What if... we were to submit a non-binding pact for
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.
to the other parties? Would they sign it? Jong N-VA decided to put it to the test and visited the headquarters of CD&V and Open Vld with a draft agreement.
The agreement calls on the Flemish parties to work together in order to split the Belgian
Social security is currently managed at the Federal level in Belgium. The most important pillars of Belgian social security are: sickness and invalidity insurance (NIDHI), pensions, unemployment insurance and child allowances. In addition, occupational illness, occupational accidents and annual holidays are dealt with at this level. Some Flemish parties have been campaigning for years for (large parts of) social security to be transferred to the Regions and Communities.
system along regional lines, stop money
The money flows from Flanders to Brussels and Wallonia are called transfers. The transfers from the federal budget, the Financing Law and social security amount to between 6 and 7 billion euros per year, and 11 billion euros if debt repayments are included. The size of the transfers is always contested by the French-speaking side or they are just referred to as normal solidarity contributions. A study by Vives (KU Leuven) revealed that the transfers did not serve solidarity, but had a paralysing effect on the growth of both the Walloon and Flemish economies.
to Wallonia and abolish facilities for French-speakers in certain Flemish municipalities, among other things. “The confederalism pact advocates cooperation among the Flemish parties. Who could be opposed to that?” Chair of Jong N-VA Tomas Roggeman wonders out loud. “Furthermore, the pact is not binding, so even if CD&V or Open Vld have objections to the content, they can nevertheless still sign.”
Nobody wants to sign
The Young Lions submitted the agreement to a variety of leading figures including Maggie De Block, Herman De Croo and Hendrik Bogaert. Nobody was prepared to sign his or her name on the agreement, even though the text is non-binding.
Here, any resemblance with political calls to action regarding certain UN treaties is of course purely coincidental, says Tomas Roggeman. Nevertheless, Jong N-VA is of the opinion that the federal government is best off doing the same thing with the Marrakesh treaty: not signing it.