Elections 2024: Jambon hopes for 'momentum to break domestic stagnation'
In his annual speech to the diplomatic corps on Wednesday, Flemish minister president Jan Jambon looked ahead to the federal elections in June. "In Flanders, there is a growing hope that these elections can create the momentum to break the domestic political deadlock we are currently experiencing," he said, advocating further state reform.
At the New Year's reception, Jambon addressed 165 diplomats and representatives from dozens of countries, including China and Taiwan as well as Israel and Palestine, at Errera House, his official residence in Brussels.
As well as highlighting Flanders' role in the Belgian presidency of the European Union, Jambon looked ahead to the federal and regional elections on 9 June. The Flemish government can look forward to the vote "with confidence", he said. Despite a "difficult mandate" with several crises including Covid-19, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the energy crisis, the Flemish government has "almost fully implemented" its coalition agreement.
Jambon also referred to the federal elections, saying "there is a growing hope in Flanders that these elections can create the momentum to break the domestic deadlock". "Observers from all over the world note that the complex federal model we have today is reaching its limits," he said. "Structural reforms have become impossible and yet they are urgently needed to secure our future and our prosperity."
He therefore hopes that 2024 will be the year "when taboos and vetoes lose their power" and there will be room for "dialogue on the further deepening and simplification of the state structure". "With more and more logically defined competences for Flanders and Wallonia," he said.
"Observers from all over the world note that the complex federal model we have today is reaching its limits"
Self-government has always been the main goal of N-VA, Jambon's Flemish nationalist party. In the run-up to the 2024 elections, it is not clear how strong the party's separatist ambitions are.
According to recent polls, the largest party in Flanders and Belgium after the upcoming elections could be the far-right Vlaams Belang, which has always openly called for an independent Flemish state.
#FlandersNewsService | Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM