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Greens get mobility: New ministers for Brussels region announced
The new ministers and secretaries of state for the next government of the Brussels Capital-Region have been announced. They will fulfil the posts for five years, until the next regional elections.
The ruling coalition is made up of the socialists PS and SP.A, green parties Ecolo and Groen, French-speaking regionalists DéFI and Dutch-speaking liberals Open VLD. The parties in opposition are Dutch-speaking nationalists N-VA, Christian Democrats CDH and CD&V, French-speaking liberals MR, workers’ parties PTB and PVDA, Dutch-speaking extreme-right Vlaams Belang, Dutch-speaking citizen’s party Agora and animal rights party DierAnimal.
The new ministers and secretaries of the Capital-Region are:
Rudi Vervoort (PS): Minister-president as well as responsible for housing, urban renewal and development, security, tourism and bicultural issues
Elke Van den Brandt (Groen): Minister of mobility, public works, traffic safety, health and social integration. This is one of Brussels’ most challenging and most public dossiers as the city struggles with its world-famous traffic congestion and air quality issues
Alain Maron (Ecolo): Minister of the economy, environment and climate, energy, water, waste management and the port of Brussels. He also shares the health and social integration dossier with Van den Brandt
Bernard Clerfayt (Défi): Minister of labour and training, interior affairs, digitalisation, animal welfare and children’s benefits
Sven Gatz (Open VLD): Minister of finance and budget, civil servants, statistics and the new dossier multi-lingualism. He also shares tourism and bicultural issues with Vervoort.
Pascal Smet (SP.A, also known as One.brussels): State secretary of buildings and heritage, European and international affairs, foreign affairs and trade, development co-operation and emergency services
Nawal Ben Hamou (PS): State secretary of equal opportunities, social housing and religion
Barbara Trachte (Ecolo): State secretary of economic transition and research
Several of the ministers and secretaries also have seats in the French and Flemish Community Commissions, which oversees the regions’ interests in the Capital-Region.
Politicians questioned after yesterday’s press conference confirmed that the new administration already agreed that public transport in Brussels should be free for anyone under 26 years of age, as well as senior citizens. Improving and expanding cycle lanes will also be a priority.
The administration also plans to create 15,000 new social housing units over the next five years.
The big controversy of the formation talks was that Open VLD is part of the majority coalition, while their French-speaking counterpart MR is not. MR won 13 seats in parliament, third only to PS and Ecolo.
“We’re now absent. The socialist have been in control of everything for more than 25 years, and it all just gets worse and worse – mobility, housing, poverty. I’m convinced that it continue to deteriorate.”