The European nation
Material posted: Publication date: 02-05-2020

At the crossroads of three major crops of Western Europe (Dutch, French and German) Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European communities. This little country has for centuries experienced the desires of its powerful neighbours and has been the battleground of Europe, so it is natural that Belgium sees a factor of peace and stability in the construction of European unity and the guarantor of the independence of small Nations living in its territory.

The Belgian state is relatively young: in 1830, the country received independence, and the Treaty establishing the Kingdom of Belgium was signed on 3 November 1831 [1]. The uniqueness of this country lies in the fact that its territory is home to three quite different in language and culturally people – Walloons, Flemish and a small German-speaking community. Initially proclaimed a unitary, subsequently, the Belgian state has come a long way by the federalization of government reforms that have helped to keep national and political balance in the country [1]. During these reforms, the regions and linguistic communities, which divided Belgium, have gained greater autonomy in solving many of the key issues [2]. Each region and each linguistic community has its own government and Parliament, which seems inconceivable for such a small country and creates a lot of bureaucratic problems. However, the system works successfully, and unified Belgium exists and thrives. How this country managed to solve the issue of lack of national identity, which typically is a factor of rallying of citizens (and in the case of Belgium – subjects) and General condition for the existence of a single state? The answer is simple: Belgian national identity goes hand in hand with the European one.

Belgium is one of six of the founding members of the European economic community by the Treaty of Rome of 1957 [3]. This means that membership in the European Union has long been an integral part of the Belgian identity. In Belgium are the three institutions of the European Union, which form the institutional triangle, necessary for its functioning. Brussels is the headquarters of the Commission, which in many ways is the driving force of European construction. In Brussels (and Luxembourg) is the headquarters of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. Finally, meetings of the Committees of the European Parliament are held in Brussels, while most plenary sessions are held in Strasbourg, France [4].

Strasbourg and Luxembourg played an important role, but in practice it is Brussels can be considered the capital of Europe. For Belgian citizen it means a real closeness to the European institutions. Many Belgians are personally familiar with European officials, or at least visited the European Parliament or the Council of Europe. The European Union therefore inevitably present in the daily life of Belgians.

In political terms the European Union is of great importance for Belgium. To this country with a population of 11.5 million people, faced with the globalization processes, he acts as something of a guarantor of state power and stability. The Belgian state has only limited authority over large private companies operating on its territory, but having their decision-making centers abroad. In addition, since 1960-ies of the economic development of the country was built by investing predominantly American transnational corporations, which considered the territory of Belgium is a gateway to the European market. Therefore, the European Union is for the Belgians an absolute necessity, both as a regulator and an important aspect of economic development of the country.

The decisions taken at the level of European policy, from the perspective of Belgian politics relate to national public policies, providing broader and more efficient field activities. This explains why Belgian politicians are more willing to their European counterparts accept the idea of being part of a supranational education.

The European Union is an integral part of everyday life of Belgian citizens, and with it part of the Belgian identity.

Natalia Pokrovskaya

 

The list of used sources and literature

  1. Aperçu historique général de la Belgique indépendante (de 1830 à nos jours). Reimposta: https://www.belgium.be/fr/la_belgique/connaitre_le_pays/histoire/la_belgique_a_partir_de_1830
  2. Mode of access: https://www.touteleurope.eu/pays/belgique.html
  3. Traité de Rome. Mode of access: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/about-parliament/fr/in-the-past/the-parliament-and-the-treaties/treaty-of-rome
  4. Autres Institutions et organes de l UE. Reimposta: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/institutions-bodies_fr

 

Tags: assessment , Europe