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Pacifying National Majorities in the Brussels Capital Region: What About the Immigrant Minority Groups?

Pacifying National Majorities in the Brussels Capital Region: What About the Immigrant Minority... I. INTRODUCTION The process of state reform and devolution has put recognition of cultural-linguistic diver- sity in the foreground as the guiding principle for (representation in) Belgian political life. The (new) Constitution oaf1994,1 indeed, clearly departs from the postulate of a 'mul- tination state" and recognizes the rights of (partial) self-determination of those groups which are seen to be the constitutive elements of the Belgian nation.' The Constitution states that the Flemish, Francophone and Germanophone groups are the fundamental cultural communities of Belgium. This postulate then serves as the basis for organization of the entire Belgian political field. The Flemish-Francophone divide, however, clearly constitutes the central political axis. Belgium is not only officially built out of three Communities (a Dutch-speaking (i.e. Flemish), French-speaking and German-speaking community), it is also officially the sum of three territorial entities, the so-called 'Regions' (Flanders, Wallonia and the Region of Brussels-Capital). The Regions and Communities have specific political competencies. The Regions have jurisdiction over so-called 'space- bounded' matters, such as regional economy, agriculture, environment, infrastructure and traffic. The Communities have jurisdiction over so-called 'person-related matters', such as health care, social policy, culture, education and language use. Belgium thus has a peculiar and complex http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online Brill

Pacifying National Majorities in the Brussels Capital Region: What About the Immigrant Minority Groups?

European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online , Volume 2 (1): 23 – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
eISSN
2211-6117
DOI
10.1163/221161103X00148
Publisher site
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Abstract

I. INTRODUCTION The process of state reform and devolution has put recognition of cultural-linguistic diver- sity in the foreground as the guiding principle for (representation in) Belgian political life. The (new) Constitution oaf1994,1 indeed, clearly departs from the postulate of a 'mul- tination state" and recognizes the rights of (partial) self-determination of those groups which are seen to be the constitutive elements of the Belgian nation.' The Constitution states that the Flemish, Francophone and Germanophone groups are the fundamental cultural communities of Belgium. This postulate then serves as the basis for organization of the entire Belgian political field. The Flemish-Francophone divide, however, clearly constitutes the central political axis. Belgium is not only officially built out of three Communities (a Dutch-speaking (i.e. Flemish), French-speaking and German-speaking community), it is also officially the sum of three territorial entities, the so-called 'Regions' (Flanders, Wallonia and the Region of Brussels-Capital). The Regions and Communities have specific political competencies. The Regions have jurisdiction over so-called 'space- bounded' matters, such as regional economy, agriculture, environment, infrastructure and traffic. The Communities have jurisdiction over so-called 'person-related matters', such as health care, social policy, culture, education and language use. Belgium thus has a peculiar and complex

Journal

European Yearbook of Minority Issues OnlineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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