New Flemish Alliance
The New Flemish Alliance is a Flemish nationalist and conservative political party in Belgium, founded in 2001. The N-VA is a regionalist and separatist movement that self-identifies with the promotion of civic nationalism, it is part of the Flemish Movement. In recent years it has become the largest party of Flanders as well as of Belgium as a whole, it participated in the 2014–18 Belgian Government until 9 December 2018. Following the 2014 elections, the New Flemish Alliance is the largest Belgian/Flemish political party in the European Parliament, with its four MEPs sitting with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group; the party is known for its insistence on the exclusive use of Dutch, Flanders' sole official language, in dealings with government agencies, for the promotion of the use of Dutch in Flanders as the language enabling integration. The main objective of the party is to work on Flemish independence by obtaining more powers for both Belgian communities separately.
Furthermore, it emphasizes its non-revolutionary character in order to legitimize increased Flemish autonomy. The N-VA advocates free-market economics, their manifesto proposes immediate tax reductions to stimulate the economy, they advocate deepening ties with the European Union, but have shifted in recent years to a more "eurorealist" or "eurocritical" stance. The N-VA stems from the People's Union, a Belgian political party and broad electoral alliance of Flemish nationalists. Towards the end of the 20th century, with a declining electorate and the majority of the party's federalist agenda implemented, friction between several wings of the People's Union emerged. In the beginning of the 1990s, Bert Anciaux became party president and led the party in an more progressive direction, combining the social-liberal ideas of his new iD21-movement with the regionalist course of the People's Union; these experiments were opposed by the more traditional centre-right party base. Tension rose towards the end of the decade, as Geert Bourgeois, foreman of the traditional and centre-right nationalist wing, was elected chairman by party members, in preference to the incumbent and progressive Patrik Vankrunkelsven.
Factions subsequently clashed multiple times, over the future course of the party and possible support for current state reform negotiations. On 13 October 2001 the party split into three factions: the progressive wing around Bert Anciaux, which would become the Spirit party. A party referendum was held on the future of the party; the right wing inherited the party infrastructure. Since no faction got an absolute majority, the name Volksunie could no longer be used. In the autumn of 2001, the New Flemish Alliance was founded. Seven members of parliament from the People's Union joined the new party; the new party council created a statement of principles. The first party congress was held in May 2002, voting on a party program and permanent party structures. Geert Bourgeois was elected chairman; the party participated in elections for the first time in the 2003 federal elections, but struggled with the election threshold of 5%. This threshold was only reached in the constituency of Geert Bourgeois.
With only one federal representative and no senator, the party lost government funding and faced irrelevance. In February 2004, the N-VA entered into an electoral alliance known in Belgium as a cartel, with the Christian Democratic and Flemish party, the traditionally largest party, in opposition, they won. Both parties joined the new Flemish government, led by CD&V leader Yves Leterme. Geert Bourgeois became a minister, Bart De Wever became the new party leader in October 2004; the cartel was broken when the former right-wing liberal Jean-Marie Dedecker left the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats and entered the N-VA on behalf of the party executive. However, the party congress did not put Dedecker on the election list, instead preferring to continue the cartel with CD&V, who had opposed placing him on a joint cartel list. Dedecker saw this as a vote of no confidence, left the party after only 10 days, to form his own party, List Dedecker. Deputy leader Brepoels, who supported Dedecker, stepped down from the party board afterwards.
In the Belgian federal election of 2007 the CD&V/N-VA cartel won a major victory again, with a campaign focusing on good governance, state reform and the division of the electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde. The N-VA won five seats in the Chamber of two seats in the Senate. Yves Leterme initiated coalition talks, which stalled. On 20 March 2008, a new federal government was assembled. N-VA gave its support pending state reform; the cartel ended definitively on 24 September 2008, due to lack of progression in state reform matters and a different strategy on future negotiations. N-VA gave up its support of Leterme at the federal level. In the regional elections of June 2009, N-VA won an unexpected 13% of the votes, making them the winner of the elections, along with their old cartel partner CD&V. N-VA subsequently joined the government, led by Kris Peeters. Bart De Wever chose to remain party lea
Partei für Freiheit und Fortschritt
The Party for Freedom and Progress is a regional liberal political party in the German-speaking Community of Belgium. The party still retains the German version of the name of the all-Belgian liberal party in the sixties, the Party for Freedom and Progress and is a constituent member of the Reformist Movement. Liberalism Contributions to liberal theory Liberalism worldwide List of liberal parties Liberal democracy Liberalism in Belgium Official website
Volt Europa is a pro-European political movement that serves as the pan-European structure of EU parties for the European Parliament elections in May 2019. It was founded in 2017 by Andrea Venzon, supported by Damian Boeselager; the organisation follows a "pan-European approach" in many policy fields such as climate change, economic inequality, international conflict and the impact of the technological revolution on the labour market. Volt Europa was founded on 29 March 2017 by Andrea Venzon, supported by Colombe Cahen-Salvador and Damian Boeselager. According to the founders, the foundation was a reaction to growing populism in the world and to Brexit. In March 2018, the first national subsidiary party was founded in Germany; the subsidiary with the most members is Italy, the home country of Milanese Andrea Venzon, the first ideator. Volt is now active with a national movement in every EU member state. Volt Europa was incorporated as a non-profit association in Luxembourg under the name Volt Europa, Vox Europe was the former name of the organisation.
Today, the movement has more than 25,000 members in more than 30 European countries. Around 70% of the current members are reported to not have been politically active before joining Volt. From 27 October to 28 October 2018 Volt Europa hosted its General Assembly meeting in Amsterdam, presenting the Amsterdam Declaration programme for the European Parliament as well. From 22 to 24 March 2019 Volt Europa hosted its first European Congress in Rome, presenting its candidates for the 2019 European Parliament election; the keynote speakers list included: Paolo Gentiloni, former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the Italian Democratic Party. Economically, Volt Europa supports digitization, investment in the green and blue economy, the fight against poverty and inequality, a more unified European tax system and the public-private partnerships to revive economic growth and reduce unemployment. Volt supports anti-sexism, anti-racism and LGBT+ instances. Institutionally, supports vast reforms of the European Union: a common management of migratory phenomena, a European army and eurobonds.
In media reporting, the organisation is described as aiming to foster democracy on the EU level and build European patriotism. It stresses the importance of a united European voice, heard in the world, it supports the idea of a federated Europe with a strong European Parliament in which the citizens become the center of European democracy. Volt is distinct from other pro-European movements such as Pulse of Europe or the European Federalists as it aims to participate in European and national elections through its subsidiary organisations in EU member states, its first major objective is the European Parliament elections in May 2019. In this sense, Volt Europa is a transnational party and could be described as supporting the notion of demoicracy. Volt Europa is supposed to serve as an umbrella organisation to the national subsidiaries. Volt Europa has been compared to Emmanuel Macron's La Republique en Marche movement and could be compared to recent pro-European parties such as NEOS in Austria.
Volt contested its first elections in the 2018 local elections in Belgium, fielding candidates in Antwerp and two municipalities in Brussels. In none of the municipalities seats were gained. Www.volteuropa.org programme across Europe for the elections to the European Parliament
In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes and the state. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism, as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; the two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.
Critics of communism can be divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory. Marxism-Leninism and democratic socialism were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; the term "communism" was first coined and defined in its modern definition by the French philosopher and writer Victor d'Hupay. In his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe, d'Hupay pushes the philosophy of the Enlightenment to principles which he lived up to during most of his life in his bastide of Fuveau; this book can be seen as the cornerstone of communist philosophy as d'Hupay defines this lifestyle as a "commune" and advises to "share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the commune, so that all may benefit from everybody's work". According to Richard Pipes, the idea of a classless, egalitarian society first emerged in Ancient Greece; the 5th-century Mazdak movement in Persia has been described as "communistic" for challenging the enormous privileges of the noble classes and the clergy, for criticizing the institution of private property and for striving to create an egalitarian society.
At one time or another, various small communist communities existed under the inspiration of Scripture. For example, in the medieval Christian Church some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and their other property. Communist thought has been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his treatise Utopia, More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason. In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a Puritan religious group known as the "Diggers" advocated the abolition of private ownership of land. In his 1895 Cromwell and Communism, Eduard Bernstein argued that several groups during the English Civil War espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and hostile. Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century through such thinkers as Jean Jacques Rousseau in France.
Following the upheaval of the French Revolution communism emerged as a political doctrine. In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. However, unlike many previous communist communities they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis. Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony in Indiana, as well as Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm. In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement in 19th-century Europe; as the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat—a new class of urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were his associate Friedrich Engels. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto; the 1917 October Revolution in Russia set the conditions for the rise to state power of Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks, the first time any avowedly communist party reached that position.
The revolution transferred power to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, in which the Bolsheviks had a majority. The event generated a great deal of theoretical debate within the Marxist movement. Marx predicted that socialism and communism would be built upon foundations laid by the most advanced capitalist development. However, Russia was one of the poorest countries in Europe with an enormous illiterate peasantry and a minority of industrial workers. Marx had explicitly stated; the moderate Mensheviks opposed Lenin's Bolshevik plan for socialist revolution before capitalism was more developed. The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace and land" which tapp
The Walloon Rally is a regionalist political party in Belgium, active in Wallonia since 1968. The party favoured since 1985 independence. Founded on 7 March 1968, the party contested the Belgian general election of 1968 in a cartel with the FDF, a Brussels-based francophone political party, receiving 5.9% of the vote nationally. The party's own results in elections to the Belgian Federal Parliament were; the increasing federalisation of Belgium, the adoption of some of the party's policies by the traditional francophone parties, resulted in a sharp decline in electoral support from 1977 onwards. A split in the early 1980s created the Walloon Popular Rally, a more left-wing grouping, which merged with the Socialist Party; the Wallonia-France Rally, which supports the union of Wallonia and France, was formed by the rump of the party's membership in 1999. Afterwards, the Walloon Rally left the WFR and formed Union For Wallonia with the France Party, Wallonia Social Democracy, Get Up Wallonia and the Brussels' Walloons.
In 2010, Union For Wallonia, which took part in June federal elections under the name W+, was renamed Walloon Rally, its largest component. 1960-1961 Winter General Strike Manifesto for Walloon culture Election data from Cevipol at the Université Libre de Bruxelles
Parti Socialiste (Belgium)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic French-speaking political party in Belgium. As of the 2014 elections, it is the second largest party in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and the largest Francophone party; the party is led by Elio Di Rupo, Prime Minister of Belgium from 6 December 2011 until 11 October 2014. The party supplies the Minister-president of the French Community, the Brussels-Capital Region. In the German-speaking community, the party is known as the Sozialistische Partei; the PS is commonly part of governing coalitions, dominates most local authorities because of the fragmented nature of Belgian political institutions in Francophone areas. In the years since 1999, the PS has controlled five regional executive bodies: the Government of the French Community, the Walloon Government, the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, as well as the COCOF, a local subsidiary in Brussels of the French Community Government, the Government of the German-speaking Community; the party, or its members, have from time to time been brought into connection with criminal activities and political scandals concerning bribery and financial fraud.
The Carolorégienne affair caused Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe to step down as Minister-President of the Walloon region. The PS performed well in the 2003 general election, but were overtaken as the largest Francophone party by the Reformist Movement in the 2007 general election In the 10 June 2007 general elections, the party won 20 out of 150 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 4 out of 40 seats in the Senate; the PS was a member of the Leterme I Government, Van Rompuy I Government, Leterme II Government and the Di Rupo I Government of 6 December 2011, with former PS leader Elio Di Rupo serving as Prime Minister of Belgium. Results for the Chamber of Representatives, in percentages for the Kingdom of Belgium; the ideology and image of the PS is a mix of social-democracy, combined with a modern electoral marketing. André Cools, 1978-1981 Guy Spitaels, 1981–1992 Philippe Busquin, 1992–1999 Elio Di Rupo, 1999–2011 Thierry Giet, 2011-2013 Paul Magnette, 2013–2014 Elio Di Rupo, 2014– Rudy Demotte André Flahaut Jean-Claude Marcourt Philippe Moureaux Laurette Onkelinx Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe Chamber of Representatives Senate French-speaking electoral college German-speaking electoral college Charter of Quaregnon Official website Official website of German-speaking section
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo