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In Belgium, Bart De Wever proposes to reform the country in an “extralegal” way


No ” revolution “no “Catalan scenario”no alliance with the far-right separatist, but “an extralegal reform” : in an interview delivered Saturday, January 28 to the economic daily From TijdBart De Wever, the president of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), indicated his new perspective for the autonomy of his region, within the framework of the “confederation” Belgian that he would like to establish. One year before general elections presented, once again, as crucial for the future of the kingdom, the words of the man who is also the mayor of Antwerp are intriguing. It revives, in any case, the institutional debate and all speculation on what will be the future attitude of the largest party in Flanders and Belgium.

Mr. De Wever now believes that “the opportunity to legally reform [le pays] has passed ” and that Flanders – a region led by his party since 2014 – must, if it wants to free itself definitively from the “blockages” of federal Belgium, acquire maximum autonomy. By which way? No longer, he prophesies, that of institutional reforms, six episodes of which have marked the history of the country for more than fifty years, but “outside the law”.

No more question, therefore, of a traditional and very long negotiation between the two large communities for an additional sharing of the competences of the central State. Such a discussion must always be ratified by a vote of two thirds of the deputies and obtain a majority in each linguistic group (Dutch-speaking and French-speaking) of the Assembly. A reform must, moreover, be preceded by the approval of a list of articles of the Constitution to be revised.

Look for solutions

Faced with so many locks, and while his party is getting impatient without being able to influence the situation, since he is not a member of the federal coalition, Mr. De Wever is looking for solutions. It is inspired by a few old facts: the establishment of universal male suffrage in 1919, the “Flemishization” of the University of Ghent in 1923, or membership of the European Economic Community in 1957. The Constitution n was adapted only after these various decisions, not before.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Belgium, Bart De Wever relaunches his separatist project

Referring also to discussions he allegedly had with former Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, the great craftsman of institutional reforms, who died in 2014, the president of the N-VA believes that federal departments could, in fact, be easily split, as education was in the late 1980s.

“I don’t think anything can still work in a Belgian context”says Mr. De Wever, the status quo meaning, according to him, ” the loss “ Flemish money. “In my mind, it is an evangelical certainty, Belgium is over”adds the mayor of Antwerp, considering that only two other European countries were comparable to his: “Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. » The first split, the second broke out after a bloody war.

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