Simplified Belgium reconsidered

Re-Bel event (hybrid — in person and online)
Wednesday 23 November from 5 to 7 pm

We are pleased to invite you to  our next Re-Bel event, to be held, as previously announced, on Wednesday 23 November from 5 to 7 pm, for the first time in an experimental hybrid format, concurrently at the University Foundation and on Zoom. A limited number of on-site places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis and other participants will be able to attend online. The event will be bilingual Dutch-French, with simultaneous translation available online. 

This encounter aims to return to the question of how the structure of the federal state can be made simpler and more efficient. As you know, there is just one sub-federal government and parliament competent within the borders of Flanders, but there are two in Wallonia and two in Ostbelgien, and there are six within the borders of the Brussels region. It is widely felt that this cannot be optimal whether in terms of legibility for the citizen or in terms of consistency for public policy. In our webinars of 22 April and  25 November 2021 (both accessible on line), the Walloon Paul Magnette, the Brusseler Sven Gatz and the Ostbelgier Karl-Heinz Lambertz explained why and how they wanted Belgium to become a simpler, territorial federal state, like all other federal states in the world: a Belgium “‘à quatre/ met vier”. They were challenged by academics, who understood the underlying motivation but emphasized the difficulties to be addressed.

Since then, the debate has been enriched by a major scientific study, commissioned by Brussels finance minister Sven Gatz and coordinated by the DULBEA (ULB), on the financial implications for Brussels of a transfer of the revenues and expenditures of the Communities to the Regions. On 23 November 2022 (5-7 pm), we intend to return to this discussion in the light of these new elements. Maxime FONTAINE and Manon PIERROT, co-authors of the study, will present its most important conclusions. Sven GATZ and Paul MAGNETTE will respond. The debate will be moderated, as usual, by Béatrice DELVAUX (Le Soir) and Karel VERHOEVEN (De Standaard).