Education minister “is my dream job,” says Groen party leader

Summary

Groen member of the Flemish parliament Elisabeth Meuleman expressed her desire to be Flanders’ next education minister in an interview with De Zondag

Elisabeth Meuleman is ready for new government

Elisabeth Meuleman, leader of the Groen party in the Flemish Parliament, said in an interview in the Flemish De Zondag newspaper that her party is ready to join in a coalition government following the elections later this year. She added that she would like to take over from Pascal Smet of the Flemish socialist party SP.A as minister of education.

Meuleman admitted that the greens would have to grow in size in comparison to the previous two elections, where they received just six to seven percent of the vote. But she hoped that would happen and she could run the education department.

“I can see so many things that could be better,” she said, “such as support for teachers, reform of secondary education and fleshing out the idea of a ‘broad school’. So, yes, that would be my dream job.”

She emphasised that her party was ready for a new government. “We have energy and ambition, in contrast to other parties.”

Meuleman ended with a gentle dig at Smet, who made a surprise announcement last November that he intended to leave politics in 2018, move to Brazil and open a B&B. “No one in our party is sitting around daydreaming about opening a bed and breakfast in Brazil,” she said.

Groen party president Elisabeth Meuleman wants to be Flanders’ next education minister.

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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.