Possibly Necessary but not Necessarily Possible: Revision of the Constitution in Belgium

  • Maureen Covell


Wilfried Martens, the prime minister who led the government responsible for the 1980 revision of the Belgian constitution, once remarked that the revision was possibly necessary but not necessarily possible. As his remark suggests, the process of revising a constitution is characterised by uncertainty and paradox. Constitutional change of the magnitude attempted in Belgium usually results from serious conflicts about the manner in which a state is organised and makes decisions and about the content of those decisions. The very conflict that makes basic changes necessary also makes it difficult to agree on what the changes should be.


Political Elite Revision Process Ethnic Conflict Economic Council Cultural Autonomy 
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© Keith G. Banting and Richard Simeon 1985

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  • Maureen Covell

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