Less enthusiasm for greater devolution

According to a survey carried out by political scientists from Brussels Dutch-medium university VUB and the Francophone Catholic University UCL, only MPs from the far-right Vlaams Belang, the Flemish nationalist party N-VA and to a lesser extent the Flemish Christian democrats are in favour of a further devolution of powers from the federal state to the regions and language communities.
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The survey questioned members of the Federal Parliament and regional parliaments about whether they thought too little, too much or just about the right amount of powers had been transferred from the federal to the regional and language community level.

The political scientist Dave Sinardet (VUB) and his colleagues from UCL polled MPs in 2011 and in 2014-15. In 2011 the representatives of all parties chose on average for greater devolution to the regions and language communities.

However, in 2015 this was only the case for three of six Flemish parties represented in the Chamber of Representatives. These are Vlaams Belang, N-VA and the Christian Democratic Party CD&V. However, with CD&V it is more or less 50/50.

The other parties, including the Flemish and Francophone liberals and the opposition parties lean more towards a transfer of powers back to the federal state.

It would appear that the sixth round of state reforms has satisfied most MP’s devolution desires.

Flemish Parliament

However, in the Flemish Parliament more MPs are for greater devolution. In the Federal Parliament most choose the status quo. In the Brussels and the Walloon Parliament there is a slight leaning towards reserve devolution among MPs.

According to the researchers "The majority of members of parliament think that the sixth round of state reforms went too far and that in future competences could be best transferred back to the federal state.”