We don’t want Belgium to be balkanized
An opinion from Paul Bosmans, on behalf of ASBL BE2030-United for Belgium.
The Minister of the Interior and Institutional Reforms, Annelies Verlinden (CD&V), pleads for the continuation of the division of the country with two federated entities (Flanders and Wallonia) supplemented by the sub-regions of Brussels and the east of Belgium. The idea is not new and despite the evidence that the successive “state reforms” for 50 years, have led our country into constitutional chaos, our minister proposes to continue on the path of division. We say: stop taking the Belgians hostage to your institutional “experiences” and give Belgium back to its citizens.
Ms Verlinden says she is looking for a consensus, “without taboos”. But curiously, she is the only one to note “an enthusiasm on both sides of the linguistic border”.
She thinks her idea “can simplify things” and “creates clarity”, but she does not say whether competences should be transferred to the national level or to regional structures. During the 6 “reforms” that Belgium has known since 1971, our country is the playground of apprentice sorcerers, who reinforce their power by sowing division and chaos.
Listening to the voice of the Belgians
How many times have we heard that a unitary Belgium does not work? But yet this Belgium, without idealizing it, functioned much better, offered better services and taxed its citizens much less than the current model.
We must reject the taboos of the debate. Above all, the Belgians, the citizens themselves, must finally have a voice. The real change would be that after an accumulation of reforms orchestrated by the parties and in their partisan interests, the voice of the citizen would finally be heard.
Regionalists and separatists will undoubtedly welcome the minister’s statement. But we categorically reject this fixation that our politicians have, of seeing only the split, as a solution to their lack of inspiration in the good management of the country. We do not want Belgium to be balkanized.
A real dialogue, not a sham
The fundamental question is: are we attached to our country or not? Do we want Belgium to be a country that offers prosperity, progress and well-being to all its inhabitants, without discrimination and without community reflexes? It is legitimate that all Belgians should – finally – have the opportunity to express themselves on this subject. A “dialogue” with a group of citizens “drawn” on such a serious subject is a sham. It is more about demagogy than transparency.
We are asking for much more intensive interaction with the entire population. A majority of Belgians are not in favor of regionalization and the opacity in the management of the country which results from it. This majority aspires to better country management, more ethics in politics and the abandonment of community reflexes.
Many issues are nationalx
In our opinion, the key question is not: what do we still want to do together? In our country, which has only 11.5 million inhabitants, the question should rather be: are there areas that are better managed at a lower level? At most we can think of culture and even then the question arises whether we should not start from a common base. But what about the mobility policy? Energy, climate and the environment? Management of rivers and waterways? Export promotion: we can certainly sell the quality of our companies and our products much better and more strongly under the label “Made in Belgium”, than to scatter our means in the promotion of insignificant brands abroad than its ” Vlaanderen “and” Wallonia “. From an economic standpoint, it would be preferable to develop a strategy aimed at boosting centers of expertise likely to acquire a worldwide reputation, regardless of their geographical location. This is not only possible, but also much more profitable for the whole country.
A new Belgian trend, promising for the future
Our fellow citizens expect our politicians to work to develop a modern, stable and united country. A country that comes out of its regionalist complex and looks to the future with confidence. A country in which the political class supports the well-being of our young people, the elderly, employees, the self-employed and businesses. A well-managed country that can free up the necessary resources to ensure quality social services.
It is the good management of the country that will make it possible to release the necessary means for these ambitions. Not the separatist headlong rush.
This is possible without old-fashioned community rhetoric, without withdrawal, without pitting groups against each other. In the words of Dave Sinardet, political scientist at the University of Antwerp: “If there are undercurrents in our country, it turns out that on many social questions, there is not so much a current. Flemish or Walloon background, but rather a Belgian background “
. It would be to the credit of political parties to recognize this. >>>
BE2030-United for Belgium is committed to celebrating Belgium’s 200th anniversary in unity.