De evolutie van het communautair gebeuren op economisch vlak : evaluatie en alternatief

  • Jozef Maton


The Belgian conflict can be compared with a game theoretical model with two groups (Flemish and Walloons) and a negative sum-game. Within each of the groups there is hierarchisation, role playing and formation of
coalitions. On the Flemish side the main actor is the CVP, on the Walloon side it is the PS.
The main objectives of the communities in the economie field are:  temporary boarding employment in depressed industries and, simultaneously, the creation of high tech industries. Policy instruments to attain those goals are : general economie measures (such as wage level, interest-rate and exchange rate); selective-protective measures ( with respect to depressed industries); selective-innovative measures (with respect to high techindustries).
Why is the sum-game negative or at least suboptimal?
1. Mentioned policy instruments are spread over an incoherent set of institutions on the national and regional level, with rules that are partly centralist, partly federalist, partly confederalist. This leads to a complicated, unstable set of game rules in which the financial implications of decisions are shifted from the regional to the national level and vice versa.
2. Selective-protective measures are of such large size that they offset and erode the beneficial effects of general policy measures regarding wages, taxes and exchange rate.
Federalism or confederalism would and should establish a new set of rules between the two regions and between regional and (con) federal state. Since a return to the ancien régime is politically unfeasible, this is the only logical way out of the present chaotic decision making process. Federalism would, inter alia, shift the financial responsibility of decisions in the field of industrial policy, education, health and public works towards the regions.
This political reform requires a new constitution and therefore an agreement between the two communities. The chances for a new «talk» are presently not very high. Among the many reasons, one in particular strikes the eye : the major partner on the Flemish side, namely the Christian Democrats, have a multi-dimensional utility function, which not only is «concealed» for the others, but also undefined and unclear for the party itself.

How to Cite:

Maton, J., (1984) “De evolutie van het communautair gebeuren op economisch vlak : evaluatie en alternatief”, Res Publica 26(3), p.323-330. doi:

Download pdf
View PDF



Published on
29 Sep 1984
Peer Reviewed