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Brussels region announces formation of new government

17:20 17/07/2019

Brussels is the first out the starting block to form a regional government following the May elections. It had already been decided last month that PS, Ecolo, Défi, Groen, Open VLD and one.brussels-SP.A would form the ruling coalition, but they had to hammer out a coalition agreement.

Their negotiations intensified this week, led by minister-president Rudi Vervoort, who announced success at about 3.30 this morning. Complicating negotiations was a discussion as to whether French-speaking liberals MR – Charles Michel’s party – would form part of the ruling coalition. Dutch-speaking liberals Open VLD pushed hard for the option, but ultimately lost the battle.

This afternoon, party representatives of the new ‘purple-green’ coalition announced the main components of the agreement. They are:

  • A speed limit of 30kph across the Brussel Capital-Region. Currently this is only the case in Schaerbeek. The inner ring road will be an exception as will key thoroughfares, which will remain 50kph.
  • A guaranteed placement within six months for anyone under 30 who registers with Actiris employment and training agency. This could be a job, an internship or a training.
  • The Capital-Region will be climate neutral by 2050. This means that the amount of CO2 released into the air cannot outweigh the amount of CO2 being processed or stored.
  • Stib’s metro network will be extended, with one of the most crucial extensions being metro line 3 to Bordet in Evere.
  • A new multi-lingual dossier will be added to either a minister or secretarial post. The new minister of multi-lingual policy will promote the use of more than one language in education. “But it won’t stop there,” said Sven Gatz (Open VLD). “Consider surtitling in theatres and things like that.”

Members will vote on the coalition agreement at party congresses this evening.

It is already known that Vervoort will return as minister-president of the Capital-Region. He is expected at the palace tomorrow to be sworn in by the king. The minister and state secretary posts have not yet been announced but should be this week.

Photo: Thierry Roge/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw