The Political Conflict in Belgium

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Homework 2: The Political Conflict in Belgium

1. The political conflicts in Belgium started in 2007 after the general election and a period of negotiation between several Flemish parties (Flemish Liberal Democratic, Christian Democratic and Flemish and New Flemish Alliance) and French-speaking parties (Reformist Movement, Democratic Front of Francophone and Humanist Democratic Centre) with the aim of forming a government coalition. The main two issues for the conflict to arise were the demands by certain Flemish parties for the end of the existing Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde district, said to be anti-constitutional and demands for more independence for the different regions, especially in terms of the economic reforms – because the Flemish region feels that it is not fair to be paying for the French community economic problems. This is an example of an intergroup conflict between a fragmented community, at this level the conflict is quite intricate because of the large number of people involved and the multitudinous ways they can interact with each other. Both the French and the Flemish community in Belgium have interests they want to defend and negotiations in order to reach an agreement are complex

2. In terms of dimension the stakes of the conflict are high, since the political stability of the country itself is at stake, together with its economic and social stability. In fact the political crisis was such that many observers speculated on a possible partition of Belgium. This would have huge consequence for the country itself and for the European Union as a whole, since the European Institution are located in Brussels, the only region in the country where both the French and the Flemish communities live. The two parties are interdepending, the decisions affect both parties, and the outcome of one party affects the outcome of the other party. This…...

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