How Europe shapes the nature of the Belgian Federation : differentiated EU impact triggers both co-operation and decentralization
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Regional and federal studies. - London, 1995, currens
, p. 1-23
University of Antwerp
This paper disentangles the impact of various dimensions of European integration on different aspects of the Belgian federal polity. We discern two opposite trends. While the institutional embeddedness of Belgium as an EU member state results in domestic centralizing tendencies and co-operative political practices, economic integration stimulates political pressures for regional autonomy, contributing to further divergence and hollowing out of the federal level. We conclude by arguing that the EU clearly affects territorial politics in Belgium, but, as the European causes are multidimensional, that also the effects, albeit substantial, will be diverse.