Brussels coalition agreement is old wine in old bottles

19 July 2019

Brussels has a new coalition agreement. N-VA group leader Cieltje Van Achter is extremely disappointed: “It is not new wine in old bottles, but old wine in old bottles. Daring and decisiveness are nowhere to be seen.”

On 26 May, the voter voted - certainly in Flanders - for decisiveness and change. But there’s no sign of any of that in the coalition agreement: it’s the same old same old. “Any resident of Brussels who had hoped that Ecolo-Groen would get the city moving is sorely deceived today. The only green thing about this agreement is the recycling of old ideas. After almost three decades in power, it is once again the PS that has seized power. We barely find a trace of the so-called liberal accents. The positions were clearly more important,” says Cieltje Van Achter.

The coalition agreement falls short on important points:

  • An urban region with one clear vision of the metropolitan problems won’t happen during this legislature. Municipalities and region alike remain competent in all important policy areas. The municipalities are actually being strengthened.
  • Increased security is clearly not a concern of this government. Yet again there’s no merger of the police zones, not even in-depth cooperation.
  • Poverty in Brussels is still on the rise. It is incomprehensible that there is no ambition whatsoever to change things.
  • Brussels continues to facilitate the reception of transmigrants. The Brussels government will simply pass on the bill for its irresponsible open borders policy to the federal government.

This coalition agreement should have contained so much more. With Cieltje Van Achter, Mathias Vanden Borre and Gilles Verstraeten, the N-VA will be following the policy constructively but very critically in the coming five years. “The Brussels resident, whatever language he or she speaks, deserves better. A lot better,” concludes Cieltje Van Achter.

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