Is the end of Belgium beckoning?


By Brent van de Winckel

On June 9, the whole of Belgium marches to the polls to decide the fate of the country. It promises to be a historic election, and perhaps the last that Belgium will ever experience.

For an outsider, the situation may raise a series of questions. Why do the Flemings want an independent state? Are Flanders and Wallonia really so different? How do the Flemings want to enforce that independence?

The purpose of this article is to answer these questions.

Two peoples

Belgium is a very divided country, which essentially consists of two different peoples: the Dutch-speaking Flemish in the north, and the French-speaking Walloons in the south. In the east there are also about 80,000 German speakers, but they are less important in the larger Belgian issue.

Since the 1970s there has been talk of the federalization of Belgium.

In six successive state reforms, the country evolved from a unitary state to a federation with a dual division. Belgium is unique in the world at this level. On the one hand, Belgium is divided into three regions (in the South African context these are equivalent to provinces): the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region, and the Brussels Capital Region. The regions are competent to make decisions about the economy of the states, but also for mobility or the movement of people across borders, spatial planning, and housing policy.

At the same time, Belgium was also divided in another way. There is also talk of three communities: the Flemish community, the French community, and the German-speaking community. The communities are empowered to make decisions about their culture, education, and health. Geographically, the regions and communities largely overlap, but not completely. There are therefore elements of cultural autonomy as well as regional autonomy.

Finally, there is the federal level, which is responsible, among other things, for defense (state security) and socio-social security. The result of this chaotic division: six parliaments and six governments to run one country.

Two democracies

Belgium consists not only of two peoples or nations, but also of two democracies. In Flanders, the citizen votes more and more to the right and more and more to Flemish nationalist parties; in Wallonia, on the other hand, people vote predominantly socialist and even more and more communist.

In Flanders, people want the mass migration from Africa and the Middle East to be curbed, while Wallonia wants to open the Belgian borders wide open to let even more migrants in, with crime, Islamization and population change as a result. In Flanders, people want a healthy budget policy, while Wallonia continues to waste money with poor spending. The policies are in many ways the opposite of each other.

And the biggest injustice of Belgium is that the Flanders are legally obliged to finance the socialist policy of Wallonia. Flanders achieves, Wallonia spends.

Belgium costs Flanders billions

€12 billion. This is the amount that annually flows from Flanders to the bottomless wells of the Walloon socialist state. 12 billion euros a year – that’s €2,000 euros that every Fleming, from the smallest child to the oldest gray earth, donates to Wallonia, without getting anything in return. And what do the Walloon politicians call it? Belgian solidarity. In my opinion, solidarity is something that is voluntary, and not something that a law can oblige us to do.

Some quotes from Walloon politicians show how they view this Belgian solidarity. Here is what the socialist minister Christophe Collignon has to say about it: “Solidarity is what makes the state”. Without transfers, therefore, Belgium seems to have no use. Even better is the following quote from former socialist minister Laurette Onkelinx: “We want to milk the Belgian cow for another 10 years and you can keep the carcass. This is the price of freedom”.

The Walloon politicians therefore want to strip Flanders like a hyena to the bone, and only when Flanders has nothing more to offer them, can Flanders be its own state. And what’s worse is that Wallonia doesn’t even get better from all the billions they steal. They even go backwards. Say for yourself, isn’t that solidarity? This is simply organized theft!

The confederalism of the N-VA

In 2014, the N-VA had the chance to put the community issue back on the agenda. This conservative and Flemish nationalist party of Bart De Wever achieved a record score of 32% and was also able to convert their success into government participation, both at Flemish and federal level. Instead, the party renounced its program, deceived its voters, and decided to freeze the community issue for five years.

The N-VA has been advocating confederalism since 2014. In contrast to the current federalism, where important powers such as social security lie at the federal level, the Flemish and Walloon states would be assigned the most important powers and the Belgian authorities would only have a few powers retain.

There is one major problem with the strategy of the N-VA. The confederalism must be negotiated at the federal level, and therefore requires a special majority among the Flemings and the Welsh. Two thirds of the Walloon people’s representatives must therefore agree to the proposal of N-VA. However, this will never happen because Wallonia will only lose power and money if they agree.

The independence of Vlaams Belang

The only solution is therefore Flemish independence, as proposed by Vlaams Belang, the only genuine Flemish nationalist party. The declaration of independence is much simpler than the plan of De Wever. All that is needed is a simple majority in the Flemish parliament. In this, therefore, no account should be taken of special majorities or of what the Walloon politicians want.

The Flemish Interest of Tom van Grieken realizes that the Wale will block every state reform at the federal level. That is why the Flemish Interest wants to negotiate the independence between the Flemish and the Walloon state. A declaration of sovereignty like this is completely legal according to customary international law, and it also obliges the Whales to negotiate.

After almost two hundred years of Walloon dominance, after the cultural struggle for the recognition of our Flemish language, after the political struggle for self-governance, Flemish independence is closer than ever. The Flemish liberals, Christian Democrats and socialists who betrayed their people for a well-paid ministerial post and sold their country to the European Union to secure their careers, will now be presented with the bill. No longer the Walloon socialists, but the Flemings will decide the fate of Flanders.

On June 9, citizens can cast their vote. He can choose between more of the same, or for something else; he can opt for more open borders, more transfers, more insecurity, or he can opt for an independent Flanders. Let us hope that the citizen chooses the right option and that the N-VA comes to the realization that governing with Vlaams Belang is better than governing with the Walloon socialists.

  • Brent Van de Winckel is a member of the National Student Association. Since 2020, he has been responsible for the publication of the association’s student magazine. Since 2022 he has also been national vice-chairman. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Ghent and works as an associate of the study service of Vlaams Belang.