European Political Science vol:11 issue:1 pages:90-95
Following the June 2010 elections, Belgium was left for more than a year without a full government, as negotiations about constitutional reform dragged on. In this article we investigate why this interregnum did not have any fatal consequences for Belgian governance and society. On a formal level, the Belgian constitution allows a caretaker government to take all necessary steps to ensure continuity, thus avoiding government deadlock. From a political science perspective it can be noted that in a system of multi-level governance, other levels typically step in if one level fails. This is especially the case in a country like Belgium with a strong pro-European consensus, where EU-interference is considered as legitimate. The theoretical relevance is that multi-level governance can be seen as a safeguard against government failure.