Diverging memories in Belgium. Is this so? If so, why? And is it a problem?

9th Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday 20 June 2013 from 2 to 6pm

Nations share (the idea of) a common past. What about Belgium? Does the succession of state reforms go hand in hand with a divergence of the memories about Belgium’s past? Is this a part of the “Belgian problem”? Or is it a wider phenomenon: the falling apart of collective national identities in a globalizing world? Must we care about a common national memory? Who are the agents of memory in our society? How can they be influenced? 

Programme

13.30 Registration

14.00 Opening words by Philippe VAN PARIJS (UCLouvain & Oxford)

14.05 – 15.30
A birth’s eye view on diverging memories in Belgium
Chaired & introduced by Bruno DE WEVER (UGent)
Gita DENECKERE (UGent)
Chantal KESTELOOT (CEGES)

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break

16.15 – 17.55
Diverging memories: themes
Chaired by Estelle CANTILLON (ULB)

‘Poor Flanders – Rich Wallonia’ (or vice versa)
Maarten VAN GINDERACHTER (UAntwerpen)
Axel TIXHON & Anne ROEKENS (UNamur)

WWI battlefield of memories?
Laurence VAN YPERSELE (UCLouvain)
Nico Wouters (CEGES)

17.55 Closing words by Paul DE GRAUWE (LSE & KU Leuven)

18.00 Reception

Brussels, its communes and its hinterland

8th Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday 20 December 2012, 2-6pm

An ebook based on this event was published in September 2013
Must Brussels’s communes be merged ? The experiences of Antwerp, Berlin and Vienna

The relationship between the Brussels Region and its 19 communes and its relationship with the communes that surround it in Vlaams Brabant and Brabant wallon are both important to its daily functioning and to its long-term prospects. How can these relationships be improved? The examples of Antwerp and Paris are sometimes offered as a model for the former relationship and the examples of the eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai or of the French Communautés urbaines as a model for the latter. But there are other examples further afield that may provide more relevant food for thought, in particular the Länder of Vienna and Berlin. Both are the capital cities of a member state of the EU, separate components of a federal state and completely surrounded by another component of this same federal state. Lessons might be learned from how these and other cities cope with challenges broadly analogous to those faced by Brussels, its communes and its metropolitan area.

Lead Pieces

Small is beautiful? Lessons from a decade of decentralisation in Antwerp, by Wouter Van Dooren & Dave Sinardet
How should the interdependencies between Brussels and its hinterland be organized?, by Caroline Van Wynsberghe

Programme

1.30 pm Registration

2-3.45 pm: Can the internal governance of Antwerp (and Paris) provide a model for the internal governance of Brussels? 

Introduction by Philippe Van Parijs (UCLouvain and Oxford)

1. Can the internal governance of Antwerp (and Paris) provide a model for the internal governance of Brussels?

Chaired by Bea Cantillon (UA)
Lead Piece by Dave Sinardet (VUB and UA) and Wouter Van Dooren (UA)

Comments by
Harald Bürger (Verbindungsbüro der Stadt Wien),
Maik Martin (Senat für Inneres und Sport, Berlin)
Stefan Sottiaux (Constitutional law, KU Leuven)

Discussion

4.15-6pm: How should the interdependencies between Brussels and its hinterland be organized?
Chaired by Estelle Cantillon (ULB)
Lead Piece by Caroline Van Wynsberghe (UCL)

Comments by
Harald Bürger (Verbindungsbüro der Stadt Wien)
Volker Loewe (Büro des Landes Berlin bei der EU)
Christian Behrendt (Constitutional law, Université de Liège)

Discussion

Conclusions by Paul De Grauwe (LSE and KU Leuven)

6pm: Reception

The G1000, the European Citizens’ initiative and the malaise of democracy. In search of alternatives to populism and technocracy

7th Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday the 24th of May 2012 from 2 to 6pm

Documents 

G1000
The G1000. Facts, figures and some lessons from an experience of deliberative democracy in Belgium, by Didier Caluwaerts (VUB) & Min Reuchamps (ULg)

European Citizens’ Initiative
The promises and pitfalls of the European Citizens’ Initiative, Kristof Jacobs, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
Guide to the European Citizens’ Initiative, European Commission, Secretariat General, November 2011.
The European Citizens’ Initiative Pocket Guide, by Bruno Kaufmann, Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe and Green European Foundation, March 2012, 84p.

Programme 

13.30 Registration

2-3.45 pm: The G1000: potential and limits of an unprecedented experiment.
Chair: Estelle Cantillon (ULB)

Introduction
Philippe Van Parijs (UCLouvain & Oxford)

Some lessons from the G1000
David Van Reybrouck, initiator of the G1000
Min Reuchamps (ULg) & Didier Caluwaert (VUB), methodological unit of the G1000

Comments by
Jean-Pierre Rondas (former VRT journalist, columnist for De Morgen)
Henri Monceau (co-organiser, with James Fishkin, of Europe’s first deliberative polls, author of Deliberation and Learning of Democracy, forthcoming 2012)

3.45-4.15: Coffee break

4.15-6pm: The European Citizens’ Initiative: promises and perils of EU-level direct democracy
Chair: Erik Schokkaert (KU Leuven)

Some lessons from the ECI project so far
Charlotte Rive (Secretariat-General of the European Commission, ECI task force) 

Comments by
Kristof Jacobs (professor of political science, University of Nijmegen)
Christophe Leclercq (publisher of EurActiv, & founder Fondation EurActiv PoliTech, behind Initiative.eu)

Conclusions
Paul De Grauwe (LSE & KU Leuven)

6pm: Reception

Languages in the school curriculum / School registration and admission policies

6th Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday the 22nd of December 2011 from 2 to 6pm

Dutch, French, English and other foreign languages in the school curriculum
School registration and admission policies

Programme 

13.30 Registration

14.00
Introduction: Philippe VAN PARIJS (UCLouvain & Oxford)

Dutch, French, English and other foreign languages in the school curriculum:
experiments and policies in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

Lead piece: Alex HOUSEN (VUB) and Laurence METTEWIE (FUNDP)
Comments: Christiane BLONDIN (ULg) and Ludo BEHEYDT (UCL)
Chair: François MANIQUET (UCLouvain)

15.45 Coffee break

16.15
School registration and admission policies:
challenges and experiments in Belgium’s urban areas

Lead piece: Estelle CANTILLON (ULB)
Comments: Bernard DELVAUX (UCL), Dimo KAVADIAS (VUB), Jean-Pierre VERHAEGHE (UGent)
Chair: Bea CANTILLON (UA)

Conclusion: Paul DE GRAUWE (K.U.Leuven & LSE)

18.00 Reception

Background Documents & Contributions

Topic 1. Dutch, French, English and other foreign languages in the school curriculum
• Challenging Language Education in Belgium, by Alex HOUSEN and Laurence METTEWIE

Topic 2. School registration and admission policies in Belgium’s urban areas
• School choice regulation in practice: Lessons from Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent, by Estelle CANTILLON

Right-wing Flanders, left-wing Wallonia? / Should the obligation to vote be abolished?

5th Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
9th June 2011, 2-6pm

Programme 

13.30 Registration

14.00 Right-wing Flanders, left-wing Wallonia? Is this so? If so, why? And is it a problem? 
Speakers: Henk DE SMAELE (UA), Jérôme JAMIN (ULg), Jaak BILLIET (K.U.Leuven)

Chair: Bruno DE WEVER (Re-Bel & UGent)
Introduction: Philippe VAN PARIJS (Re-Bel & UCLouvain)

15.45 Coffee break

16.15 Should the obligation to vote be abolished? Or should it be better enforced? 
Speakers: Pascal DELWIT (ULB), Justine LACROIX (ULB), Yves DESMET (De Morgen)

Chair: Johanne POIRIER (Re-Bel & ULB)
Conclusion: Paul DE GRAUWE (Re-Bel & K.U.Leuven)

18.00 Reception

Background Documents & Contributions

Right-wing Flanders, left-wing Wallonia?
• National identity and attitude toward foreigners in a multinational state, by Billiet, Maddens, Beerten
• The Producerist Narrative in Right-wing Flanders, by Jérôme Jamin
• How ‘real’ is Right-Wing Flanders ?, by Henk de Smaele
• (sub)nationalism and attitude towards immigrants, by Jaak Billiet

Should the obligation to vote be abolished?
• Compulsory voting in Belgium and in Europe, by Pascal Delwit
• Is Compulsory Voting Justified in a Liberal Democracy?, by Justine Lacroix
• Compulsory vote, by Yves Desmet

Reforming the Financing Law: how one tried, why one failed

Re-Bel noon exchange
Wednesday, 30th March 2011, noon-2.15pm

Speakers

Etienne de Callataÿ (Bank Degroof & FUNDP) & André Decoster (K.U.Leuven)

In addition to the speakers, the meeting will be attended by several people more or less directly involved in designing and negociating the reform of the financing law. The number of participants being strictly limited, the remaining places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Belgium’s health care system/ The linguistic territoriality principle

4th Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday 16 December 2010, 2-6pm

Belgium’s health care system: Should the communities/regions take it over?
The linguistic territoriality principle: right violation or parity of esteem?

Programme 

13.30 Registration

14.00 Opening words by Eric DE KEULENEER (University Foundation & ULB)

14.05 – 15.45
Belgium’s health care system: Should the communities/regions take it over? Or the sickness funds?

Chaired by François MANIQUET (UCLouvain)
Lead piece by Erik SCHOKKAERT and Carine VAN DE VOORDE (K.U.Leuven)

Comments by
David CRAINICH (Université catholique de Lille)
Jan DE MAESENEER (UGent)
Johan KIPS (K.U.Leuven),
Vincent LORANT (UCLouvain)

15.45 – 16.15 Coffee break

16.15 – 18.00
The linguistic territoriality principle: right violation or parity of esteem ?

Chaired by Bea CANTILLON (UA)
Lead piece by Philippe VAN PARIJS (UCLouvain)

Comments by
Helder DE SCHUTTER (K.U.Leuven),
François GRIN (Université de Genève),
Henry TULKENS (UCLouvain),
Harry VAN VELTHOVEN & Els WITTE (Hogeschool Gent & VUB)

17.55 Closing words by Paul DE GRAUWE (Re-Bel initiative & K.U.Leuven)

18.00 Reception

Educational divergence / Social federalism

3rd Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday, the 3rd of June 2010, 2-6pm

Educational divergence: Why do pupils perform better in Flemish schools than in Francophone schools?

Social federalism: How should social policy competences be allocated in Belgium’s multi-level welfare state?

13.30
Registration

14.00-15.45
Educational divergence: Why do pupils perform better in Flemish schools than in Francophone schools?
Lead piece by Vincent VANDENBERGHE (UCL) [Download Background Paper]
Comments by
Jean HINDRIKS & Marijn VERSCHELDE (UCL & UGent),
Sergio PERELMAN (ULg)
Frank VANDENBROUCKE (K.U.Leuven & UA)

15.45-16.15
Coffee break

16.15-18.00
Social federalism: How should social policy competences be allocated in Belgium’s multi-level welfare state ?
Lead piece by Bea CANTILLON, Patricia POPELIER & Ninke MUSSCHE (UA) [Download Background Paper]
Comments by
Benoit CRUTZEN (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)
Danny PIETERS (K.U.Leuven)
Johanne POIRIER (ULB)
Frank VANDENBROUCKE (K.U.Leuven & UA)

18.00
Reception
At the start of the reception, the Camille Gutt Prize 2010 will be awarded to Daan STRUYVEN (ULB) for a thesis on the ways in which Belgium’s Regions could be “responsibilized” in matters of employment policy.

The Belgian Federation: Can we improve the way its components are funded? Can we improve the way its leaders are elected?

2nd Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday, the 17th of December 2009, 2-6pm

Registration, 13.30

Opening, 14.00
Philippe Van Parijs (Louvain)

14.05 – 15.45
Part I: Towards a more efficient and fair funding of Belgium’s Regions and Communities?

Background reading
The CES-VIVES proposal: Towards a more efficient and responsible financing mechanism for the Belgian federation [Download Paper]
The CERPE proposal: A new structure for the financing of Belgium’s Regions and Communities through personal income taxation [Download Paper]

Chair
Erik Schokkaert (Leuven & Louvain)

Introduction
Paul De Grauwe (Leuven) & Mathias Dewatripont (ULB): Background and key controversial issues

Two proposals
Dirk Heremans, Theo Peeters & Annelore Van Hecke (CES-VIVES, Leuven)
Robert Deschamps, Alexandre de Streel & Christophe Ernaelsteen (CERPE, Namur) 

Brief reactions
Philippe Cattoir (St Louis, Brussels)
André Decoster (Leuven) 

General discussion

Conclusion
Mathias Dewatripont (ULB) & Paul De Grauwe (Leuven) 

16.15 – 18.00
Part II: Towards a more efficient and legitimate working of Belgium’s federal democracy ?

Background reading
Re-Bel e-book 4: Electoral Engineering for a Stalled Federation

Chair
Bea Cantillon (Antwerpen)

Introduction
Kris Deschouwer (VUB): The Pavia Group’s Proposal

Comments
Rudy Andeweg (Leiden)
Laurent de Briey (Namur)
Bart Maddens (Leuven)

Response
Kris Deschouwer (VUB) & Philippe Van Parijs (Louvain)

General discussion

Closing
Paul De Grauwe (Leuven)

Reception, 18.00

Inaugural Re-Bel Public Event

30 April 2009

The Re-Bel initiative was publicly launched with a full-day event that took place on April 30th 2009 at the University Foundation. We are most grateful to all the speakers for having provided a rich and stimulating input, and to the numerous participants for having contributed to the friendly and fruitful character of the encounter. The speech by Steven Vanackere, federal minister for institutional reform and deputy prime minister, is available for download. The bulk of the other contributions has already taken or will take the form of e-books.

It aimed to illustrate the initiative’s aims and spirit: interdisciplinary, reform-oriented, taboo-free, argument-based, with with plenty of room fora lively discussion and with the active participation of scholars from all Belgian universities and of many members of the Brussels-based international community.

The afternoon session was opened by Steven VANACKERE, deputy prime minister and minister for institutional reform. The bulk of the other contributions has already taken or will take the form of e-books.

Re-Bel E-books 2 and 3 include revised versions of the presentations at the afternoon session:
Does it make sense to regionalize labour market institutions?, edited by Bart Cockx and Bruno Van der Linden
Is democracy viable without a unified public opinion?, edited by Dave Sinardet and Marc Hooghe

Two more e-books on the themes of the morning session, including additional contributions, have also been published:
What does history teach us about the future of Belgium’s institutions?, edited by Bruno De Wever
What does geography teach us about the future of Belgium’s institutions?, edited by Jacques Thisse

Programme

Welcoming (8.30am)

Morning session (9am-1pm)

9 – 9.15Opening: The Re-Bel initiative
Eric De Keuleneer (University Foundation)
Paul De Grauwe (K.U.Leuven) & Philippe Van Parijs (UCL)
9.15 – 10.45What does human geography tell us about how Belgium’s institutions should and/or will evolve?
Isabelle Thomas & Jacques Thisse (UCL) [Download their slides]
Peter Cabus (K.U.Leuven)
Patrick Deboosere (VUB)
Chair: Mathias Dewatripont (ULB)
11.15 – 12.45What does history tell us about how Belgium’s institutions should and/or will evolve?
Bruno De Wever (UGent)
Herman Van Goethem (UA)
Vincent Dujardin (UCL)
Luc Huyse (KULeuven)
Chair: Bea Cantillon (UA)
12.45 – 13.00What did I learn?
Derek Blyth (editor of The Bulletin, The Newsweekly of the Capital of Europe)

Afternoon session (2-5.50pm)

14.00 – 14.15Opening: How can academics contribute fruitfully to institutional reform?
Steven Vanackere, deputy prime minister and minister for institutional reform in Belgium’s federal government
14.15 – 15.40Does it make sense to regionalize labour market institutions ? If so, how?
Bart Cockx (UGent) & Bruno Vander Linden (UCL),
editors of the Re-Bel e-book “Does it make sense to regionalize labour market institutions ?”
Koen Algoed (K.U.Leuven)
Mathias Hungerbühler (FUNDP)
Chair: Erik Schokkaert (K.U.Leuven)
16.10 – 17.35Does it make sense to fight the development of distinct public opinions ? If so, how?
Marc Hooghe (K.U.Leuven) & Dave Sinardet (UA),
editors of the Re-Bel e-book “Can a democracy work without a united public opinion?”
Nenad Stojanovic (Universität Zürich)
Marnix Beyen (UA)
Jeroen van der Kris (NRC Handelsblad)
Marc Reynebeau (De Standaard)
Chair: Philippe Van Parijs (UCL)
17.35 – 17.50Closing: What next?
Chair: Paul De Grauwe (K.U.Leuven)
Event Registration