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"It goes (almost) without saying: Europe in the Belgian parties"

Deschouwer, Kris and Van Assche, Martine. (2005) "It goes (almost) without saying: Europe in the Belgian parties". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)

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      In this paper we try to show to what extent the process of Europeanization has affected party politics in Belgium. First we make a few methodological remarks, mainly defending the assumption that Europeanization must be broken down and contextualized. The effects of Europe on a national polity depend very much on the specific nature of that national polity. We then proceed to the presentation of the Belgian case, making the point that Belgium is a country in which the European issue has an extremely low salience. This means that there is very little direct effect of Europeanization to be seen on the party life. Europe is rather something that can be used by the parties whenever they need it. Then we look at the way in which Europe might have affected the party competition, by focussing on the evolution of the political cleavages. We defend the idea that especially the ethno-linguistic tensions have been thoroughly redefined and reframed by the European context. When looking for Europe in the party statutes and in the party’s internal life we do indeed find some evidence that the Belgian parties function in a European environment. Yet this evidence does not show a really devastating effect of Europe on the Belgian parties. Interviews with Belgian MEPs, MPs and party staff do confirm us though that Europe is increasingly there.

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      Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
      Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Belgium
      EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
      EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > political parties
      Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
      EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
      EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
      Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2005 (9th), March 31-April 2, 2005
      Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
      Official EU Document: No
      Language: English
      Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2005
      Page Range: p. 28
      Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:26

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