Back to work for Flemish Parliament

Summary

In the midst of ongoing talks to form coalition governments at the federal and regional levels, new members of the Flemish Parliament get a tour, while the Brussels Capital-Region promises to tackle unemployment and mobility

Brussels government states priorities

The new Flemish Parliament held its first session yesterday following the election in May. Its 54 members took their seats in the Brussels building, including 33 members elected for the first time.

The opening session was held to acquaint new members with the parliament. They get down to the real work next week.

Meanwhile, the new Brussels-Capital Region government held its first press conference to outline its plans for the coming years. The government said it intended to serve as a “loyal and constructive partner in state reforms and to work for the benefit of all Brussels citizens, irrespective of the language they speak”.

The new Brussels government is composed of six parties – three French speaking (socialists SP, Christian democrats CDH and the francophone party FDF) and three Dutch speaking (socialists SP.A, liberals Open VLD and Christian democrats CD&V). 

The government said its priorities were to cut unemployment and tackle the city’s transport crisis. It added that it was committed to major projects begun by the previous administration, including the Neo shopping centre at Heizel and the development of the canal zone.

Photo by Spotter2/Wikepedia

Government of Flanders

Belgium is a federal state with several regional governments. The northern, Dutch-speaking region of Flanders is governed by the Flemish government, which was created when the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community joined forces in 1980. A minister-president presides over the government of Flanders, and Brussels is the capital city.
Competences - The government of Flanders is responsible for the economy, foreign trade, health care, energy, housing, agriculture, environmental concerns, public works and transport, employment policy, culture, education and science and innovation. Flanders also has the power to sign international treaties in these competencies.
Sole legislator - The powers of the Flemish government and of the federal government do not overlap. Therefore, only one government serves as legislator for each policy area. Flemish laws are called decrees. Decrees apply in co-ordination with federal laws.
Official holiday - 11 July is the official holiday of the Flemish Community, in commemoration of the Battle of the Golden Spurs in Kortrijk on 11 July 1302, when Flemings defeated the army of the French king. Flanders’ official anthem is “De Vlaamse Leeuw” (The Flemish Lion).
6

million people live in the Flemish Region.

5

provinces constitute the Flemish Region: West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Antwerp and Limburg.

5

number of years for which the Flemish Parliament is elected. Its elections coincide with those of the European Parliament.