Articles

De samenvoeging van de gemeenten en de gemeentelijke bestuurskracht

Author
  • Rudolf Maes

Abstract

The law of december 30, 1975 sanctioned the plan, established by the government to merge the larger part of the Belgian municipalities.
From january 1, 1977 on, the number of communes would thereby be reduced from 2,359 to 596. Whereas in 1975 more than 81 % of the communes still counted less than 5,000 inhabitants, this percentage will in the future amount only to 18.6 %.
The legislator and the government have primarily considered the strengthening of the municipal governmental capacity as a normal result of the scale effect.  Since the mergers would result in a higher number of inhabitants - and necessarily also in larger areas - it was taken for granted that the necessary means would now be available to ameliorate the municipal services. Such a scale-effect can actually be noticed for the following items : the actual municipal services, the number and qualifications of the municipal personnel and the financial strength. Complementary, both legislator and government took a few measures concerning the professional situation of the municipal personnel and concerning the municipal finances. Same of these measures however don't stimulate the normal results of the scale-effect but rather tend to slow these down. Yet, reassuming, one may say that the scale-effect wilt have a positive result in strengthening the municipal governmental capacity. 

However, the mergers leave quite some questions unanswered concerning several important aspects of municipal governmental capacity - especially regarding the municipal autonomy and competencies, and the
democratic organisation and functioning. Also, some important points need to be clarified as to the future position of the inter- or supramunicipal cooperation structures, which remain necessary.

How to Cite:

Maes, R., (1976) “De samenvoeging van de gemeenten en de gemeentelijke bestuurskracht”, Res Publica 18(3-4), p.275-312. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/rp.v18i3-4.19494

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Published on
30 Dec 1976
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