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Auderghem would like to merge with commune next door

12:48 05/10/2017

The mayor of Auderghem has told La Libre Belgique that he would like his commune to merge with next-door neighbour Watermael-Boitsfort. Such a move would be the first merger of two of the 19 municipalities since they were established in 1831.

Although many municipalities have merged in Flanders over the last few decades – largely because of tax incentives offered by the regional government – neither Brussels nor Wallonia has followed suit. Auderghem mayor Christophe Magdalijns stressed that any council vote on the matter in both municipalities would have to wait until after the 2018 elections and that a merger of this size and impact would take 10 years or more to facilitate.

“With the means and the 22 square kilometres that the merger would create, we could easily develop independent city projects,” Magdalijns told the paper, though he did not go into details about what kind of projects. He did, however, share his idea for a name for the new municipality: Soignes, referring to the forest that crosses the borders of both communes.

According to the mayor of Watermael-Boitsfort, however, Magdalijns has spoken too soon. Following the publication of the interview this morning, Olivier Deleuze told Bruzz that he and his municipality have no interest in merging. "The residents of my commune are not sitting waiting for a merge," he said. "They are rather attached to their little markets and charming streets. We have no intention of messing with the soul of our city."

Photo: Place Communale d’Auderghem on Chaussée de Wavre

This article was updated following initial publication

Written by Lisa Bradshaw