The Flemish People’s Movement demands that the Flemish elected representatives take control of the necessary competences in judicial, police and integration matters and that it integrates Brussels in its jurisdiction to prevent further acts of terrorism.
A bad track record
Since the attacks in Paris it will have escaped no one’s attention that Belgium’s reputation in the world has transformed from Mecca of pedophiles to hotbed of Jihadism. For the Flemish People’s Movement, this comes not as a shock. It is widely known that our difficult and complex political structures make Belgium a strange country in any best case scenario. But in the scenario that is the world of today it becomes a troubling root cause of growing insecurity at the heart of Europe.
In Brussels (> 1 million inhabitants) there are six police zones. In comparison, New York has one. All political parties in Flanders and analysts in and outside of Flanders are in consensus: these are archaic and problematic structures that need to be unified. Walloon politicians however are blocking this necessary policy in their desire to protect the power and influence of the 19 French speaking mayor-barons in Brussels.
What makes things worse is the matter of integration of immigrants. The governments of Flanders and Wallonia have to share that competence in the territory of Brussels. While Flanders integrates its immigrants with mandatory language courses and civil values it is blocked from implementing a similar approach in Brussels by its Walloon counterpart, notwithstanding current theoretical designs.
On top of this the means to investigate and prosecute are a federal matter. This means that Flemish politicians have to reach a compromise with Walloon politicians at the federal level. Walloon policy makers are very permissive regarding criminal law and on the other hand are very strict when it comes to investigative measures such as phone tabs, house searches and so on. This makes the job for Belgian intelligence and security forces very difficult to say the least.
Assume control now for everyone’s sake
We find it therefore more than timely that Flemish officials provide security for their citizens and others by whatever means possible, specifically by assuming control of these matters described above: police organization, integration and criminal law.
It is also imperative that Brussels becomes more firmly embedded within the jurisdiction of Flemish law and administrative institutions, not only because Brussels is geographically and historically embedded in Flanders but more so because of our commitment towards other nations and the responsibilities that come with having the capital of the European Union. We will not tolerate our shared capital becoming a hazard for the stability and wellbeing of our region.
The Flemish People’s movement (Vlaamse Volksbeweging) is a think tank and pressure group that strives towards (more) Flemish independence. www.vvb.org
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Bart De Valck
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