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N-VA on the purple-green coalition defence policy: “Lots of promises, no money”
The N-VA is concerned about Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder’s policy memorandum. Our analysis shows that, although major commitments are being made to the military, they will have to finance most of them themselves.
As the security party, the N-VA will continue to monitor government policy closely in the coming months and years. “We’ll pass on an army of sandbag fillers. Defence must be able to fulfil its international role more than ever in these uncertain times. It is good that the status of military personnel is going to improve, but this cannot undermine the strength and preparedness of our army. This is very doubtful under this purple-green government,” the N-VA states.
The N-VA aimed for a small but professional army under the previous coalition. The core tasks must not be watered down, and the army must not serve as a safety net for all types of social problems.
In the Minister’s policy statement, the bill increases considerably. We are therefore awaiting the De Croo government’s budget to see if all these promises are also financially substantiated.
Investing in Defence is still important now to ensure that this health crisis does not turn into a security crisis. But with an additional EUR 50 billion deficit and an economy that is likely to remain very weak in both 2021 and 2022, we would be surprised if the government kept defence high enough on its list of priorities. Hopefully, next week the Minister will prove us wrong here.