Mr De Wever unveils plans for 'New Belgium'

Bart De Wever, the leader of the Flemish nationalist party N-VA, has set out his ideas for the future of Belgium in an essay that will be published in the book "Incomplete Flanders" on Wednesday. Mr De Wever has high hopes of pressing through a confederal model for Belgium by fuelling the appetite among Francophones for fresh state reforms. This would be achieved thanks to social economic reforms.
Jasper Jacobs

A Belgian confederation will count two states: Flanders and Wallonia that are responsible for all powers directly linked to individual people. The Brussels Region will be handed all powers linked to its territory including those of the 19 boroughs and their social services as well as the six current police zones. In Brussels inhabitants will have to opt for the Flemish or Walloon regime when it comes to powers linked to the individual. Inhabitants will then fall under the Walloon or Flemish regime for income tax, social security, youth protection, integration and vote for either the Flemish or Walloon parliament. The choice can be changed if necessary.

The new Belgian confederation will execute the powers devolved to it by the two confederated states. Mr De Wever suggests defence, security, finances and foreign policy are matters for the Belgian government. The monarchy would cease to possess any political powers.

The Belgian senate would go, while the chamber of representatives would count 50 MPs chosen in equal numbers from the Walloon and Flemish parliaments. The Belgian government would consist of four members assisted by two advisory members designated by the confederated states. Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels and German-speaking Belgium would talk on a permanent basis within the Belgian council. Ministers from the various entities responsible for similar fields of competence would also meet regularly.

Flanders and Wallonia would determine the level of taxes needed to pay for all the policy fields directly linked to the individual. They would set income tax levels as well as capital gains and inheritance taxes. Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels would do the same for corporation and property taxes.

Belgium’s federal level would be funded by revenue form VAT and duty. According to Mr De Wever the German approach that makes the confederated states responsible for their actions is the right choice.