The Politics of the Belgian Constitution: Can it Be Explained?
27 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2013
Date Written: December 11, 2012
The title of this article is testimony to the challenge every academic active in the domain of Belgian public law from time to time has to face. Sooner or later he or she will be quizzed about Belgian politics and its accompanying constitutional state of affairs: “How does it work?” The very prominence of this question as well as the bewilderment in the eyes of those asking it are sure signs of an unusual situation. Explaining Belgian political and constitutional particulars and vicissitudes is no easy task at the best of times, and a foreign readership in particular likely cannot see the wood for the trees. We are dealing with a very complex society, divided in many respects: linguistically, ideologically, culturally, regionally, economically, etc. These divisions are politically highly relevant and come with an equally complex constitutional design. “No country but Belgium offers so many job opportunities to lawyers specialising in constitutional law”, Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Ruppo recently said during the presentation of a new treatise on constitutional law.
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