Bart De Wever to thousands of members at the New Year’s party: “It’s confederalism or impoverishment”

15 January 2023

We had to wait two years for it, but on Saturday evening, the Nekkerhal in Mechelen was once again filled with thousands of enthusiastic and impeccably dressed N-VA members for the party’s traditional New Year’s party. In his speech, chairman Bart De Wever took stock of the disastrous results of two years of the Vivaldi government. “The choice for the Flemish people is clear: it’s Confederalism If we want to make structural changes, then we have to change the structures. Confederalism is the structural change that this country needs. The basic principle of confederalism is that Flanders and Wallonia are the owners of all powers. They exercise these themselves, but can also make decisions together and manage certain powers together at the confederal level, in both of their interests. This completely reverses the logic. Instead of transferring federal powers to Flanders and Wallonia, these powers can be transferred to the confederal level. Forced cooperation is replaced by voluntary cooperation. Must becomes will. Dismantling from above becomes building up from below. Confederalism is therefore deciding together on what we want to do together. confederalism or impoverishment.”

“Taking responsibility requires broad shoulders as well as sacrifice.” Bart De Wever is referring to the difficult run-up to the September statement for Jan Jambon. But the choice of good Flemish due diligence stands in stark contrast to the fake budget and lack of reforms of De Croo’s State of the Union. According to Bart, Zuhal Demir, Ben Weyts and Matthias Diependaele can also be proud of their respective achievements within the Flemish Government.

Taking decisions

“We are taking decisions on problems that have been dealt with far too lightly for decades. We support both the protection of our Flemish fauna and flora and a legally secure framework for how Flemish people live, work and do business. We are once again making the quality of education our objective in Flanders, persevering for sufficient knowledge of Dutch and making the teaching profession attractive again. Despite the difficult waters, we see the tanker slowly turning around.”

“Our Flemish solidarity is also linked to clear logic regarding Civic integration Flanders has a policy for civic integration. This is a guided and targeted form of social integration for people of foreign origin. The intention is that the newcomers are provided with a valuable place in society by including them instead of excluding them. Civic integration, which includes language lessons and civic integration courses, was brought about by the participation of the N-VA in the Flemish Government since 2004 and the appointment of a Minister for Civic Integration. civic integration , with foreign property ownership screening, mandatory registration with the VDAB The Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding (VDAB, Flemish Public Employment and Professional Training Service) is a Flemish public service that coordinates supply and demand in the employment market, with its main task consisting of serving as an intermediary for job seekers and providing them with support in getting back to work. Since the State reform in 1989, job placement has been a competence of the Regions and job training a competence of the Communities. The VDAB’s counterpart in Wallonia is Forem, and Actiris in Brussels. VDAB , a means test and an increased language knowledge requirement for anyone moving into social housing. And in the meantime, Flanders is on course for a structurally sound budget.”

After De Croo, the deluge

The contrast with the federal Vivaldi government could not be greater, according to De Wever. “We are ranked last in Europe in budgetary terms, while paying the highest tax burden on labour in the world. After De Croo, the deluge. The irresponsible energy policy will lead to potential energy shortages in 2024, while the Groen party still refuses to revise the nuclear power phase-out law. And because of the open borders policy, Belgium is once again the drain of the European migrant tub and children sleep on the street.”

Bart De Wever called on the Flemish to break that status quo and not vote for the extremes, but to join the N-VA in choosing confederalism. “It is either that or impoverishment,” concluded Bart De Wever, who then cleared the stage for guest DJ and MP Sander Loones, who got the party going and immediately had thousands of enthusiastic members in the palm of his hand. 

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