European Political Science vol:11 issue:1 pages:102-107
The fact that Belgian politicians did not succeed in forming a government coalition following the June 2010 elections did not prevent public managers and civil servants to guarantee the continuity of government operations. Leading civil servants, whether as departmental managers or as ministerial advisors simply continued to function. Complying with caretaker government conventions, they followed a line of permanence and caution, while urgent matters occasionally released the break on new policy initiatives. It has to be noted that the absence of a federal government for more than a year did not lead to strong negative effects in the delivery of government programmes. Yet, in absence of a political mandate for change, civil servants and public managers cannot implement policy adaptations or drastic reforms that are considered as necessary for the long-term stability of the Belgian economic and social system.