Governments join forces in support of Investment Pact

The Federal Government and the devolved entities are to join forces in calling on the European Commission to allow exceptions to be made to the budget targets agreed with the EU. They will do so in order to provide for the financing of the projects contained in the Investment Pact.

The decision to join forces was made during a meeting of the consultative committee that is made up of representatives of the Federal Government and the regional and language community governments.

The Federal Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) told journalists that the agreement was "A unique accord”.

Mr Michel hopes to drive up investment levels in Belgium with a new investment pact. The pact will see 60 billion euro being pumped into various projects between now and 2030.

In order to achieve this, the Federal Government want to seek the permission of the European Commission for a one-off deviation of 0.5% GDP from the medium term budgetary goals it imposes on EU members that are in the Euro Zone. Belgium’s Federal, regional and language community governments are now going to ask the European Commission to let Belgium do this.
"We are going to speak with one voice. This is a unique accord for Belgium" Prime Minister Charles Michel’s spokesman Frédéric Cauderlier told journalists.

A deviation from the strict European budgetary constraints is possible, but only under strict conditions. For example, the budget deficit may not exceed 3% GDP and the national debt must fall by 1% of a period of 3 years. Furthermore; the government must prove that the extra leeway is not being used just for extra expenditure, but for investments that will increase the growth potential of the Belgian economy.