Verhofstadt unveiled his memo on institutional reform

9th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Reinforce the Federal State and the Regions and Communities at the same time.

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal) unveiled his personal memo on institutional reform on Tuesday. His idea: reinforce the Federal State and the Regions and Communities at the same time.

The beginning of December, the main winner of the federal elections on June 10, 2007, Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) had to concede that he was unable to form a coalition government. King Albert II subsequently asked the out-going Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt to try to find a way out of the political impasse. The King gave Mr Verhofstadt the task of forming an interim government, which he did.

Verhofstadt III is an assymetrical administration which includes Flemish and Francophone liberals and Christian democrats as well as Francophone socialists. Following their defeat in the elections, the Flemish socialists decided to sit on the opposition benches for the first time in two decades. The Christian democrat's Flemish nationalist coalition partners, the N-VA, are not represented in the government either.

The memo covers diverse themes- ranging from employment, energy, mobility, and justice to the family and education.

Federal pace

Certain competences will be transmitted to the Communities and Regions in order to unify some packages. Others will be returned to the federal government. Some things were federalised in the past which would make more sense to return to the federal level, such as developmental cooperation and noise norms around airports.


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