Free Essay

The Political Conflict in Belgium

In: Business and Management

Submitted By meninabonita123
Words 1231
Pages 5
Homework 2: The Political Conflict in Belgium

1. The political conflicts in Belgium started in 2007 after the general election and a period of negotiation between several Flemish parties (Flemish Liberal Democratic, Christian Democratic and Flemish and New Flemish Alliance) and French-speaking parties (Reformist Movement, Democratic Front of Francophone and Humanist Democratic Centre) with the aim of forming a government coalition. The main two issues for the conflict to arise were the demands by certain Flemish parties for the end of the existing Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde district, said to be anti-constitutional and demands for more independence for the different regions, especially in terms of the economic reforms – because the Flemish region feels that it is not fair to be paying for the French community economic problems. This is an example of an intergroup conflict between a fragmented community, at this level the conflict is quite intricate because of the large number of people involved and the multitudinous ways they can interact with each other. Both the French and the Flemish community in Belgium have interests they want to defend and negotiations in order to reach an agreement are complex

2. In terms of dimension the stakes of the conflict are high, since the political stability of the country itself is at stake, together with its economic and social stability. In fact the political crisis was such that many observers speculated on a possible partition of Belgium. This would have huge consequence for the country itself and for the European Union as a whole, since the European Institution are located in Brussels, the only region in the country where both the French and the Flemish communities live. The two parties are interdepending, the decisions affect both parties, and the outcome of one party affects the outcome of the other party. This is particularly true in terms of economic measures spending reductions or increase in taxes. The focus of the negotiation was also in the fact that one of the parties (the Flemish Community) was in favor for devolution of powers to the communities and regions and in splitting the BHV (Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde) district, so in other words, the interest was in reducing the interdependence between the two parties. The continuity of the interaction between the two parties is likely, since they are both part of the same country and even in the case of a country division there would still be interaction, considering the geographic proximity. The perceived progress of the conflict change throughout the conflict, the negotiations were in general long and it was difficult to reach an agreement – as it can be understood considering that the country was for 535 days without a proper leader, being led by a transitional caretaker government. The European crisis put an end to this situation as it left the division between the richer Dutch speaking community and the poorer French speaking community more clear than ever, while Brussels stood in the middle as a mix of both regions. The downgrading of the Standard’s and Poor’s credit rating and borrowing affected seriously the banking industry of Belgium made it necessary a political agreement. The amount of time the negotiations took make it quite clear that the conflict reached a certain stage where both parties were protecting their side and unwilling to accept any change – unwilling to compromise. This is a critical factor in this conflict as it reflect that the aims of both parties are not an obvious win-win situation but rather than the parties are putting important things at stake, and the outcome of the negotiation might bring positive or negative effects for one of the regions. In terms of the balance between the gains and harm for both parties, it is important to point out that the maximum degree of reform that the Walloon community is willing to set for is considering by far insufficient to the Flemish nationalists, whose package of demands is considered to be unacceptable by Wallonia.
The conflict has a certain level of difficult attached to the precedent rivalry between the two communities for several years. The linguistic conflict dates back to the XIX century, and the division of the country in three regions was done in 1932 with the following rules: French would be the official language in Wallonia, German in the region on Eupen and Saint-Vith, Dutch would be the official language in Flanders and only the city of Brussels, surrounded by Flemish territory would be declared bilingual. This linguistic conflict adds up to the current difference in the economies of both regions (Flanders has a stronger economy and a lower unemployment rate), meaning and even more complex negotiation.
As It was previously mentioned, the fact that in the current economic crisis both parties started to feel like it was a lose-lose situation to keep the negotiations instead of reaching an agreement and bringing stability to the country made the process easier to resolve, but there is no guarantee that this will be a long-term stability since the different viewpoints about the future of Belgium are still present.
A positive point is the fact that the system is quite well organized and there are other political parties and the king that can act as a third party. The three regions have always had conflict throughout the years, but were always able to find solutions that comprise both sides in order to achieve a better solution. The fact that this is a divisible issue – the country is divided into three regions which have a certain amount of autonomy also contributes for the fact that it will be easier to resolve this conflict than if it was a case of a conflict.

3. In my opinion the best conflict management strategy for this case would be compromising. Compromising represents a moderate effort to pursue one’s own outcomes and a moderate effort to help the other party achieve their outcomes. By compromising the two communities would be able to get to a better situation than before – the Flemish community could get some of the economic reforms it demands and the French community could face the future with more certainty and without the fear of a possible division of the country – which would have negative consequence to the French speaking region, due to the lack of economic stability. Compromising will however be time consuming and might not be enough for the Flemish community, which has higher demands concerning reforms than the French community. The strategy used until now for solving this conflict was mainly problem solving and contending. Problem solving is time demanding and complex, since actors show concern for both their own outcomes and the other’s party outcome, in this case it led to negotiations taking too much time and to a situation where the country did not have a proper government for more than one year – a situation which both communities must be aware of, in order not to repeat it. Both communities should feel the incentive to compromise in order to prevent the negative speculation about the split of the country which is damaging for both regions’ economies – which in the current economic crisis in a major problem.

References

“Belgium, from Model to Case Study for Conflict Resolution” by Jonas Claes, Valerie Rosous www.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Belgian_government_formation Essentials of negotiation (5rd edition International Edition), Lewicki, R.J.Saunders, D.M, Barry

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Dissolution of Belgium

...The Dissolution of Belgium For a long time now it has been proposed that Belgium should be dissolved and its constituent parts be integrated into France and the Netherlands respectively. The proposal specifies that French- speaking regions would be integrated into France, while the Dutch- speaking and German- speaking regions would be integrated into the Netherlands. The partition of Belgium would give the Dutch- speaking people of the Flanders region and the French- speaking people of the Walloon region either independence or the respective accession to France and the Netherlands. This idea was rooted by a long-standing linguistic, ethnic, traditional and socio- economic tensions between the French- speaking and Dutch- and German- speaking communities. After a series of incidents constructing the Middle Ages history of Belgium, a revolution erupted in Brussels in 1830. William I sent in his troops, but they were expelled on September 27th, 1830. The rebels received support from volunteers outside the city. Following this rising, Belgium separated from the Northern Netherlands. A provisional government declared independence on October 4th, 1830. On November 3th of the same year, a National Congress was elected by an electorate of 30,000 men, who paid a given level of taxes or who had special qualifications. On February 7th, 1831 the national congress adopted a constitution which, for its time, was very progressive. The state of Belgium gained its independence as a......

Words: 860 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Rwanda

...makes it one of the 3 genocides of the 20th century. In order to discuss the Rwandan genocide it is important to analyse the nature of the genocide and investigating the catalytic events that trigged the causing of it, in the first place. This includes the ethnic conflicts between Hutu’s and Tutsis, Western colonisation, propaganda, lack of international intervention and genocide denial. Belgium/Germany colonized Rwanda in 1916, due to the LON. The Belgians divided Rwanda’s unified population into a system of racial classification, mainly consisting of Tutsi’s and Hutu’s. With making the discriminatory system, the Europeans decides to make the Tutsi’s the more superior race, due to the Caucasian-ness of their physical features, when compared to the Hutus. As a result the Tutsi’s were given a more aristocratic appearance in Belgian eyes as they were provided with higher education and job standards while the militia relegated the Hutus to menial tasks. This created resentment towards the Tutsis among the Hutu which was further exacerbated when under Belgian imperial rule, the Tutsis and Hutus were all given cards indicating their ethnic identity. In the end, these identities were the fault lines along which political violence exploded due to colonial pacification. This violence caused genocide as it took on 3 of the ten ‘causes of genocide’ in regards to implementing classification, symbolism and discrimination. The widespread combination of resentment and the...

Words: 853 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Comparison Between China and Belgium

...Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics | Final paper- Belgium- China | Introduction to China – Yang Jing | | Nora Rijpstra | 2013-2014 | Contents Foreword 4 1. Basic information of Belgium. 5 2. Politics in Belgium 7 2.1 Constitution 7 2.2 Government 8 2.2.1 Head of state 8 2.2.2 Federal government 8 2.2.3 Regional and community governments 8 2.2.4 Provincial and local government 9 2.2.5 Legislative 9 2.2.6 Judiciary 10 2.3 Elections and parties 10 2.3.1 Electoral system 10 2.3.2 Political parties 11 2.4 Linguistic division 12 2.4.1 Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde district 13 2.5 Own opinion. 13 3. How to do business with Belgium 14 3.1 Belgian management style 14 3.2 Belgian meetings 14 3.3 Communication style 14 4. Marriage in Belgium 15 4.1 The wedding dress 15 4.2 The bridal veil 16 4.3 Before the law 16 4.4 Right or left? 16 4.5 Bridesmaids 16 4.6 The bridal bouquet 17 4.7 The wedding rings 17 4.8 The church portal 17 4.9 The speech during the evening party 17 4.10 The wedding cake 18 4.11 Over the doorstep 18 4.12 Own vision on the Belgian marriage 18 Foreword With this final paper for the class Introduction to China, I would like to thank my teacher Yang Jing, the office for overseas students and the Chinese student volunteers. All of them made it possible for all the overseas students to make this an unforgettable semester and experience.......

Words: 6282 - Pages: 26

Premium Essay

Western Civilization Wars

...Wars and Revolutions of Western Civilizations Bobby Linnane HIS 102- OL012 Jan 2013 War and Revolutions have happened all over the world for many different reasons. Some were for social and cultural change, others for political change and most of them for nation dominance. The Wars and Revolutions in Europe had an everlasting impact and either heightened or hindered the area in which it took place. Yet through the masses of all the social and political upheaval, we see arise an alliance where the nation finally came together to turn any ones state strength or weakness to offset another. Revolutions 1830-1832 The revolutions of 1830 through 1832 were the breakthrough of liberalism in many areas of Western Europe. The July revolution in France from 1824-1830 was the pivotal point of liberalism. Charles X proclaimed four ordinances 1) dissolving the new Chamber 2) impose censorship on the press 3) reduce voting power to bankers, merchants, etc. and 4) election of the new basis. This produced the July Revolution and the upper class took action as to not be outcastes from political life. The workers and students in Paris put barricades in the city to fight away the army and police. These leaders wanted a democratic republic and workers wanted better conditions for employment. All these people simply wanted a king they could trust. When Charles X fled to England, Louis Philippe was offered the throne. He knew that he had received the throne through the......

Words: 2809 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

World Issues

...basis of political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs to. This emphasizes that a nation has no right to interfere in the affairs of another's such as Syria where the conflict of the country is with its own people and their government. In Rwanda which began with the colonization by Belgium and the segregation of the minority of the Tutsi and majority Hutus and the empowerment of the minority group. And finally in Ethiopia where the work force is dominated by children and young adults which is essential to their economy. Therefore it is important that a country should be entitled as nation to govern its own affairs and grow independent of the international community inference. The uprising in Syria is an internal conflict between the opposition ( Syrian citizen ) and the military group. In the opposition there are different groups who are fighting against each other and the half who are opposing the military to overthrow president Bashar al-Assad. Although the Syrian army are persecuting the rebel groups some innocent Syrian citizen are caught in the cross fire. The International community should not get involved because it is an internal conflict that should be resolved by the country. Due to the lack of knowledge of the underlying problems and there limited understanding of the countries' culture, history and tradition, it is best that the international community stay out and Syria the country in conflict handle......

Words: 672 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Regionalism and Democracy

...and the Cold War came to an end. The breakdown of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism that accompanied it brought about the victory of market economy and democracy in Europe. It also engendered the emergence of new states in the East and the resurgence of nationalism across the continent. Czechoslovakia disappeared in 1992 with the creation of the Czech and Slovak republics, Yugoslavia has been torn apart by ethnic conflict and Kosovo is still fighting for its independence.[1] Indeed, the map of Europe has experienced considerable transformations. Over the last decades, the European Union has grown at a rapid pace and has accelerated its enlargement process gradually eroding frontiers and challenging its citizens with new forms of loyalty. While the integration process consistently expands and deepens, so does the need for more democracy which some perceived of suffering from a deficit in the Union. Since 1989, the revival of regional identity has strongly been felt and regionalist and micro-nationalist movements have gained in political strength, representation and size; they have achieved a certain notoriety. Across the community, those movements question the nature of the nation-state, which they often view as obsolete, and present challenges both to the larger state they are part of and to the European Union. To answer the question of whether contemporary regionalist and micro-nationalist movements threaten democracy in Europe or present it......

Words: 4429 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

The Height of Slave Trade in Africa

...aboard. Action was also taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties to outlaw the trade, for example against "the usurping King of Lagos", deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers. The largest powers of West Africa (the Asante Confederacy, the Kingdom of Dahomey, and the Oyo Empire) adopted different ways of adapting to the shift. Asante and Dahomey concentrated on the development of "legitimate commerce" in the form of palm oil, cocoa, timber and gold, forming the bedrock of West Africa's modern export trade. The Oyo Empire, unable to adapt, collapsed into civil wars. Areas of Africa under the control, influence, or claimed control, of the colonial powers in 1913. Belgium Germany Spain France United Kingdom Italy Portugal In the late 19th century, the European imperial powers engaged in a major...

Words: 1034 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

African Culture of Rwanda Tutsi's and Hutu's

...African Culture of Rwanda Tutsi’s and Hutu’s The monarchy of the Tutsi was predestine for greatness but, due to the Tutsi’s believe Godly sanctions has occurred and the monarchy over power. I will make a comparison between the culture of Americans and Africans and the similarities of both obsessed ethnic groups in each society and is the culture and the conflict between the various ethnic groups. The Tutsi’s and Hutu's who had an essentialist that stereotypes a powerful factor in mobilizing civilian's to participate in the killing in of the lives of Rwandan's despite, the current state policies. Rwanda civil war began in 1994 where there were two ethnic groups called the Hutu’s and Tutsi’s. It was shortly after World War I when Belgium expanded control over Rwandan. The Tutsi’s were mainly chosen, because of their skin color. The fact’s that their skin was whiter than the Hutu’s. The Tutsi’s enter into a leadership position in which they promote discrimination against the Hutu’s. The Tutsi’s had favored over the Hutu’s because of how light they were. Additionally, they were position to receive the better jobs and better education opportunities but, between the two groups. The Tutsi’s is now as the majority in Rwanda compared to the Hutu’s. They denied Hutu’s the right to own land and a better education. They had to governmental representation in order to maintain the dominancy within the country. They figured out early on how to suppress there......

Words: 2059 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Genocide

...Introduction There is an extensive history of ethnic tension between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda. The conflict and animosity between the two tribes ultimately led to the loss of over one million lives during the 1994 genocide. Michael Newdow made the following remarks concerning the cause of genocide: “People don't simply wake up one day and commit genocide. They start by setting themselves apart from others, diminishing the stature of those adhering to dissenting beliefs in small, insidious steps. They begin by saying, 'We're the righteous, and we'll tolerate those others.' And as the toleration diminishes over time, the inevitable harms are overlooked. It is for that reason that James Madison wisely wrote that 'it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties'." (Michael Newdow 1) It is widely believed and stated that the 1994 Rwanda Genocide was started by the assassination of Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana. However, the divide cause by the colonization and influence of Belgium can be seen as the underlying cause of genocide in Rowanda. http://www.religioustolerance.org/genocide0.htm Body When Rowanda was awarded to Belgium after World War, part of German’s territory that was never a part of the Kingodm of Rwanda, was stripped and attached to Tanganyika. This forced people to live amongst tribes they were unfamiliar with. Still, the Tutsi power structure for administering the country remained in place. The government also provided the......

Words: 842 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

War Crimes Executioners and Victims

...today. This paper will discuss some of the heinous crimes committed during War World II Holocaust and the Hutu massacre of the Tutsis. War Crimes the Executioners and the Victims of Genocide Military powers around the world inflict some of the most atrocious crimes against humanity, and in each case, there are executioners and victims of these crimes that never get fair justice. “ The German concentration camps of World War II, the horrors of the Vietnam War, the prolific rape and brutality during the break- up of the former Yugoslavia and the Hutu massacres of the Tutsis in Rwanda,” ("20th Century," n.d., p. 5) are just a few named conflicts that displayed devastating atrocities. The executioners in the World War II Holocaust and the Hutu Massacres in Rwanda caused terrible massacre to the human race more than any other conflict in history. These crimes all have a negative impact on the country and the citizens that live there. Every leader, citizen, and Soldier has a responsibility to report criminal acts committed in war. War crimes and atrocities will leave unshakable scares that will last for generations to come. World War II atrocities in the 20th century marked the century of...

Words: 1667 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Woodrow Wilson

...Woodrow Wilson’s fourteen points was a statement determined on January 8, 1918 by himself. He was the twenty eighth president of the United States. The fourteen points was made when they were declaring that World War one was occurring because of an ethical cause and after war peace in Europe. The fourteen point’s speech first discussed that there be a private but international understanding of any kind but peacekeeping shall continue in the public view. The purpose of this is to clearly get rid of and forbid treaties, sections of treaties and secret understandings. It isn’t meant to exclude private diplomatic differences involving an important matter. The intention is to make sure that private differences be obligatory unless in the final covenant it becomes public to the world. The second point was that there be absolute freedom of navigation on the seas and on the outside of territorial waters. This refers to navigation under the three conditions: General peace, a general war, and limited war. The first condition, that there be general peace, just means that they have the freedom to come and go on the seas. The second condition, a general war, discusses that if a war occurs against an outlaw nation there must be completely no contact intended. The last condition, limited war, determines if there are any righty of shipping and private property on the seas during war between a limited number of nations when that war involve no issue on the League of Nations wanting to be......

Words: 1219 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Karl Marx

...doctorates in 1941 at the age of 23 years old (Wolff 2003) In 1842 Marx got his first real job as an editor for the newspaper Rheinische Zeitung (Parsons 1964.) A year after acquiring this job the government ordered suppression of the newspaper, which caused Marx to quit. Shortly after resigning as editor Marx got married to his long time fiancé. They two of them moved to Paris in 1843. While in Paris, Marx worked for a paper while also working on a political journal. The writings Marx had in this newspaper got him expelled from France. (Wolff 2003) The first political journal that Marx worked on was titled Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher. There was only one issue of this published before Marx and his co-writer got into a disagreement and decided to not continue with this journal. Marx then started another political journal titled The Holy Family (Parsons 1964.) After the first issue of this was published, was when Marx was expelled from France. Upon being forced to leave Marx decided to move to Belgium. Belgium is where Marx completed most of his significant work in his life. At the start of this time people Marx was friends with started a group...

Words: 1030 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Religion

...Rivalry 30.2.2 Ihternationul Relations and I;ortn;~tionof C:imps Tlie Warring Nations in lllc World Wars Wars as the Wars of ldeologies 30.4.1 ldcologically deli~lcdArmed Camps of the Two Worid Wars 30.4.2 Political Spectrum of Eurclpc at the Outhrcak ol' the War Beginning of the Cold War Let Us Srlnl Up Key Words Ans~versto Check Your Progress Exercises 30.0 OBJECTIVES In this Unit you will learn about : changes introduced in intcrnalional relat!ons due to industrializaiion. continuities that came to be establislled between the two world wars as a single. unintcrrupted process, and the ideological factors that kcpt the groupings in the wars identical in both cases. 30.1 INTRODUCTION We have so far discussed the nature and conscquences of industrial capitalis~nand tlle consequent rise of nlodern politics. In the earlier Units. the growth of nation-states and thc nature of i~nperialist rivalries have also been discussed. We understand yo11 arc now bcttcr placed to see the two world wars as culmination of these diverse proccsses. Industrialization had signalled in fact the growth of new states that conlpeted with each other for global domination: and in the absence of riicclianis~iisfor peacefiil resolutions of internatiooa\ rivalries, armed conflicts on an al~llostglobal scale becanle incvit;ible. Since Europc had tdzological already been divided into ideologically defined camps, the war also ass~~rncd dimensions. In the first World War ideology was still......

Words: 4889 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Belgium Market Analysis

...Belgium  Trade  Manual:  Canada     The  following  document  is  a  report  on  the  current   economic,  political,  cultural,  and  industry  specific   (Food)  environment  in  the  country  of  Belgium.   This  particular  manual  was  specifically  compiled   for  the  Sweets  Corporation  of  Toronto,  Canada  for   June  of  2011.       C o n s u l a t e   o f   B e l g i u m   -­‐   T o r o n t o   2   B l o o r   S t r e e t   W e s t ,   S u i t e   2 0 0 6 ,   B o x   8 8   T o r o n t o ,   O N ,   M 4 W   3 E 2                                                                                             Table of Contents Section 1 – Background Information ....................................................................................................... 3 1.1 - Geography ................................................................................................................................................................... 4 1.2 - People .......................................................................................................................

Words: 11818 - Pages: 48

Free Essay

Geography

...particular social group or political opinion, is outside of his or her nationality and is unable to return for fear of persecution. Some may define refugee by what they are not (internally displaced persons and forced migrants from natural disasters). In recent years Syria has become a more and more dangerous place to live due to civil war and conflict that originally occurred due to political unrest. 12 million Syrians have fled their homes, half of them are children. They fear for their lives and long for a life free from danger and to protect their families. Also when in an area of conflict the likely hood of becoming malnourished, abused and diseased and exploited are much higher giving them even more reason to move in order to have a better quality of life where they can live in peace and create a new life for their families and generations to come. 4 million Syrians are refugees, and most of them flee to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Another factor that can lead to refugee migration is being forced by religious belief. Between the years of 1933 and 1945 the Holocaust took place in Nazi Germany. The Holocaust involved Hitler and his Nazi party killing hundreds of Jewish for no other reason other than the fact they were Jewish. This meant thousands of people fled Germany in fear of their lives purely because of their religious belief. Between 1933 and 39 over 90,000 people fled to neighbouring countries such as Czechoslovakia, France, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and......

Words: 504 - Pages: 3