Today the leaders of the Flemish nationalists, Bart De Wever, and the Francophone socialists, Paul Magnette, are meeting with the leaders of the Francophone and Flemish greens as their round of talks to try and find a way out of the political impasse continue.
Bart De Wever and Paul Magnette propose a government that would stay in office for two years with the option of staying on for a further year. While some of the parties agree that this is the best way forward other says that they don’t have anything against the proposal. However, like with other issues they won’t be an agreement on this until there is an agreement on everything.
Speaking in an interview with the commercial broadcaster VTM, Bart De Wever said “We have ring-fenced a number of issues that we should tackle during the next two years”. Tackling the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis and reforming the structure of the Belgian state are projects that the two biggest parties around the table (the francophone socialists and the Flemish nationalists) have agreed to tackle by 2023. Furthermore, a shorter period in government together with be easier to sell to the respective parties’ rank and file.
Since the 6th round of state reforms in 2011 that resulted in the Federal Parliament sitting for a 5-year rather than a 4-year term, the federal, regional and European elections have all fallen on the same day. However, parties that want greater autonomy for the regions have always felt that it would be better if the federal elections and regional elections were held separately. This view was also shared by the Flemish Christian democrats at the time.