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Tijdschrift Res Publica x Jaar 1993 x

De politieke strijd rond de invoering van de ecotaks

Een getuigenis

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3-4 1993
Auteurs Magda Aelvoet en Chris Steenwegen

    Agalev and Ecolo (the green parties in Flanders and Wallonia) consented to supporting the institutional reform of Belgium. Product-policy will be assigned to the federal government. Ecotaxes, fiscal instruments that fit in a product policy, are introduced. Three criteria are defined: 1) the primary goal is to bring about a change of behaviour, 2) the revenues are allocated towards environmental policy and 3) alternative products should be available. Whoever wants to know society, must try to change it. The enormous resistance of industry cannot only be explained by economic considerations. Much more, it is a matter of pure power: who has something to say about what. But resistance and desinformaton also came from consumers' organisations, thewritten press in its comments and even from some 'environmental scientists'. Authors wonder what farces will be unleashed when the discussion on 'reducing consumption ' starts.

Magda Aelvoet

Chris Steenwegen

    Each day, the political world - parliament, government, parties, pressure groups - procuces a lot of information. Compared with other European countries, the Belgian authorities inform their citizens rather parsimoniously. Political information is also available in the media, but only apart of the information produced by the political system is reaching the citizen. The media make a first selection. The citizen too selects: he buys a newspaper or not, and if he buys a paper, he reads the political information entirely, partly or not.

Mark Deweerdt

    This article deals with the differences that exist between the profile of Flemish male and female political candidates placed on election-lists. The survey, held amongst all female and male political candidates, shows that male candidates find themselves in a more favourable position due to the accumulation of small gender differences in education, professional and domestic life. Male candidates more often have university degrees and leading functions resulting in more important relations. They are better represented both in the party structure and in corporate life. Child care and domestic tasks seem to be (usually) their partner's responsability. Female political underrepresentation is a result of a generally weaker position of women in society. Notwithstanding the enormous progress made over the last five decades, the problem of female underrepresentation in politics remains a structural one. Hence, the question is wether a solution should ask for structural measures by the government.

Mieke Van Haegendoren

    Under EC law, directives are often used to harmonize legislation of the member states. White directives are binding as to the result to be achieved, they leave the "choice ofform and methods" to the member states. These must then transpose or implement the directives in their national legal order within a fixed period of time. According to 1992 data of the Commission of the European Communities, Belgium occupied a seventh place in the transposition ofdirectives in general (93.6% of the total number of directives transposed). With regard to the implementation of White Book directives concerning the European internal market however, Belgium, in June 1992, occupied the last place. A wide variety of administrative and structural problems were responsible for Belgium's delay in the implementation of EC directives. Late 1992, an urgency programme set up by the Belgian government early 1992 began to succeed in making up for part of the arrearage with regard to the transposition of White Book directives. However, only through the further adaption its political and administrative structures to the actual Europeanization of Belgian political life wilt Belgium become adequately prepared for the timely and correct transposition of EC directives. This implies an active administrative and parliamentary participation in the preparation of EC legislation and an early dissemination of information concerning the EC's legislative process.

Youri Devuyst
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