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Laborious Negotiations and the Breakthrough (1985–1993)

  • Sander V. Meijerink
Part of the Environment & Policy book series (ENPO, volume 17)

Abstract

In this chapter the description, analysis, and explanation of decision making on international Scheldt issues, which was started in Chapter 5, is continued. Chapter 6 addresses the period between 1985 and 1993. In Section 6.2 the selection of six crucial decisions, and the distinction between five decision making rounds are clarified. Subsequently, the strategic interactions in each decision making round are described. With that the first research question is answered for the period indicated. In Section 6.3 the decision making process is analyzed and explained. This section addresses the explanatory research questions three to six1, and successively discusses the influence of the perceptions of the actors involved in the decision making process on their strategies, institutionalization and learning processes, and the influence of the context of the decision making process on the perceptions and strategies of the actors. Finally, in Section 6.4 the main conclusions of this chapter are summarized.

Keywords

Navigation Channel Water Convention Scheldt Estuary Basin State Walloon Region 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Reference

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    The Ministers also use the opportunity to repeat their standpoints once more. Among other things, the Dutch Minister declares that the Dutch do not accept that international water policies in the Rhine basin are different from international Scheldt and Meuse policies: “it cannot be the case that we use for Scheldt and Meuse a less strict regime than for the Rhine.” (“Het kan niet zo zijn, dat men voor de Schelde en de Maas een minder sterk regiem hanteert dan voor de Rijn.”) (Ibid., p. 36). The Walloon region states once more that it would like to involve France in the negotiations on the water quality of Scheldt and Meuse (Ibid., p. 45).Google Scholar
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    The Flemish region is able to conclude a bilateral agreement with the Netherlands on the water quantity of the river Meuse, because the Flemish region diverts Meuse water via the Albert Canal and the Zuid-Willems Canal.Google Scholar
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    The Waasland harbour is the name of the Antwerp harbour on the left bank of the river Scheldt. These discussions in fact address the Baalhoek alignment of 1975.Google Scholar
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    The so-called second stage or 50’ program.Google Scholar
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    The bilateral aspects of the water quality of the Scheldt have been discussed for years in the working group for the WVO Permit of the Subcommission for the Western Scheldt of the TSC.Google Scholar
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    The idea to establish the ISG is born at an international conference on European water policy in Flanders, where the Rhine, Scheldt and Meuse were used as case studies (European water congress, Antwerp-Belgium, 19–20 September 1991). Representatives of the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM) and the regional Directorate Zeeland of Rijkswaterstaat (RWS-Zld) who met at this conference thought that frequent meetings between water managers of the Scheldt basin states would be useful. The first name of the working group is ISGDWS (International Study Group/Description of the Water quality of the Scheldt basin). Later this name is changed into ISG (International Scheldt Group). Organizations participating in the ISG are the Agence de l’Eau Artois-Picardie (France)/ Ministère de la Région Wallone, DGRNE (Wallonia)/ Ministère de la Région de Bruxelles-capitale, ARNE (Brussels)/ VMM and IN (Flanders)/ RWS-Zld, RWS-DGW, and the CEMO (The Netherlands). The Project Secretariat is run by the regional directorate Zeeland of Rijkswaterstaat. In the first months of the project the Water division of the Belgian federal Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology participates. In 1993 the activities of this division are taken over by the VMM and the Ministère de la Région Wallonne/ DGRNE.Google Scholar
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    ISG/DWS/7.Google Scholar
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    Main reason to choose prof. C. Heip is that this person works at an independent research institute. Secondly, he is an expert on the Scheldt water management problems. Thirdly, prof. Heip is a Belgian, who works in the Netherlands, and therefore is aware of cultural differences between these two basin states. Finally, he masters the Dutch and the French language.Google Scholar
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    Minutes of the third meeting of ISG/DWS on 3 December 1992, Douai (ISG/DWS/29). The first meeting took place on 29 April 1992 in Yerseke (ISG/DWS/6), and the second meeting on 10 September 1992 in Aalst (ISG/DWS/20).Google Scholar
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    The idea of a sanitation fund is strongly related to discussions on the efficiency of environmental investments. Possibly, an investment of the last 100 guilders available for waste water treatment in the Netherlands would generate more benefits if they would be invested in the Walloon part of the basin than in the Dutch part.Google Scholar
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    One may also argue that the establishment of a sanitation fund does not stimulate economic rationality, because individual polluters do not bear the full costs of their polluting activities, and therefore are no longer able to make economically efficient decisions. This argument, however, does not count for the so-called ‘altlasten’, i.e. the historical pollution.Google Scholar
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    The linkage was ineffective from the point of view of the Netherlands,i.e. the linkage does not seem to have contributed much to the achievement of the Dutch objectives of (international) water policy.Google Scholar
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    See also Section 4.7.2. In Belgian history the Walloon region always had been the prosperous part of Belgium, whereas the Flemish part was relatively poor and underdeveloped. In the case study period, however, the Flemish economy started to flourish, whereas the Walloon economy was declining.Google Scholar
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    For more information on the Statute of the Scheldt, see the historical overview presented in Section 4.8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sander V. Meijerink
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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