good cause, to be left to the experts and to
the elite. Until the mid-1960s, when the system of pillarisation1 was still
in force, the general public was quite willing to leave politics to its
pillarised elites (Catholic, Protestant, Socialist or Liberal-Conservative).
Within the political elite, there was hardly any disagreement about
European integration, and the general public played its role as a ‘captive
In the mid-1960s, relations between the voters and the elite, and within
the elite, became less predictable. New parties emerged, and ‘floating