Preventing a second lockdown will be part of the Flemish recovery plan

A team of experts has come up with a raft of recommendations to help the Flemish government draw up a social and economic recovery plan for the post-corona crisis era. The plan must be ready by September.

The committee of independent experts has formulated proposals for economic and social recovery after the corona epidemic. The Flemish government can now set to work using the committee’s recommendations.

Four goals have been agreed: making Flanders one of Europe’s three most productive regions, increasing employment and activity levels to 80% of the active population, balancing the Flemish budget and pressing through transformative breakthroughs.

“Change is urgently needed.  We can’t simply return to the pre-corona era” says Prof Koenraad Debackere, the chair of the group of economic experts.  Proposals include getting more temporary jobless people in work, rewarding those in employment and improved child care.

The experts urge the Flemish government to invest in the digital industry. This is only possible if every child has a PC and internet access.

“We witnessed an unprecedented speeding up of digitalisation during the crisis, but it’s also shown us some are left behind” says health economist Lieven Annemans.

The most vulnerable in society have been the greatest victims.  They should from the priority of any recovery plan.

The experts are pushing for more ambitions climate policies too: “Corona impacted on mobility. The jams disappeared and alternatives like the bike were all the vogue.  Every Fleming should be able to cycle to work as much as possible, certainly within a 20 km radius” says Prof Debackere.

The elderly have been hit hard and improvement is possible.  Change is needed. Care home should be more small scale and be places where young children and animals are welcome.

The experts identified 200 points for action to make society better equipped to deal with a second wave.  Mr Annemans hopes Flanders can be kept open in all events: shops, but also society as a whole need to remain operational. A repeat of the recent lockdown is not desirable.

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