“Sovereignty and National Independence: Belgium and the Transferral of Sovereignty Towards International Organisations”, Rik Coolsaet (Egmont, Belgium)

Contrary to a widespread myth, Belgium has not always been a strong advocate of the transfer of sovereignty to international organisations, nor – and in particular – of the construction of a supranational Europe. The idea of abandoning national sovereignty took place in two stages. In the mid-19th century, Belgium discovered the advantages of submitting to the laws of free trade and thus not at all costs preserving its sovereignty in economic matters. Only a century later, the same approach was taken with regard to political sovereignty.

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