View Full Version : Belgium's constitutional change could mean the end of the country

02-07-06, 15:33
The current constitution of Belgium was established in 1970. It grants 50% of the decisional power in the national parliament to each linguistic group : French and Flemish. However, the Flemish-speaking population outnumbers the French-speaking one almost 2 to 1. The present constitution clearly advantages the French-speaking part. It is also claimed that 50% of the government's investment are made in the slightly poorer and less populated French-speaking Wallonia.

The Flemish are increasingly unhappy about this political unbalance and many have been calling for a constitutional change to restore proportional power. The extreme-right party "Vlaams Belang" ("Flemish Interest"), already the champion of anti-immigration policies, even wants the independence of Flanders. It hasn't happen for 2 main reasons :

1) The constitution requires all Flemish parties and 1/3 of Walloon parties to accept any constitutional change, which in fact means that it will not happen because the Walloons won't approve it.

2) Brussels, the national capital, is geographiccally in Flanders, claimed by Flanders as their capital, but is dominated by French speakers (80% of the population), including the richest and most influential ones.

It could be argued that Brussels would become an independent state, or even attached to Wallonia (by extending a bit its border over at least 1 Flemish municipality). In that case, if the Flemish find a way to convince the Walloons that the current state of affairs is unfair.

In your opinion, should the constiution be changed, and should Belgium split in 2 or 3 independent states ?