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Permissieve consensus, maatschappelijk debat en het draagvlak van de Europese Unie bij de Belgische maatschappelijke organisaties

Author
  • Jan Beyers orcid logo

Abstract

Belgium is generally perceived as being one of the most fervent supporters of European integration. It is supposed that this is equally true for both, the Belgian political elite and the Belgian population. Unlike in other EU member states, no large public discussion on EU integration has taken place. Therefore, it is generally supposed that Lindberg's concept of the permissive consensus applies to the Belgians. This article aims, first, at challenging empirically the existence ofa permissive consensus in Belgium. In 1997 both qualitative and quantitative data on the policy position on EU issues ofabout 130 Belgian social organisations have been collected. Content analysis ofthese positions shows that the existence ofa permissive consensus seems to be dependent on a number of variables (institutional or policy issues, policy domain, types of actors involved...) and that a general observation of a permissive consensus has to be relaxed. Second, if permissive consensus is declining, why is it, then, that no open political controversy on European integration has emerged ?  In answering this, thefocus is on two explanatory variables: the resources of those that would like
to mobilise are quite limited and their opinion on European politics is rather heterogeneous and undeveloped.

How to Cite:

Beyers, J., (1998) “Permissieve consensus, maatschappelijk debat en het draagvlak van de Europese Unie bij de Belgische maatschappelijke organisaties ”, Res Publica 40(2), p.247-272. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/rp.v40i2.18560

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Published on
29 Jun 1998
Peer Reviewed
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