Flemish liberal leader Lachaert

“Axe car inspection and legalise soft drugs”

The governing Flemish liberals staged their party conference up in Antwerp on Saturday.  Policies that were accepted include a proposal to legalise soft drugs, while the Open VLD liberals are also eager to follow the Dutch example and entrust the annual car inspection to individual garages instead of a centralised car inspection service.

The topic of Saturday’s conference where liberal policies were developed ahead of the 2024 general election was “Freedom”.  The liberals believe people should be able to decide more for themselves and favour a smaller government. 

As far as the annual car inspection is concerned the party wants to follow the Dutch example and entrust the annual car inspection to individual garages.  Open VLD believes the private sector should play a greater role in public transport with public transport companies like De Lijn, the MIVB in Brussels and rail company NMBS losing their monopoly so that private players can enter the market.

On drugs there was a lively debate between those eager to legalise all soft drugs and others who preferred to retain all current restrictions on drugs in criminal law. 

The party finally decided soft drugs should be legalised though the party’s leader made it clear this didn’t mean their use was being encouraged.

The liberals also approved motions to block any future introductions of a curfew as happened during the pandemic and to ensure parliament retains scrutiny of all measures introduced during an emergency.

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