morel-Jean
Constance Morel-Jean is a master’s student at Grenoble-Alpes University. She specialises in the study of political behaviour.

Raul Magni-Berton
Raul Magni-Berton is professor of political science at Grenoble-Alpes University, PACTE research unit. His research mainly focuses on democracy, its institutions and norms.

Sébastian Roché
Sebastian Roché is CNRS Research Professor at Grenoble-Alpes University, PACTE research unit. He specializes in policing and legitimacy studies.

    Dutch social policies are aimed at the integration and participation of all people. This creates challenges for persons with a mental vulnerability and their neighbourhoods. Five municipalities in the province of Flevoland asked us to help them improve the move from protected living to living in the neighbourhood. We used an arts-based participatory action research design and we followed ‘hot topics’, topics that sparked people’s energy and emotion, and which led to empowerment and participation. Focusing on these topics, which initially might not seem to be closely connected to the main research topic, might produce more information, and energy to take action on it, rather than rigidly sticking with the initial research topics. In this article, we focus on the first phases of the project. The emotions that people with mental vulnerabilities expressed when talking about their dogs, led us to the core of what really mattered to them in terms of inclusive living and participation. The dog functioned as an unexpected ‘hot topic’. In a symbolic sense, ‘the dog’ stands for a diverse range of lifeworld topics that can act as a creative catalyst for social change.

    Vooraf

    Participatief actieonderzoek en responsieve evaluatie staan volop in de belangstelling bij beleidsmakers en onderzoekers. Dit type beleidsonderzoek en -evaluatie beoogt democratisch, inclusief én impactvol te zijn. Het gaat om onderzoek mét in plaats van óver mensen. En het is actiegericht: onderzoek wil bijdragen aan concrete oplossingen door met betrokkenen gezamenlijke (verbeter)acties te ontwikkelen in de praktijk, en daarop te reflecteren en van te leren. Dit alles met het oog op sociale inclusie. Het zijn mooie idealen, maar wat betekent dit in de alledaagse, vaak weerbarstige onderzoekspraktijk?

    Op 20 januari 2020 organiseerde prof. Abma daarover een symposium, getiteld ‘Responsive, Participatory Research: Past, Present and Future Perspectives’ (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam). De rode draad op het symposium was de vraag wat goed en ethisch verantwoord participatief onderzoek is, en wat dit vraagt van onderzoekers en beleidsmakers. Drie lezingen op deze conferentie zijn nadien omgewerkt tot essays om lezers van Beleidsonderzoek Online vanuit verschillende perspectieven beter kennis te laten maken met deze vorm van onderzoek:

    Prof. Weerman en haar team focussen in hun bijdrage op het zich in de praktijk ontwikkelende onderzoeksdesign en het inzetten van creatieve methoden om participatie te bevorderen. Ze gaan na welke kwaliteitscriteria aan participatief actieonderzoek worden gesteld en hechten daarbij met name aan eisen ten aanzien van participatie, samen leren en verschil maken (zie BoO juli 2021). Ze benadrukken het belang van creativiteit en flexibiliteit.

    Prof. Abma bespreekt in haar artikel de normatieve dimensies en de ethiek van participatief actieonderzoek (zie BoO september 2020). Ze illustreert met een voorbeeld uit de crisishulpverlening aan GGZ-cliënten dat participatief actieonderzoek niet slechts een methodisch-technische exercitie is, maar een sociaal-politiek proces waarbij bestaande machtsverhoudingen verschuiven om ruimte te geven aan nieuwe stemmen en kennis. Dit omvat het zien van en stilstaan bij ethisch saillante dilemma’s en morele reflectie.

    De bijdrage van prof. Cook (zie BoO februari 2021) gaat over de weerbarstige praktijk van participatief actieonderzoek. Het doel is samen leren en voorbij geijkte oplossingen komen. Zij laat zien dat dit uitdagend is voor professionals die geconfronteerd worden met burgers die feedback geven en vragen om het (deels) loslaten van vaststaande professionele kaders. Er ontstaat dan ongemak en onzekerheid, maar zo beoogt en laat Cook overtuigend zien, deze ‘mess’ (niet meer goed weten wat goed en nodig is) is productief om te komen tot hernieuwde inzichten en innovaties.

    (Introductietekst opgesteld door prof. T. Abma)


Alie Weerman
Alie Weerman is professor of Mental Health and Society at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Her PhD focused on the use of experiential knowledge of professional social workers and caretakers. She practices Participatory Health Research in several organizations in healthcare and social work. She always uses experiential knowledge as a valuable ‘third source of knowledge’ in the process and results of studies.

Rosalie Metze
Rosalie Metze is associate professor of Mental Health and Society at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Her expertise lies in topics such as outreach work, experiential knowledge, self-efficacy, and strengthening the voice of those less heard. Her goal is to always work according to the PAR principles, and gain the necessary acknowledgement for this type of research.
Article

Is Euroscepticism Contagious?

How Mainstream Parties React to Eurosceptic Challengers in Belgian Parliaments

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering Online First 2021
Trefwoorden Euroscepticism, parliaments, party competition, Belgium, federalism
Auteurs Jordy Weyns en Peter Bursens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Euroscepticism has long been absent among Belgian political parties. However, since the start of the century, some Eurosceptic challengers have risen. This article examines the effect of Eurosceptic competition on the salience other parties give to the EU and on the positions these parties take in parliament. Using a sample of plenary debates in the federal and regional parliaments, we track each party’s evolution from 2000 until 2019. Our findings both contradict and qualify existing theories and findings on Eurosceptic competition. When facing Eurosceptic challengers, all parties raise salience fairly equally, but government and peripheral parties adopted (soft) Euroscepticism more often than other parties.


Jordy Weyns
Jordy Weyns is a recent graduate from Universiteit Antwerpen, and will soon start a PhD program at the European University Institute in Firenze.

Peter Bursens
Peter Bursens is professor of political science at Universiteit Antwerpen, at the research group Politics and Public Governance and the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence.

    Since 2003, decentralized audit offices in the Netherlands have been authorized to investigate the regularity of the administration conducted. The definition of ‘regularity’ and the scope of the regularity investigation is not described in the law or in the literature. In this article, a regularity investigation is defined as ‘testing whether the administration has complied with applicable law’. That applicable law consists of written and unwritten rules of law, and case law. Audit offices examine regularity less often than efficiency and effectiveness. However, they have started researching it more often than in the past, according to this article. Of the administrative audit office reports in 2019, 42% contained a regularity finding, conclusion or recommendation. Accountants also investigate the regularity. They do this in the context of the annual audit and limit themselves to financial regularity. The regularity audit carried out by decentralized audit offices is broader. In addition to written legal rules, it also focuses on unwritten legal rules and case law, it is not limited to financial subjects and the investigation period can be longer than one reporting year. The findings and conclusions of the audit offices regarding the lawful unlawful actions of the administration concern the consequences for citizens and companies and the consequences for the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration’s actions.


Arjan Kok
Mr. drs. A. Kok RA is sinds 2004 werkzaam bij de Rekenkamer Metropool Amsterdam, is medeauteur van de Handreiking juridische vraagstukken van de NVRR (juli 2020) en doceert het onderdeel rechtmatigheidsonderzoek binnen de postacademische cursus Rekenkameronderzoek (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam).

    In recent years there has been a lot of discussion about and movement in the position of local audit offices in the Netherlands, For example, there is currently a bill to strengthen the audit offices in the Dutch House of Representatives (‘Tweede Kamer’), and in recent years there have been drastic cuts in the budgets of many local audit offices. The development of local audit offices nationally is therefore strongly determined by politics. Partly for this reason, it is wise to look beyond national borders and gain insight into the development and position of the local audit institutions in other European countries. It is striking that the majority of the regional European audit offices are not only considerably larger and perform more tasks – in addition to performance audits, they also audit the annual accounts – but also that there are considerably fewer decentralized audit offices per country. In addition, there are major differences in powers. For example, regional audit offices in France can in some cases impose fines and take certain cases to court. Despite the large differences, however, there are also many similarities between the various European decentralized audit institutions. For example, all audit offices conduct performance audits and independence is almost always properly guaranteed by law. The article concludes with a plea for the Dutch situation to be somewhat more in line with the development of the European decentralized audit institutions.


Paul Hofstra
Drs. P. Hofstra is tot 1 juni 2021 directeur/bestuurder van de Rekenkamer Rotterdam. Hij is daarnaast voorzitter van de Rekenkamer Sint Eustatius.

    In the more than 15 years that decentralized audit offices have existed in the Netherlands, little attention has been paid to the research methods they use. This article focuses on how the research methods used by decentralized audit offices have developed and to what extent they use new technology. New technology has changed a lot in 15 years, which offers new possibilities for research, but also raises new questions. Based on an empirical analysis of audit reports, it can be concluded that decentralized audit offices adopt a standard approach to document and file analysis and interviews, with only limited application of innovative technology. On the basis of a theoretical exploration of the relevant literature and a simple qualitative analysis of research by the Netherlands Court of Audit and the Rathenau Institute, a framework has been developed in which the opportunities and risks of the application of new technology in decentralized audit office research are described. This can provide a handle for future application. Decentralized audit offices can use this for (more) reflection on their research methods and innovation, in order to develop to maturity while remaining young.


Ard Schilder
Dr. N.A.C. Schilder is directeur-bestuurder van de Zuidelijke Rekenkamer.

Isabelle Fest
I. Fest MA is promovendus bij de Universiteit Utrecht, waar zij onderzoek uitvoert naar de toepassing van algoritmen bij de Nationale Politie.

Erik Schurer
E. Schurer MSc is als onderzoeker verbonden aan de Zuidelijke Rekenkamer.

    This article focuses on the regularity audit carried out by decentralized audit offices in the Netherlands. Decentralized audit institutions have been given a limited task assignment from the legislator for this type of research. It was expressly not the intention that the audit office repeats the (financial) regularity audit done by the accountant, nor was the decentralized audit office given a role in the so-called indemnity procedure. The decentralized audit office’s role is primarily to carry out a system test of regularity. A positive side effect of this limited task assignment has been that decentralized audit institutions have not started to practice regularity audits as a separate activity. Monitoring the relationship between regularity, efficiency and effectiveness can protect an audit office from pitfalls. While this working method is maintained, new opportunities will arise for decentralized audit institutions. The accountant will soon no longer have primacy in assessing (financial) regularity, but the municipal and provincial Executive will instead report directly to the municipal and provincial council in an annex to the annual accounts. The accountant will continue to monitor whether what is stated in this annex about regularity is correct and complete. This offers new possibilities for the decentralized court of auditors to assist the council in its monitoring and contextualizing role, and in forming an opinion on regularity.


Jan van der Bij
Mr. dr. J. van der Bij is werkzaam bij het Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties, lid van het College van de Noordelijke Rekenkamer, lid van de commissie BBV en voorzitter van de commissie Bado.
Thema-artikel

Pacificatie en polarisatie

Kentering en continuïteit in politiek en Bestuur in Nederland post 2002

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2021
Auteurs Frank Hendriks en Mark Bovens
Auteursinformatie

Frank Hendriks
Ten tijde van publicatie was Frank Hendriks als hoogleraar Vergelijkende Bestuurskunde verbonden aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Mark Bovens
Mark Bovens was hoogleraar Bestuurskunde en directeur Onderzoek aan de Utrechtse School voor Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap.
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