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Belgium: More Catholic than the Pope?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to answer the question of whether Belgium resorted to the orthodox pro-federalist approach again and whether, it showed the same pragmatism as it had done during the IGC that resulted in the Amsterdam Treaty. Belgium also sought to amend Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union. The Belgian position on the enhanced cooperation was made clear through a number of documents related to the IGC. The question of the re-weighting of the votes was not only politically linked to the Commission's composition but also to the scope of the qualified majority itself. Belgium's approach to the 2000 IGC reflected the dilemmas a Euro-federalist Member State has to face in an enlarging union with a potentially larger number of Euro-sceptic Member States. It is a dilemma between being more Catholic than the Pope, and converting oneself to more intergovernmental approaches to the process of European integration.

Keywords: Amsterdam Treaty; Belgium; European integration; IGC 2000; qualified majority voting; Treaty on European Union



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