Francophone parties reach agreement on Brussels coalition

Two weeks after an agreement was reached on which Flemish parties will participate in the Brussels regional government, the Francophone socialists have said that they intend to negotiate with the Francophone greens and the Francophile party Défi to draft a coalition agreement to govern the Brussels-Capital Region for the next 5 years. The announcement was made by the leader of the Brussels section of the Francophone socialist party Laurette Onkelinkx and the incumbent First Minister in the Brussels Regional Government Rudi Vervoort on Friday morning.

However, the Flemish liberals that had already agreed to form a coalition with the Flemish greens and the Flemish socialists on the Dutch-speaking side of the bi-lingual region’s government have expressed “concern” that the Francophone liberals appear to have been cast aside. The Flemish liberal Guy Vanhengel calls on Mr Vervoort and Ms Onkelinkx to take “time to reflect”.    

In Brussels each linguistic group forms its own coalition separately before a new regional government is formed. Two weeks ago the Flemish Greens, the Flemish socialists and the Flemish liberals agreed that they would form the Dutch-speaking part of the coalition. The Flemish liberals would like the Francophone liberals to be a part of the coalition on the Francophone side. However, this has fallen on deaf ears among the Francophone socialists lead the negotiations.

The incumbent Brussels Finance Minister  Guy Vanhengel (Flemish liberal) and his party colleague, the Flemish Minister for media, youth, culture and Brussels Sven Gatz have both asked those leading the Francophone coalition talks to take time to reflect. Mr Gatz adds that the formation of a Brussels regional government without the Francophone liberals could make the formation of governments at other levels more difficult.