Het profiel van de lokale politiek

  • Rudolf Maes


In Belgian political rhetoric municipalities are described as the cornerstone of a well-balanced government organization. However, this is not noticeable in the administrative language: municipalities are described as 'subordinate' administrations or 'administrations under tutelage'. Their share in total government expenditure is alarmingly low, 10.8%.
The importance of local politics is determined by:
- the political will to recognise the municipality as a 'civil society'
- the interest in the democratic content of government and the necessity of policy differentiation
- the recognition of local government as a laboratory for policy and as a voice of the place community in the national politics.
From the perspective of policy-making Belgian municipalities have a mixed profile. First of all, they are 'cultural municipalities': 28.5% of the expenditures are in the educational and cultural sector. Other important expenditures are: roads and utilities (17%) and security (12.8%). Compared to different West-European countries, expenditures for social matters are rather limited (11 %).

How to Cite:

Maes, R., (1997) “Het profiel van de lokale politiek”, Res Publica 39(1), 3-26. doi:

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Published on
30 Mar 1997
Peer Reviewed