N-VA once again puts defence on the map

23 May 2019

In recent years, the N-VA has put defence back on the political map. With a total investment package of 9.2 billion euros, our policy has reversed years of cutbacks in defence. Our armed forces will once again have more modern equipment at their disposal that gives them the necessary resources to fulfil their duties. “If it is up to the N-VA, we will continue down this path in the coming legislative term,” Theo Francken and Sander Loones say.

During a visit to ASCO (a major Belgian player in the aviation industry), Theo Francken, Sander Loones and the N-VA MPs on the Defence committee gave a detailed explanation of the N-VA defence programme.

Pillar for security

In recent years, Defence has proved to be an important pillar for our foreign security, taking part in a variety of international missions. On top of this, it has also helped to shoulder the responsibility for our national security. Military personnel patrolling the streets have contributed to the protection of our citizens. The greatest credit in this regard lies with the military personnel themselves, who in the future too must be able to count on better equipment and strong leadership to complete their missions.

“But the task is not done yet. It is now a matter of fully implementing our strategic change of course and the break with the past,” says Theo Francken. “For this reason, not only must we roll out the investments in equipment further, we must also work on creating modern barracks with a better regional distribution and on making a career in the military more attractive.”

Modern working environment

As far as the N-VA is concerned, investments must be made in modern, well-located barracks, where people can work and train in a truly 21st-century environment. The regional distribution of our barracks must also be improved with, among other things, one additional national combat unit in East or West Flanders. “Indeed, today we see that many military personnel from these provinces have to endure very long commutes and that recruitment is suffering greatly from the absence of such a unit in this part of the country,” says the N-VA.

Attractive employer

Defence is experiencing major problems in attracting and retaining young people. For the N-VA, it is therefore crucial for the image of the army and the attractiveness of a profession in the military to be reinforced further. That requires a sound personnel policy and constant attention to the labour-law status and well-being of staff. Key factors in this regard are flexibility, challenging work and the possibility of combining family life and a career.

“In addition we have to dare to let defence actually be defence,” Theo Francken emphasises. “All too often, I hear from military personnel that they are not being deployed to a sufficient extent in the areas for which they have been trained. Without wishing to play the cowboy, we must consider more high-risk assignments abroad.”

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