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Scrapping Brussels’ 19 municipalities most popular citizen idea

14:45 20/04/2017

Flemish minister Sven Gatz’s citizens’ cabinet for Brussels has reached the deadline for the submission of ideas, and members are scheduled to gather again on 6 May to make a final selection from the ideas submitted to make Brussels a better place.

Gatz, the minister in charge of Flanders’ interests in the capital, had already convened citizens’ cabinets for two of his other portfolios: youth and culture. As in those cases, the Brussels cabinet started with an online forum, which allowed anyone to post their ideas for making Brussels a better place.

The forum attracted more than 430 participants, 62% of them from Brussels, the rest from elsewhere in Flanders. Independent consultants then select 150 of the participants for a day-long session in parliament, where the ideas are discussed.

The most popular idea submitted was making Brussels one single entity rather than 19 municipalities. In second place is improving the air quality in the capital. Other issues raised include mobility, late-hour trains and making the royal domain in Laeken a public park.

Gatz promises to take account of the results of the parliamentary session. “You can’t set up a citizens’ cabinet and then say thanks but no thanks,” he said. “On 6 May we will come up with 10 to 20 concrete proposals. Every six months we will keep the participants up to date on our progress.”

Photo courtesy Sven Gatz

Written by Alan Hope

Comments

Denis J. Buckley

This would not be a good idea...maybe merge some like-minded adjoining Communes and reduce to 10. If all these Communes were absorbed into the Brussels Capital Region Authority it would mean that non-Belgians would not have a vote in these elections. EU Citizens from the Brussels Capital Region should have a vote in the Federal Elections. The Commune elections should be every 5 years, the present term is far too long.

Apr 21, 2017 21:15
R.Harris

Terrible idea; local government is the ideal. Sure some of the boroughs are rather small and maybe there could be some merging, for instance the three northwest boroughs of Ganshoren, Koekelberg and Berchem-Ste-Agathe could become one, and there should be clear methods of cooperation on regional issues.

Apr 23, 2017 15:31