Farmers and teachers to challenge decisions of Flemish government

Teaching and farming unions are planning a number of actions at the start of the new year. COC, the largest teachers' union in Flanders, will protest against education reform, while farmers' union Boerenbond will fight the recognition of new national parks in the Constitutional Court and the Council of State.

COC is concerned about the impact of a report commissioned by the Flemish government on the reform of education in Flanders. The aim is to implement a modern school and personnel policy. The report contains 70 proposals aimed at overhauling the entire education system.

The COC says it was only consulted once before the report was published. In addition, it says the report "does not provide an adequate response to the real concerns that education staff have been grappling with for years". It is planning industrial action and has not ruled out strikes. Specific plans will be decided after the Christmas holidays.

Concerned farmers

Meanwhile, Boerenbond will fight the recognition of three Flemish national parks before the Constitutional Court and the Council of State, Het Belang van Limburg reports on Thursday.

In October, the Flemish government recognised four national parks: Brabantse Wouden, Scheldevallei, Hoge Kempen and Bosland. Thanks to the recognition, these parks will receive an annual stipend and access to an investment budget.

Boerenbond will challenge these recognitions in the Council of State, with the exception of Hoge Kempen. It says the public consultation was not carried out according to the rules, as stakeholders and landowners were not given the opportunity to comment. It will also challenge the decree in the Constitutional Court, which could affect another five parks that were recognised in October.

Farmers have long feared national parks could result in possible restrictions on nitrogen emissions, which in turn could limit their activities or permits. Environment minister Zuhal Demir's decree on national parks explicitly says this will not happen.


#FlandersNewsService | A protest by agricultural association Boerenbond in Brussels © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

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