Bilan Belgisch buitenlands beleid 1979

  • Paul Van De Meerssche


Normally the Belgian foreign policy is not an explosive matter for public debate. However during 1979 the attitude and decisions of Minister Simonet concerning the Nato-demands for production and installation of 464 Cruise- and 108 Pershing-missiles were strongly criticized. Mainly his socialist friends of the «Socialistische Partij» (Simonet belongs to the «Parti Socialiste»), the «Volksunie» and also important pressure groups as «Pax Christi» disapproved the positive attitude of Minister Simonet vis-à-vis the Nato-demands. A climax was reacted during a protest-meeting in the streets of Brussels on December 9, 1979 and during the debate in the Belgian Parliament (Chambre of Representatives) . It resulted in a declaration by the Belgian Prime Minister Martens on December 12, who agreed that the Belgian Government should ask for a delay of 6 months. Among other items of Belgian foreign policy examined in this article one can notice the evolution of the position of the Belgian Government in European Affairs and in the Middle East problems. Finally, the author broadens his survey to the more fundamental question of the meaning of the foreign policy of small countries.

How to Cite:

Van De Meerssche, P., (1980) “Bilan Belgisch buitenlands beleid 1979”, Res Publica 22(3), 453-470. doi:

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Published on
29 Sep 1980
Peer Reviewed