Parliament OKs Flemish carve up into 15 regions

The Flemish parliament has approved government legislation creating 15 Flemish regions.  Flemish home minister Bart Somers (liberal) says that this will allow Flanders to do away with a “transparent mush of supralocal cooperation arrangements”.  Limburg Province is the only province not to be carved up.

Mr Somers says that clear choices have been made: fewer structures, fewer roles, more transparency, efficiency and local impact: “This has been a topic of debate since the Seventies”.

The Flemish government agreed the new carve up nearly a year ago.  When the new legislation kicks in this spring new co-operation arrangements will have to focus on the 15 new regions.  Existing structures have till the end of 2030 to make modifications. For refuse collection services the date in December 2036.

“This is an enormous efficiency exercise that will allow local authorities to work together in a better way and give them more power to act” says Somers. He stresses that local mayors remain the linchpin of the organisation: “They retain an overview and will be in contact with fellow mayors in talks staged every month.  Municipal decisions will still be taken at the local level”.

“The working of the new regions will be discussed by the local council twice a year”.

Local authorities are encouraged to work more closely together in the fields of staff mobility allowing a more flexible deployment of workers. 

Flanders will retain five provinces with a governor at the helm.

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