L'année 1977 pour les immigrés

  • Michel Taverne
  • Albert Martens


Although immigration of foreign workers had practically ceased since 1974, a series of important facts or developments took place in 1977.
1. Unemployment increased and maintained itself on a high level. Immigrants, who make up 10 % of the active population, were affected by 14 % of the total unemployment. This percentage has remained constant since 1967. Nevertheless, these figures do not seem to have been noted by the Members of Parliament. They merely intend to propose either sending back all foreign unemployed workers, or simply expelling all working foreigners.
2. In 1977, the Foreign Office replaced the former «Foreign Police».  This does not mean, however, that the situation of the immigrants has improved.
3. The granting of voting and eligibility rights to immigrants with respect to local elections is an idea which made progress in 1977.  However, the political parties have very different ideas on this. Also, the issue of whether granting such rights does or does not imply a revision
of the Belgian Constitution has still not been solved.
4. Previous to 1977, the immigration policy had fallen under the competency of the Ministers of Employment and Labor and of Justice. The recently concluded policy agreement, the Egmont Pact, calls for the regions and communities to play an important role in this matter. So far, this modification has barely been noted by the legislature.

How to Cite:

Taverne, M. & Martens, A., (1978) “L'année 1977 pour les immigrés”, Res Publica 20(2), p.329-339. doi:

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Published on
29 Jun 1978
Peer Reviewed