Groen (political party)
Groen, founded as Agalev, is a green political party in Belgium. Groen is the smallest Flemish party represented in the federal, regional or European parliament, its French-speaking equivalent is Ecolo. Many of the founders of political party Agalev came from or were inspired by the social movement Agalev; this movement was founded by the Jesuit Luc Versteylen, who had founded the environmental movement Agalev in the 1970s. Core values of this social movement were quiet and soberness; this movement combined progressive Catholicism with environmentalism. It sought to spread environmental consciousness first on a small scale, but since 1973 it took action to protect the environment and promote environmental consciousness. In the 1974 and 1977 elections Agalev supported several candidates from traditional parties, these however soon forgot the promises they made. In 1977 the movement entered the elections in several municipalities not to gain seats, but to promote its ideals. In reaction to these broken promises, a debate erupted within Agalev on whether to set up a political party or to remain independent of politics.
In the same year the party contested several municipal elections to no avail. A national level Agalev Working Group was founded to coordinate the new party, it set up a separate association that could enter in elections. It participated in the 1979 European elections. Although the party won 2.3% of the votes, it won no seats. In the 1981 election the party won 4% of vote and two seats in the Chamber of Representatives and one in the Senate. Ecolo, the Walloon green party won two seats in the Chamber and three seats in the Senate; the political party Agalev was founded in 1982. It remained separate of the social movement. Prominent members of the movement Agalev, such as founder Versteylen chose not to join the political party Agalev. In the municipal elections of 1982 the party performed well winning more than 10% in several municipalities. In its first periods in parliament the party functioned as a protest party forcing the other parties to take more action against environmental pollution and Third World poverty.
The party campaigned on specific environmental issues, such as local anti-nuclear energy protests. The party won two additional seats in the 1985 elections, two additional seats in 1987 and one in 1991: in that year it won seven seats in parliament. Agalev had become a serious political partner for other parties. In 1992 Agalev was asked to support a constitutional change called the Sint-Michiels accords, which would make Belgium a federation. Agalev gave its support in exchange of a tax on bottles, the first ecotax in Belgium. In the 1995 the party campaigned on a clean hands theme, after a series of political scandals was revealed; the party however lost two seats. In the 1999 elections Agalev and its Walloon sister party Ecolo performed exceptionally well. A scandal surrounding dioxine in for consumption chickens just before the elections, played an important role in the party's performance; the party won 7,0% of vote and nearly doubled its seats from 5 to 9. The Greens joined the first cabinet Verhofstadt.
The cabinet further consisted of the liberal Flemish Liberals and Democrats and Reformist Movement and the socialist Different Socialist Party and Parti Socialiste. The cabinet was called Purple-Green cabinet or the Rainbow cabinet, because of the many political colours in the coalition. Agalev supplied two ministers, Magda Aelvoet who became vice-prime minister and minister for Public Health and the Environment, Eddy Boutmans who became minister for Development Cooperation; the party joined the Flemish Government, composed of the same Flemish parties Agalev, SP. A and VLD. Mieke Vogels became the Flemish minister for Wellbeing and Development Cooperation and Vera Dua became minister for Agriculture and the Environment. On the national level, the greens, both Ecolo and Agalev were able to enact legislation on several key green issues: the cabinet decided to opt out of nuclear energy, it opened marriage to homosexuals, legalized several thousands of illegal foreigners, enacted an anti-discrimination law and promised to in time spend 0,7% of the national income on development aid.
On the Flemish level organic agriculture was promoted, people with handicaps got personal budgets and a system of time credits was enacted to allow people to combine work and free time better. The party however faced several crises. Magda Aelvoet left the federal cabinet in August 2002 over a cabinet decision to trade arms with Nepal, at civil war at the time, she was replaced by Jef Tavernier. The Ecolo minister for mobility Isabelle Durant left the cabinet just before the elections over the issue of nighttime airplane flights over Brussels; the party voted in favour of a new election law that enacted a 5% Election threshold in both the Senate and the Chamber. The 2003 federal election formed a turning point for the party; the party was reduced to 2,6% of the vote, well below the 5% limit and the party lost its seats in the Chamber and Senate. In response to the election results the Flemish ministers Mieke Vogels and Vera Dua stepped down, they were replaced by Ludo Sannen respectively. The party renewed made some important strategic decisions.
Agalev would continue as an independent Flemish progressive Green party. The party congress rejected the proposal of Agalev-Limburg to form a federal cartel with the SP. A and Spirit; the party ruled out any participation in the future Flemish Government. The party would allow municipal cartels; the party changed its name to Groen!. The
Jules de Trooz
Jules Henri Ghislain Marie, Baron de Trooz was a Belgian Catholic Party politician. De Trooz was born in Leuven, had studied philosophy before entering politics, he represented Leuven in the Belgian Chamber of People's Representatives from 1899 onwards, serving as Education and Interior minister. In 1907 he became the 18th Prime Minister of Belgium, he was the second Belgian Prime Minister to die after Barthélémy de Theux de Meylandt. Belgium: Minister of State by Royal Decree. Belgium: knight Order of Leopold Greece: Knight grand Cross in the Order of the Redeemer Holy See:knight Commander in the Order of Saint Sylvester Pope Holy See:knight in the Order of Pope Pius IX Holy See: Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Knight grand Cross in the Order of the Red Eagle Knight grand Cross in the Order of the Double Dragon Knight grand Cross in the Order of the Lion and the Sun
Chamber of Representatives (Belgium)
The Chamber of Representatives is one of the two chambers in the bicameral Federal Parliament of Belgium, the other being the Senate. It is considered to be the "lower house" of the Federal Parliament. Article 62 of the Belgian Constitution fixes the number of seats in the Chamber of Representatives at 150. There are 11 electoral districts, which correspond with the ten Provinces and the Brussels-Capital Region. Prior to the sixth Belgian state reform, the province of Flemish Brabant was divided into two electoral districts: one for Leuven and the other, named Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, which encompassed both the 19 bilingual municipalities from the Brussels-Capital Region and the 35 Dutch-speaking municipalities of Halle-Vilvoorde in Flemish Brabant, including seven municipalities with linguistic facilities for French-speaking inhabitants; the seats are divided among the political parties using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation, which favours large parties and coalitions. There is an electoral threshold of 5%.
The Representatives are divided into two so-called "language groups". Of the total of 150 representatives, 88 are part of the Dutch-language group, which consists of representatives from the Dutch-language area, 62 are part of the French-language group, which consists of representatives from the French-language area and the German-language area. For the representatives from the Brussels region, the language in which they take their oath as a representative determines which language group they belong to. Following the 2007 federal election, the Chamber has a German-speaking member for the first time since 1999; because of the Belgian constitution, both linguistic communities are granted equal powers in the parliament. Although in general bills can be passed without a majority in both linguistic groups, bills relating to specific issues can not and need the consent of both language groups; the following table shows the current distribution of seats between the language groups and the electoral districts.
Article 64 of the Belgian constitution sets forth four qualifications for representatives: each representative must be at least 21 years old, possess the Belgian nationality, have the full enjoyment of civil and political rights, be resident in Belgium. A representative can only enter into office after having taken the oath of office, in either of the three official languages in Belgium: Dutch, French or German, he or she can choose to take the oath in more than one language. The oath of office is as follows: "I swear to observe the Constitution". Certain offices are incompatible with the office of representative. Members of a regional or community parliament who take the oath of office as a representative automatically cease to sit in the regional or community parliament, in accordance with the Belgian Electoral Code; the same applies the other way around as well, a representative who takes the oath of office in a regional or community parliament automatically ceases to be a representative.
A member of the Chamber of Representatives may not be a member of the Senate at the same time, senators must give up their seats in the Senate in order to join the Chamber of Representatives. Another important incompatibility is based on the separation of powers. A representative, appointed as a minister ceases to sit in the Chamber of Representatives and is replaced for as long as he or she is a minister, but if that individual resigns as a minister, he or she can return to the Chamber, in accordance with Article 50 of the Belgian Constitution. A representative cannot be a civil servant or a member of the judiciary at the same time, however, a civil servant, elected to the Chamber is entitled to political leave and doesn't have to resign as a civil servant, it is not possible to be a member of the Federal Parliament and a Member of the European Parliament at the same time. The Chamber of Representatives does not systematically check whether any of these incompatibilities apply to its members, newly elected members are informed of the most important incompatibilities at the start of their mandate and it is up to them to verify whether they are in compliance with the regulations regarding incompatibilities and, if not, to determine which office they will abandon.
The Chamber of Representatives elects a presiding officer, known as the president, at the beginning of each parliamentary term, which starts on the second Tuesday of October each year. The President is assisted by up to five vice-presidents, two of which are known as the first vice-president and the second vice-president, who are elected at the beginning of each parliamentary term; the President is customarily a member of one of the parties forming the government coalition, only thrice in the history of the Chamber has the President been a member of the opposition. The first vice-president is a member of the other language group than that of the President; the current President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives is Siegfried Bracke of the New Flemish Alliance. The president presides over the plenary assembly of the Chamber of Representatives and controls debates in the assembly, is responsible for ensuring the democratic functioning of the Chamber, for the maintenance of order and security in the assembly and for enforcing the Rules of the Chamber of Representatives.
To this end, he or she is given considerable powers. He or she represents the Chamber at b
Graves de communi re
Graves de communi re was an encyclical written by Pope Leo XIII in 1901, on Christian Democracy. It is part of a larger body of writings known as Catholic social teaching, that trace their origin to Rerum novarum, issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891. While reaffirming the Church's opposition to individualistic liberal capitalism, it denied that the new ideals of Christian Democracy were an endorsement of the principles of a democratic political system. List of encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII Graves de Communi Re at vatican website Graves de Communi Re at EWTN website
Het Volk (newspaper)
Het Volk was a Belgian newspaper that focused on "news with a human undertone". Het Volk was first published in 1891, it was the only paper controlled by the Christian labour organizations in Ghent. It opposed socialism, it adopted "anti-socialist daily" as its slogan. The paper was distributed in Ghent and Brussels. In 1912, the slogan was changed to "Christian labourer's daily". In 1925, Het Volk was the first newspaper in Belgium to publish a small Sunday issue, "Het Zondagsblad". In 1930 it adopted the subtitle "Catholic Democratic Newspaper of Flanders". During the Second World War, Het Volk sold 35,000 a day, it gained international attention in 1944 when it was the first - and for a time, the only - paper to report the Von Rundstedt Offensive in the Ardennes. After the war, Het Volk started organizing sports events. In 1945, the first Omloop Het Volk cycling race was held. In 1952, Het Volk purchased a Brussels newspaper. De Nieuwe Gids has disappeared, their other "cover-paper" De Gentenaar existed.
In 1994, Het Volk was purchased by the Vlaamse Uitgeversmaatschappij. The paper became part of Corelio. Since 2001, differences between Het Volk, Het Nieuwsblad and De Gentenaar was small and restricted to the front page. In 2000, Het Volk moved to Groot-Bijgaarden, near Brussels. Het Volk ceased publication on 10 May 2008. "You will find what you are looking for in Het Volk, the only newspaper where people make the news. You will read everything on big events in your neighborhoods, your cities and far beyond. In Het Volk, you won't be forced to swallow pre-chewn articles on politics or economics, but real news with a human undertone." In 1980 its weekday circulation was 220,000. The paper's circulation in 2002 was 112,301 copies. Next year the circulation of the paper fell to 88,000 copies, its circulation was 83,000 copies in 2004. In 2006 Het Volk had an average weekday circulation of 77,000 copies, according to the Centrum voor Informatie over de Media; the circulation of the paper was 78,000 copies in 2007.
Het Volk had an average market share of 11.5% in Flanders. It was 8.9% in 2002. From 1947 until the late 1980s the newspaper published a weekly youth supplement named't Kapoentje, notable for its comics. Together with Ons Volkske it was the most important comic book magazine in Flanders. Het Volkske was the weekly children's supplement of the Flemish newspaper Het Volk; the supplement appeared every Wednesday. Next to a letters page and a series of articles on music and other subjects that might interest schoolchildren, the supplement had a special children's news section where current events were explained in simple language. Newspapers in the class room
Paul de Smet de Naeyer
Paul Joseph, Count de Smet de Naeyer was a Belgian Catholic Party politician. Born in Ghent, son of a cotton industrialist, he was himself an industrialist and a banker, he was the owner of several coal mines. He represented Ghent and Eeklo in the Belgian Chamber of People's Representatives from 1886 to 1908, served in the Belgian Senate from 1908 to 1913, he served in several governments, as Finance minister from 1894 to 1896, again from 1899 to 1907, combining the portfolio with the Ministry of Public Works. He was the 16th Prime Minister of Belgium from 1896 to 1899, again from 1899 to 1907. National Belgium: 1899: Minister of State, by Royal Decree. 1900: Created Count de Smet de Naeyer, by Royal Decree. Grand Cordon in the Order of Leopold Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the African StarForeign France: Knight Grand Cross in the Legion of Honour Japan: Knight Grand Cross in the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun Greece: Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Redeemer Holy See: Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Pius IX Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the White Eagle Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Bavarian Crown Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Red Eagle