King extends Informateurs’ mandate into the new year

As had been expected Belgium’s Head of State King Filip has extended the mandate of the two federal informateurs Joachim Coens (Flemish Christian democrat) and Georges-Louis Bouchez beyond the Christmas and New Year holiday. The two politicians have been given until 13 January 2020 to  try and find a way out of the current political impasse and pave the way to the start of negotiations on the formation of a new Federal Government.  

Speaking after their meeting with the King the informateurs said that their options were still very much open and that currently negotiations on the formation of either a Flemish nationalist, liberal, socialist or a socialist, green liberal coalition (both with the eventual aid of the Flemish Christian democrats are not ready to get under way.   

In the 10 days since the were appointed as informateurs Mr Bouchez and Mr  Coens have held talks with the various parties separately, as well as holding talks with two or three parties around the table. Their conclusion is that the time is not yet right for coalition talks proper to get under way.  

Now Mr Coens and Mr Bouchez intend to continue talking to the parties on the basis of 5 core themes. The informateurs will look at what similarities there are between the parties and based on this will see if a majority can be found this way. The themes are 1) the budget deficit, 2) social policy (social security, pensions etc.) 3) employment and the housing market, 4) climate and 5) justice and migration.   

On Monday 13 January they will present a final report on their work to the King.