Compromise text on a state reform is ready

The royal clarifier, Bart De Wever of the Flemish nationalists, has finished his compromise text on a state reform. It contains a whole number of concrete proposals for a large state reform. The different parties involved in the talks on a state reform, should give an answer by Monday noon. The question is whether the Francophone parties will be prepared to accept this text as a basis to continue the negotiations.

The text is 48 pages long. Although the content was not supposed to reach the press, the document was leaked. Bart De Wever calls the document "the best possible compromise for the seven parties involved in the talks." There is room for negotiations, but not for fundamental changes to the text, he added.

Here are some of his proposals:

  • 45 percent of the federal personal tax revenues will go to the regions. This would allow Flanders to generate 60 percent of its total budget by itself. For Brussels and Wallonia, this is even 80 percent. A solidarity mechanism will be installed to support regions with financial problems.
  • The constituency Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde (BHV) will be split. Residents of the Flemish communities with language facilities for the French speakers, will have the option to vote for Brussels candidates.
  • The Greater Brussels Region is to receive extra cash: 100 million euros in 2011, 200 million euros in 2012 and 300 million euros from 2013, in the long run. This amount can be raised with another 50 million euros depending on whether Brussels can adopt an "efficient" policy.
  • In the area of employment, the regions will be responsible for activation measures
  • A concession made by the Flemish nationalists is that the business tax will not be transferred to the regions
  • Various other federal responsibilities will be transferred to a regional level, including child allowance, traffic regulation and certain areas in the field of justice
  • More political transparency: the number of ministers and state secretaries is to be reduced; politicians that were elected will be obliged to actually take up their seat