The N-VA demands the strict application of language legislation in the Flemish Periphery

7 October 2021

The Council of State has annulled the decision of former Flemish Minister for the Interior Liesbeth Homans (N-VA) on the establishment of a language register in the Facility municipalities A municipality with special bylaws governing the use of the official languages. The 1963 Administrative Language Law establishes the language in which communication with the government must be carried out in certain Belgian regions. There are special regulations in a number of Belgian municipalities. Here, “facilities” are allocated to residents who speak another language. They are legally allowed to use another national language than the language used in the area in their communication with the government. However, these facilities are only applicable to the residents, and not to the municipal officials! The N-VA wants to gradually get rid of these facilities regulations. facility municipalities . In doing so, the Council states that facility municipalities may indeed include the language preference of their residents in a register. This ruling contradicts the historical interpretation of the facilities as a temporary transitional measure and is a direct consequence of the fateful decision to give the bilingual chamber of the Council of State jurisdiction in such cases.

“This ruling by the bilingual chamber of the Council of State is outrageous! We must therefore use all legal means to oppose this and permanently protect the Flemish character of the Periphery,” says Flemish MP Inez De Coninck.

The N-VA group in the Flemish Parliament is asking the Flemish Government to interpret the language legislation as restrictively as possible. We will continue to adhere to the Peeters and Keulen circulars and the Flemish interpretation of the language legislation. The N-VA will never go along with a weakening of the current provisions and will point this out to Minister Somers once again.

“The Language border The language border between a Flemish and a French-speaking area was permanently established in the period from 1962 to 1963. The Brussels-Capital district, with 19 municipalities, became officially bilingual. The language border was not a Flemish invention. Since the beginning of the 20th century, French-speakers, and certainly the socialists, have strongly advocated for monolingual areas in Belgium. Today, Flemings want respect for the language border and the bilingual nature of Brussels. language border was established more than 50 years ago. Some French speakers still have difficulty accepting that they live in Dutch-speaking areas. The decision taken by the bilingual chamber of the Council of State is a consequence of the sixth state reform concluded by the Vivaldi parties. They have decided to give French-speaking councillors control over the six facility municipalities as if they were Brussels municipalities,” MP Kristien van Vaerenbergh says. “The N-VA has always opposed the establishment of this bilingual chamber with the sixth state reform. We do not accept that such political statements jeopardise language peace in this country.”

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