Flemish parliament shortens summer recess

Summary

The Flemish parliament has voted unanimously to cut two weeks from its holiday schedule to get more done during the summer months

In session this July

The six parties in the Flemish parliament have voted in favour of new parliamentary rules tabled by speaker Jan Peumans (pictured). The revised regulations include a shorter summer recess to allow MPs more time to approve government decisions during the summer months.

MPs will no longer be able to head off on holiday around the Flemish national holiday on 11 July. They will instead work two more weeks in July so that they “follow the same rhythm as the Flemish government,” parliament said in a statement.

But the parties rejected a proposal to return to work two weeks earlier, on 1 September. They will return to parliament in mid-September as usual.

Meanwhile, the Brussels parliament has voted to return to work on the third Monday of September, a full month earlier than usual.

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.