The European rescue of the federal state: How Europeanisation shapes the Belgian state

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Series Details Vol.29, No.5, November 2006, p1057-1078
Publication Date November 2006
ISSN 0140-2382
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This article investigates the impact of European integration on the Belgian federal polity. In particular, we substantiate two propositions. First, we show that European integration stimulates Regions, Communities and central government to cooperate. Second, Europe prevents the central government level from disappearing. Europeanisation seems to have a centralising effect on some parts of the Belgian polity. In general, the constitutionally dual nature of the Belgian federation has, due to European influences, incrementally evolved into a practice of cooperation and joint decision-making. These conclusions are supported by an in-depth exploration of five policy areas: the overall domestic European coordination procedures, environmental policy, agricultural policy, social policy and the European treaty negotiations.

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