This chapter on the national co-ordination of European Union (EU) policy in Belgium discusses the theory and practice of consensus building and how it affects Belgium’s European policy. It examines the principles that inform the system of EU policy co-ordination in Belgium, and assesses the impact of Belgian state reforms. The chapter has two main sections. The first, ‘Political Culture and Co-ordination’, looks at the political culture of co-ordination and the impact of culture on co-ordination. The second, ‘EU Policy Co-ordination in Belgium’, discusses the ‘horizontal’ dimensions of this co-ordination at the political and ambassadorial level, and the ‘vertical’ dimensions of the co-ordination at the technical level, with reference to the P.11 process (P.11 refers to the Directorate of European Affairs inside the federal Foreign Ministry, which organizes the P.11 meetings; these are weekly meetings, which discuss the co-ordination of Belgian EU policy).
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