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Article

Weinig speelruimte, onmiskenbare invloed: het Belgisch EU-Voorzitterschap en de Europese sociale agenda

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2011
Trefwoorden EU Presidency, Belgium, social policy, agenda-shaping, influence
Auteurs Olivier Pintelon en Wim Van Lancker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Traditionally, Belgian EU Presidencies are characterized by an ambitious social agenda. It is, however, unclear to what extent these ambitions are translated into real policy accomplishments. In this article we aim to disentangle the genuine influence of the Belgian 2010 EU Presidency on the European social policy agenda by applying the agenda-shaping framework developed by Jonas Tallberg. Making use of elite interviews and by studying policy documents, we reach a twofold conclusion. First of all, the Belgian Presidency has left its footprints in some specific social policy topics, especially with regard to social impact assessment and child poverty. However, – in line with theoretical expectations – agenda-setting initiatives were less successful than agenda-structuring techniques. Secondly, our findings also shed preliminary light on the determinants of Presidency influence as identified by Simone Bunse. We find that the Belgian social ambitions were curtailed by political and economic constraints, policy preferences in the Council, the difficult inter-institutional dialogue (especially with the European Commission), and the limited Presidency skills of certain Belgian policy actors.


Olivier Pintelon
Olivier Pintelon is onderzoeker aan het Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid Herman Deleeck (CSB) van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek handelt over het verdelingsvraagstuk in de welvaartstaat, met bijzondere aandacht voor armoede en inkomensongelijkheid.

Wim Van Lancker
Wim Van Lancker is onderzoeker aan het Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid Herman Deleeck (CSB) van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de sociale verdeling van gezinsbeleid (kinderbijslag, ouderschapsverlof en kinderopvang) in een Europees vergelijkende context en de relatie van gezinsbeleid met armoede, ongelijkheid en vrouwelijke arbeidsmarktparticipatie.
Article

De gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2006

Evolutie sinds 1976

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2-3 2007
Auteurs Johan Ackaert, Herwig Reynaert, Koenraad De Ceuninck e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 2006 local elections in Belgium were the first one organised after the transfer of the local authorities competences from the federal to the regional level. This means by consequence that the different regions have as well the competence in designing the institutional framework of local government as the competence of changing electoral rules. The same elections were also the first ones after drastic reforms in the national political landscape (eg., the democratic Flemish nationalist party split in different groups, nearly all the parties changed their name and particularly in the Flemish part of the country, different kinds of alliances between parties emerged).
    All over the country, the Christian democrats made progress and the ecologists suffered a declining trend. For the other parties, results depend from one region to another.
    In the Flemish part of the country, the socialists and the extreme right wing joined the Christian democrats as winners of the elections. The other parties lost votes. This was particularly the case for the liberals and ecologists (the winners of the 2000 local elections). Liberals are however the winners in the Walloon part of the country, together with again the Christian democrats. In this region, socialists and ecologists were set back. In the Brussels region, we noticed progress for socialists and Christian democrats and declining figures for liberals and ecologists.
    Analyses of political competition, number of groups in local councils and single party majorities point out that the fragmentation of local politics is not growing. The local political landscape seems to be more stable in the Walloons compared with the Flemish region.


Johan Ackaert
Docent aan de Universiteit Hasselt.

Herwig Reynaert
Docent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Koenraad De Ceuninck
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Kristof Steyvers
Doctor-assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Tony Valcke
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.
Article

De provincieraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2006

Electorale tendensen in Vlaanderen en Wallonië

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2-3 2007
Auteurs Tony Valcke, Herwig Reynaert, Kristof Steyvers e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 2006 provincial elections in Belgium were the first organised after the transfer of the bulk of competences on local and provincial government from the federal to the regional level. This means that the different regions have both the competence to redesign the institutional framework on provincial government and to change the electoral rules. The government has exercised its competence: some institutional and electoral rules are now different in the two regions. These elections were also the first after drastic reforms in the national political landscape (e.g., the democratic Flemish nationalist party split in different groups, nearly all the parties changed their name and different kinds of cartels and alliances between parties emerged, especially in the Flemish part of the country).
    All over the country, the Christian democrats and the extreme right parties were the winners of the elections, while the ecologists suffered from a declining trend. For the other parties, results differ according to region. In the Flemish part of the country, the socialists joined the Christian democrats as winners, where in the Walloon provinces they lost votes. The Liberals however noticed declining vote shares in the Flemish provinces, while winning in the Walloon part of the country.
    Because of the electoral design the evolution of the provincial political landscape offers an interesting electoral barometer of the upcoming federal elections. Provincial elections do not only ‘predict’ the political future of other levels however, they are path dependent in their own right as well. Historical, institutional, political and electoral forces all codetermine the actual outlook of current provincial events. The analysis for 2006 has once again confirmed this.


Tony Valcke
Assistent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Herwig Reynaert
Docent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Kristof Steyvers
Doctor-assistent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Johan Ackaert
Docent Universiteit Hasselt.

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.
Article

Partis politiques nationaux en crise?

Organisation des partis et décentralisation. Une comparaison de l’Espagne et du Royaume Uni

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2005
Auteurs Elodie Fabre, Bart Maddens, Wilfried Swenden e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article investigates the link between state decentralization and party decentralization. We study the impact of the type (dual, integrative, asymmetrical) and degree of decentralization on two dimensions of the relationship between a party’s central party organs and its regional branches: the autonomy of the regional branches to manage their regional affairs and the degree of participation of the regional branches in the central party. We compare the organization of five state-wide parties in two decentralized multi-national polities, Spain and the UK. Our analysis of their party statutes partly confirms the link between degree and asymmetry of decentralization and party organization. However, the impact of the type of distribution of powers between the state and its regions is much less clear. This article shows the need to investigate the influence of other factors such as regional party competition and electoral rules on the type of central-regional relationships within state-wide parties.


Elodie Fabre
Doctorante au Département de science politique à la Katholieke Universiteit de Leuven.

Bart Maddens
Professeur en science politique à la Katholieke Universiteit de Leuven.

Wilfried Swenden
Professeur en science politique à l’Université de Edimbourg, Ecosse.

Robertas Pogorelis
Collaborateur scientifique au Département de science politique à la Katholieke Universiteit de Leuven.
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