Belgium and the “Independence Policy” in 1936: a Return to Neutrality?
Table of contents
Belgium and the “Independence Policy” in 1936: a Return to Neutrality?
Publication type
Aleksandra Khorosheva 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The article is devoted to the insufficiently studied aspect of international relations ,on the eve of World War II — an attempt of Belgium, who previously tried to confirm the abolishment of her perpetual neutrality, to turn to the policy of non-intervention in the mid- 1930s. The “policy of independence”, declared by king Leopold III in 1936, was accepted by the governments of West-European countries and USSR as a crucial change of Belgian foreign policy, such as a return to neutrality. This move caused deep disagreement of the ministries of foreign affairs of France and Great Britain, moreover it became a subject of further disputes in European society and among historians. An analysis of the diplomatic correspondence allows us to understand what were the reasons for these changes in 1936, as well as to assess how justified this turn was in the conditions of that time.


Belgium, international relations, League of Nations, neutrality, Versailles-Washington system
Publication date
Number of characters
Number of purchasers
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
Cite Download pdf 200 RUB / 1.0 SU

To download PDF you should sign in

Full text is available to subscribers only
Subscribe right now
Only article and additional services
Whole issue and additional services
All issues and additional services for 2020


1. Mir mezhdu vojnami: izbrannye dokumenty po istorii mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenij, 1910—1940. M., 1997.

2. Sergeev E. Yu. Versal'sko-Vashingtonskaya sistema mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenij // Vsemirnaya istoriya. V 6 t. T. 6: Mir v XX v.: ehpokha global'nykh transformatsij. Kn. 1 / otv. red. A. O. Chubar'yan. M., 2017.

3. Khorosheva A. O. Bel'giya posle Versal'skogo mira: ot nejtraliteta k politike nezavisimosti // Itogi i posledstviya Pervoj mirovoj vojny: vzglyad cherez stoletie. Materialy vserossijskoj nauchno-teoreticheskoj konferentsii. Voronezh, 2018.

4. Khorosheva A. From Versaille to Locarno: Belgium in the System of International Relations after World War I / ISTORIYA. 2019. Vol. 10. Issue 11. DOI: 10.18254/S207987840008091-9

5. A Collection of Neutral Laws and Treaties of Various Countries. / ed. by F. Deak and P. C. Jessup. Washington, 1939.

6. Documents Diplomatiques Belges. 1920—1940. Bruxelles, 1964—1966.

7. Fenaux R. Paul Hymans. Un homme, un temps. 1865—1941. Bruxelles, 1946.

8. Helmreich J. Belgium and Europe. A study in small power diplomacy. The Hague-Paris, 1976.

9. Henri Rolin et la sécurité collective dans l’entre les deux guerres. Textes choisis et prés. par M. Waelbroeck. Bruxelles, 1987.

10. Karsh E. Neutrality and Small States. N. Y., 1988.

11. Nouvelle histoire de Belgique. Vol. 2: 1905—1950 / sous la dir. de Dumoulin M., Dujardin V., Gerard E., Van den Wijngaert M. Bruxelles, 2006.

12. Poidevin R. Du nouveau sur les relations franco-belges de 1830 à 1934. Dans: Les relations franco-belges de 1830—1934. Metz, 1975.

13. Les relations militaires franco-belges de mars 1936 au 10 mai 1940. Travaux d’un colloque des historiens belges et francais. P., 1968.

14. Spaak P.-H. Combats inachevés. Paris, 1969.

15. Vanlangenhove F. L’élaboration de la politique étrangère de la Belgique entre les deux guerres mondiales. Bruxelles, 1980.

16. Van Zuylen P. Les mains libres. Politiques extérieure de la Belgique. 1914—1940. Paris, Bruxelles, 1950.


No posts found

Write a review