The Flemish holiday was marked across northern Belgium today. The Flemish national hymn, ‘The Flemish Lion’, played by Youth Orchestra Flanders, resounded over Brussels’ historic market square at the start of the celebrations in the Belgian and Flemish capital this morning.
Flemish PM Jambon, Belgian premier De Croo and the Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, were all present, but due to Covid all to soon the festivities moved to the Botanic Garden in Meise (Flemish Brabant).
For the occasion Flemish politicians were joined by political leaders from Brussels, Wallonia and the Belgian government.
Liesbeth Homans, speaker of the Flemish parliament, spoke of the heavy toll claimed by the corona crisis, but also pointed to the success of the vaccination drive and light at the end of the tunnel.
“The crisis exposed the weaknesses and limitations of our state structure” she told her audience adding: “In its present form our country has reached its absolute limits.”
The parliamentary speaker recommended a
practical approach by making things better and more efficient in a more
simplified and more logical state structure.
Ms Homans thoughts also focused on the future. She urged Flanders to consider internal reforms while we wait for fresh changes to Belgium’s state structure and for Belgium to be turned into a simpler and more logically organised country.
Towns and cities that played such an important role in the pandemic should be given more powers, while the number of Flemish lawmakers could be cut from the 124 in the current Flemish parliament. “Cutting this number may not be a taboo” she said.