There have been calls for referenda in Belgium from various groups.
They are now focusing their efforts on making sure that the Irish No is respected.
08 July 08 - The Lisbon Treaty has passed through several of Belgium's Parliaments. It still needs to pass through the Flemish Parliament and be granted Royal Assent before the instruments of ratification can be deposited in Rome. The Flemish parliament is currently delaying ratification due to its large Eurosceptic faction and it is fighting for concessions over power from the national level.
11 Nov 07 - Despite the lack of government in Belgium at the moment a group is being set up to campaign for a referendum on the new treaty. It is hoped that the "Common Platform" will be able to gather enough signatures to call a hearing in one of Belgiums seven parliaments. That during the hearing the chosen speaker from the Common Platform shall ask for a referendum to be held on the Reform Treaty. Its is hoped that this will lead to a vote in the parliament on whether or not a referendum should be held. This is where the real battle begins, to try and remind the many politicians who promised a referendum on the Constitution that this is indeed the same document, and they should keep their promises.
Presently the Belgian government is facing a small crisis. Since the general election on 10th June 2007 no government has been formed. The Christian Democrats from the Flemish north of the country came out with a majority from the election. The CD (along with other Flemish parties and a majority of the Flemish population themselves) wish to further loosen the already lose federation between Flanders and the Walloon south. However the majority of Wallonia is opposed to this and a coalition has not been able to form. It is feared by many that any calls for a referendum on the “Reform Treaty” would bring calls for referendums on other issues in Belgium.
Ratification without the need for a constitutional amendment
Simple majority in both chambers, (Art. 167 § 2, 53 Belgian Constitution).
Ratification with the need for a constitutional amendment
A majority of 2/3 of the parliament by at lest 2/3 of its members. After the disbandment and re-election of both chambers (Art. 195 Belgium Constitution).
Other Constitutional Regulations on Referendums
There are no constitutional regulations on holding referendums in Belgium. Referendums in Belgium are not necessarily binding and a consultative referendum can be called if ordered by an ad hoc law. Binding referendums however require implementation by constitutional amendment.
29th April 2005 - Belgium Senate adopts Constitution.
19th May 2005 - Belgium Parliament adopts Constitution.
82% of the Belgian population are in favour of a constitution for the European Union. (Eurobarometer 67 June 2007)Go Back
© Democracy International www.democracy-international.org