King appoints Joachim Coens and Georges-Louis Bouchez as Informateurs

Almost 7 months since the elections Belgium remains without a new Federal Government. Paul Magnette asked to be relieved of his duties as federal Informateur on Monday, after which King Filip launched a round of consultative talks with the leaders of most of the political parties that are represented in the Federal Parliament. The upshot of the talks between the monarch and the party leaders was a decision by the King to appoint the new leaders of the Flemish Christian democrats and the Francophone liberals, Joachim Coens and Georges-Louis Bouchez, to the post of Federal Informateur. 

They are charged with trying to pave the way for the commencement of talks that will lead to the formation of a new Federal Government.

They will give the King a progress report on Friday week (20 December). Mr Coens has only been the leader of his party since last Friday, while Mr Bouchez became the Francophone liberals’ new leader last month. The idea is that they should explore every avenue, both centre-right and centre-left.  

The decision to appoint Mr Coens and Mr Bouchez as Informateurs came just before 7pm on Tuesday evening. They have been given 10 days to try and find a way out of the political impasse and get the coalition negotiations on the rails. On Friday it will be 200 days since we voted in the federal elections. While, all the various regional and language community governments have long since been formed and the new European Commission has been installed, Belgium is still as far away as ever from getting a new federal coalition government.