background preloader

Post-War Belgium

Facebook Twitter

Royal Question. The Royal Question (French: Question royale, Dutch: Koningskwestie) was a Belgian political crisis in 1950, surrounding the question of whether Leopold III could return to his position as King of the Belgians after he had surrendered to German forces during World War II.

Royal Question

A referendum was organised, in which the majority voted in favour of his return (Flanders and the Ardennes mostly in favour; industrialised Wallonia mostly against). Leopold III of Belgium returned to the throne on 22 July 1950 after five years' exile in Switzerland and a few days later, on 26 July 1950, a general strike broke out against his return, mainly in Wallonia. The Royal question. Occupation of Germany, Korean War and EDC. File:Belgische Strijdkrachten Duitsland.gif. Benelux and Europe. Benelux.

Benelux (sometimes also written as Bénélux in French) is a union[3] of states comprising three neighbouring countries in midwestern Europe: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. NATO. Coordinates: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO; /ˈneɪtoʊ/ NAY-toh; French: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN)), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.

NATO

The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.[4] Members' defense spending is supposed to amount to 2% of GDP.[5] European Coal and Steel Community. The ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany.

European Coal and Steel Community

He declared his aim was to "make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible" which was to be achieved by regional integration, of which the ECSC was the first step. The Treaty would create a common market for coal and steel among its member states which served to neutralise competition between European nations over natural resources, particularly in the Ruhr. The ECSC was run by four institutions: a High Authority composed of independent appointees, a Common Assembly composed of national parliamentarians, a Special Council composed of nation ministers, and a Court of Justice. These would ultimately form the blueprint for today's European Commission, European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Court of Justice.

History[edit] Schuman declaration[edit] Political pressures[edit] European Economic Community. The European Economic Community (EEC) was an international organization created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957.[1] Its aim was to bring about economic integration, including a common market, among its six founding members: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.

European Economic Community

The Belgian "Economic Miracle" The Second "School War" 1950–1959. Second School War. Pierre Harmel, the education minister, whose controversial reforms sparked the "war".

Second School War

The Second School War (French: Deuxième guerre scolaire, Dutch: Tweede schoolstrijd) was a political crisis in Belgium over the issue of the religion in education. The Second School War lasted between 1950 and 1959, when it was ended by a cross-party agreement, known as the School Pact which clarified the role of religion in the state. It followed a crisis over the same issue in the 19th century, known as the First School War. Crisis[edit] "School Pact"[edit] Congolese independence and the Congo Crisis. Congo Crisis. The crisis resulted in the deaths of some 100,000 people.[6] It led to the assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, as well as a traumatic setback to the United Nations following the death of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in a plane crash as he sought to mediate.

Congo Crisis

Background[edit] Prior to the establishment of the First Republic in 1960, the native Congolese elites had formed semi-political organisations which gradually evolved into the main parties striving for independence. These organisations were formed on one of three foundations: ethnic kinship, connections formed in schools, and urban intellectualism[citation needed]. 1960–61 Winter General Strike. Walloon workers' demonstration in Brussels in the winter of 1960 1960–1961 Winter General Strike was the most important strike of the 20th century in Belgium and was called the Strike of the Century.[1] Its triggering factor was Eyskens' government introducing a number of austerity policies under the general name Eenheidswet / Loi unique.

1960–61 Winter General Strike

The strike began on 20 December 1960, a few days after the royal wedding between Baudouin I of Belgium and Queen Fabiola of Belgium. This strike was especially hard in Wallonia. Historical Background[edit] The General Strike of 1960-1961. The "Linguistic wars" Flemish Movement. The rise of the federal state. File:Belgium province Brabant.png. State reform in Belgium. Political parties in Belgium. Belgium is a federal state with a multi-party political system, with numerous parties who factually have no chance of gaining power alone, and therefore must work with each other to form coalition governments.

Political parties in Belgium

Almost all Belgian political parties are divided into linguistic groups, either Dutch-speaking parties (see also political parties in Flanders), Francophone parties or Germanophone parties. The Flemish parties operate in Flanders and in the Brussels-Capital Region. The Francophone parties operate in Wallonia and in the Brussels-Capital Region.

There are also parties operating in the comparatively small German-speaking community. No party family has a realistic chance of winning enough seats to govern alone, let alone win an outright majority. Political parties are thus organised along community lines, especially for the three main communities. There are no significant parties left who exist, or operate on a national, Belgian level. Catholics/Christian Democrats[edit] Political parties.