Corruption and regulation in today’s Belgium

10th Public Event of the Re-Bel initiative
Thursday 19 December 2013, 2-6pm

Two e-books based on this event were published in 2015:
Economic regulation in today’s Belgium and Corruption in today’s Belgium.

Re-Bel’s December meeting will discuss corruption and regulation. Both topics deal with the way the public and private sectors interact in our market-based economies and therefore offer an opportunity to explore potential commonalities and differences as regards both causes and consequences.


13.30 Registration

14.00 Opening words by Estelle CANTILLON (ULB)

14.05 – 15.45

1. Corruption 

Corruption represents the hidden (and illegal) part of the interactions between the public sector and the private sector. It can be defined generally as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Corruption affects the behavior of public officials and public policies, moving them away from socially desirable outcomes. According to Transparency International, Belgium ranks 16th in the world in terms of perceived corruption, ahead of the UK and France but behind neighboring Netherlands and Germany. In their 2013 Global Corruption Survey, 66% of interviewed individuals in Belgium considered corruption to be a problem and 71% felt that government was largely run by a few big entities in their own interest rather than in society’s interest.


Lead piece:
Corruption in Belgium: Causes, consequences and solutions
by Antonio ESTACHE, ULB

Chantal HEBETTE (Past President of the Belgian Chapter of Transparency International) tbc
Jeroen MAESSCHALCK (Instituut voor Criminologie, KU Leuven)
François VINCKE (Vice-President of the Anti-Corruption Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce)

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break

16.15 – 17.55 

2. Regulatory performance: The role of politics and institutional design

Insights from the electricity, telecom and financial sectors
Regulation covers all the ways in which, in our markets-based economies, the public sector influences, constrains, dictates or coordinates private activities for the common good. This session will deal with the question of institutional design and the role of politics in determining regulatory performance in Belgium. These themes will be explored through concrete examples of regulatory failures and successes, with an eye towards generating general principles and guidelines for improving regulatory designs.


Lead piece #1: Current challenges in the economic regulation of utilities in Belgium
by Jan BOUCKAERT (UA), Alexandre DE STREEL (UNamur) and Axel GAUTIER (ULg)

Lead piece #2: Regulation and supervision of the financial sector: The European Perspective
by Paul DE GRAUWE (LSE and KU Leuven)

Patrick VAN CAYSEELE (KU Leuven)

Final words:
Philippe VAN PARIJS (UCLouvain)