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People's priorities for Brussels: Education, transport and public toilets

02:50 08/05/2017

Sven Gatz’s citizens’ cabinet for Brussels has come up with a series of recommendations on improving co-operation and understanding between Flanders and the capital. Gatz, the minister representing Brussels’ interests in the government of Flanders, organised the citizens’ cabinet following the success of similar initiatives for culture and youth, also part of his portfolio.

The citizens’ cabinet for Brussels held its plenary session at the weekend in the Flemish parliament. “The third citizens’ cabinet was a success,” Gatz said. “Despite some negative images about Brussels, what I saw today convinces me that there are a lot of people who believe in the city and want to make it work.”

The 12 recommendations proposed by the 153 participants include a more active role in the education system for parents of different backgrounds; giving members of the public a budget to allow them to form local culture policy; improving public transport at night and making the fleet greener; providing more public toilets; and working towards a fully bilingual education system from pre-school onwards, with exchanges between Dutch- and French-speaking schools.

“The enthusiasm of the citizens’ cabinet is heartwarming,” said Gatz (pictured). “Although those taking part do not know each other, every time they come out with valuable and well thought-out policy recommendations. It’s now up to me to put them into practice and present them to my fellow ministers. I will be keeping the participants informed on what is happening with their proposals.”

A similar event will take place for French-speakers under Brussels minister Rachid Madrane on 20 May, then he and Gatz will bring both sets of recommendations together at a conference in October.

Photo: Studio Nunu/Sven Gatz

Written by Alan Hope