Belgian government formation moving at unusually fast pace

As expected, King Philippe has this/Wednesday afternoon appointed N-VA president Bart De Wever as federal informateur. De Wever has accepted the position and will provide a first report in a week, on Wednesday 19 June. The swift appointment of De Wever is another sign that the government formation for the moment is currently moving at an unusually fast pace by Belgian standards.

King Philippe asked Bart De Wever to come to the palace around 2.30 pm and after an audience that lasted an hour, he appointed the N-VA president as informateur at the federal level. That means that he is in charge of exploring the possibilities of forming a government. Concretely, his task is to "ascertain which parties are willing to quickly form a stable coalition at the federal level and what the main political lines of this coalition would be".

The quick appointment of the N-VA leader, a major candidate to become the new Belgian prime minister, is somewhat surprising if you take the recent past into consideration. After the previous elections, the king first appointed a veteran politician of a major party in order to buy time and cautiously test the waters.

Things are moving faster now, because there is a clear coalition option this time. That is partly because the Flemish liberals of Open Vld, the Francophone socialists of PS and the Greens of Ecolo and Groen themselves already chose to go into the opposition. The far-left party PVDA/PTB and far-right Flemish party Vlaams Belang are not taken into consideration as viable government partners.

It seems logical that Flemish nationalist party N-VA at the federal level will join forces with the Christian democrats of cd&v and socialists of Vooruit on the Flemish side and with the liberals of MR and the centre-right and socially liberal party Les Engagés on the Francophone side. These are exactly the parties that will probably govern at the regional levels as well: N-VA, cd&v and Vooruit in Flanders and MR and Les Engagés in Wallonia.

Possible stumbling blocks

Although this may all seem straightforward, the coalition negotiations will be far from easy. For Vooruit, a lot of money will have to go to social policy, otherwise they will be criticised for years as a ‘left-wing party implementing a right-wing programme’. N-VA's austerity mantra, especially in healthcare, will probably also have to be toned down considerably.

However, the biggest possible stumbling block is the N-VA’s strong desire to work on a profound state reform. N-VA wants a deal to change the country into a ‘confederal’ state with minimal powers at the national level, but it remains to be seen how far the other parties are willing to go along this road with the N-VA.

In Flanders

Bart De Wever is currently also in charge of exploring the possibilities of forming a government in Flanders. It seems for now that he will combine both roles, Flemish and federal informateur, until a Flemish formateur needs to be appointed. The formateur is the person tasked with actually forming a government. ​

N-VA president Bart De Wever shakes hands with King Philippe of Belgium © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels