De Euro-Belgische ambtenaren : Een paradoxale prestatie

Res Publica 40 (2):219-229 (1998)
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Abstract

The Belgian civil servants who are involved in the working groups of the European Council of Ministers on a full-time basis are a small elite corps which is hardly typical for the Belgian civil service as a whole. Most of its members belong to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or to other ministries as these have delegates in the Permanent Representation. Their responsibilities too are rather different from those of the normal Belgian civil servant. The latter are typically engaged in the implementation of the policies designed by their political masters, the farmer are largely autonomous policy makers and negotiators, though mostly in matters of minor political importance. In one regard though, these Euro-Belgians are still recognizable as typically Belgian. Their political culture is characterized, tough to a lesser degree than that of the other senior civil servants in Belgium, by a technocratism which is very distrustful of political actors and by a remarkable level of distrust of their organisational infrastructure. Such a culture should lead to a poor performance in the working groups of the Council of Ministers. But it does not. That is the paradox this contribution intends to examine.

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