Flemish PM Geert Bourgeois sets out long-term priorities

The Flemish premier Geert Bourgeois (N-VA) has presented "Visie 2050" (Vision 2050) in the Handelsbeurs in Ghent. The 70-page document contains his long-term vision for Flanders. Bourgeois describes how the world and the Flemish region have changed and what will change in the future, in order to set out his views on how these challenges should be met.

"Citizens expect the government to tackle the problems of today", writes Bourgeois. The text is divided into a number of units, such as construction and housing, materials, energy, food, health, mobility and knowledge or how to acquire it. Other dimensions are situated in the field of ecology, economy, international relations and socio-cultural matters. Geert Bourgeois puts forward 7 so-called 'transitions', i.e. priorities for the Flemish policies until 2050.

  • be prepared to handle disruptions (major changes in the economy, health care, education...)
  • gear up for the industry 4.0, which includes new technologies and concepts in the innovative sector. Bourgeois refers to the current digitalisation of the industrial sector.
  • learning for life and helping everyone to get started.
  • welfare and health care 4.0: a new kind of care which puts patients in a central place and which is tailored to the specific needs of society. . 
  • continue the transition towards a circular economy. This implies a more efficient way of dealing with raw materials, food and energy.
  • create a fluid and safe mobility system which is also eco-friendly.
  • bring about an energy transition towards a sustainable energy supply with low carbon dioxide emissions.

Ministers and budgets

"'Visie 2050' is meant to create a framework. All this should be translated into concrete aims, concrete plans and a governance model. Separate budgets will be earmarked for the different transitions, and one minister will be appointed to steer each transition", Bourgeois explains.

The document comes after earlier projects for the future, such as "Vlaanderen in Actie" (VIA) launched in 2006 by the former Flemish PM Yves Leterme (and which was also promoted by Kris Peeters), "Kleurrijk Vlaanderen" from 2002 and "Flanders Technology", that was initiated in the 80ies.