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More Flemings feel ‘Belgian’ again

Ask any Fleming, and he’ll probably tell you he doesn’t care about community issues anymore.
Research by the Catholic University of Leuven has shown that only six per cent of voters would like to see another state reform, let alone Flemish independence. Only a small minority seems interested in that.

In 2007, it appeared that the only things the Flemish voter was interested in were the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde electorial district problem and a state reform. Now, it seems like that’s no longer the case. That is, if we look at the results of the 2014 National Belgian Election Study by the Catholic University of Leuven, a research led by sociologist Marc Swyngedouw.

Only 6 per cent of Flemings would like the country to break up, and not even half (36.4%) wants more competences to move from the federal to the Flemish regional level.

Even the members of the Flemish Nationalist party seem less interested: only 11% would like to see Flemish independence. That’s much less than you’d expect.

Not so long ago, these figures were completely different, especially during the 2010 federal elections. Back then, 52% of voters wanted Flanders to get more competences, while 12% wanted to become independent from Belgium. Today, those numbers have plummeted.

What’s more, it seems as if less Flemings are harbouring nationalist feelings. There’s a tendency towards a collective ‘Belgian feeling’, especially in left-wing parties like the socialist and green party.

So what are the important topics Belgian voters are interested in? The top three is respectively EmploymentHealth Care and Retirement Plans.

In fact, things aren’t so different now from what they were before. Community policy was higher up the list for a few years, but it was never at the top.


Flandersnews.be / Expatica