chapter  4
The impact of European integration on within- party organizational dynamics: more or less consensus politics?
Pages 23

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book explains about initiatives for referendums on the European Constitutional Treaty: the EU's emerging political nature directly impacted upon the elitist nature of consensus politics in the Low Countries. It focuses on consensus politics' elitist, inclusive, and cooperative features, captures the essence of power-sharing as joint-power very well. The book examines many reasons to expect a weakening rather than a strengthening of domestic consensus politics because of involvement in European consensus politics. It introduces a refined understanding of consensus politics, which seeks to get at the core of these approaches: an elitist, inclusive, and cooperative style which avoids decision making by simple majority. The mutual reinforcement of depoliticization at the EU and domestic level has been a stronger force than the hypothesized weakening of domestic consensus. The book shows that the Belgian development has involved more change than a mere spill-over.