A good future for all Flemings

2 October 2019
Jan Jambon

“Flanders is a prosperous, self-confident nation with a rich tradition and also a very promising future.” The brand-new Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon made the ambition of his Flemish Government crystal clear during his first governmental declaration. He is inviting all Flemings to write the strong story of Flanders together.

Amaze the world

In his first speech to the Flemish Parliament, Minister-President Jambon embarked upon the recognition of the malaise felt by many Flemings. To counter it, Jan Jambon wants to have a story that will raise the enthusiasm of all Flemings. “We must have Flanders exceed itself. We hold all the aces to become a pioneer in Europe and the world: an excellent location, flourishing sea ports, vibrant cities, superb companies and a wealth of talent. We have everything necessary to amaze the world,” Jan Jambon said in his address to Parliament.

Roaring Twenties

The challenges are large, Jan Jambon conceded, but “Flemings have always been capable of many great things. Our resilience is legendary”. The Minister-President is determined to make the coming decade another Roaring Twenties. “To achieve that ambition, the Flemish Government is calling on all Flemings and their talents,” Jan Jambon said.

Striving for excellence

That ambition in the first place means striving for excellence, among other things in education and the employment rate. “Excellence also means caring for the vulnerable or those who have experienced misfortune and need our support,” the Minister-President added. And he repeated the principle that the price of admission to Flemish society will rise, but that “once someone is included in our society, every individual is an equal Flemish citizen.”

Making Flanders ready institutionally

For the Members of the Flemish Parliament, the new Flemish government leader had a special appeal: “And I ask you, Members of the Flemish Parliament, to make Flanders ready institutionally for the future. We have the ambition of making maximum use of our autonomy and fulfilling it in the widest sense. But it is up to the Flemish Parliament to set out on a thorough reflection in all freedom and without restriction about how Belgium works as a country. A government structure that can sustainably improve the cooperation between Flemings, French speakers and German speakers in this country.”

A good future for all Flemings

The goal of the Flemish Government is a good future for all Flemings, Jan Jambon said at the end of his speech. He invited the Members of the Flemish Parliament in the majority and in opposition to work on achieving that goal. Jan Jambon concluded his ambitious government statement with a paraphrasing of the words chiselled above the door of the Palace of the Lords of Gruuthuse in Bruges: “Plus est en nous” (there is more in us).

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