This story from the Brussels Journal, shows very clearly why the European Union project will never work.
No 2 countries in history have ever been forcibly put together and remained together. What makes the 'colleagues' believe that pushing 27 nations together without referendums on the constitution and the will of the people will be any more successful.
The politicians in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, are unable to form
a government coalition with sufficient support in both parts of the
multinational country, i.e. in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking north of
the country, and Wallonia, the French-speaking south. They have asked
the Belgian King Albert II to defuse the situation.
The Walloon politicians refuse to join a government led by Yves Leterme, the leader of the Flemish Christian-Democrats, who won the Belgian general elections last June 10th.
All the major parties in Flanders are demanding greater autonomy for
Flanders, the most capitalist-minded (and consequently most prosperous)
part of the country, which has been funding the less affluent (because socialist-oriented) south since Belgium’s establishment in 1830-31.
Belgium is an artificial state of 10.5 million inhabitants, which prides itself on being the model for a federal Europe.
The country was put together in 1830-31 by the international powers as
a political compromise and an experiment in building one state out of
two nationalities. It consists of 6 million Dutch-speakers in Flanders,
its northern half that borders on the Netherlands, 3 million
French-speakers in Wallonia, its southern half that borders on France,
and 1 million people in its capital Brussels, which is also the capital
of Flanders and of the European Union.
Brussels has a French-Dutch bilingual status. Many of its inhabitants are of North-African extraction. Brussels, which is historically a Dutch-speaking town
and is an enclave within Flanders, was deliberately “frenchified” after
the establishment of Belgium by the country’s ruling French-speaking
elite. During the past decades, the Belgian regime has encouraged North
African immigrants, who come from former French colonies, to apply for
Belgian citizenship. This was done in an attempt to force the Flemings
into an ever shrinking minority position in what used to be one of
their most important towns. In 2001 (in an interview in the newspaper Le Matin)
Claude Eerdekens, the Socialist chairman of the Naturalisation
Commission of the Belgian House of Representatives, admitted that his
commission was granting citizenship to foreigners without investigating
the applicants’ backgrounds because most of the immigrants speak French
rather than Dutch. “Our Commission does more for the frenchification of
Brussels than the Flemings can ever do to prevent it,” Mr Eerdekens
The Francophone arrogance has backfired in a growing appeal of the Vlaams Belang (VB) party, Belgium’s most outspoken Flemish-secessionist and “Islamophobic” party and its only Eurosceptic party. Owing to the rising popularity of the VB, other Flemish parties have begun to take stronger pro-Flemish positions.
Last January, VB-leader Frank Vanhecke wrote
Belgium has corrupted Wallonia. 40% of the Walloons
“work” as civil servants, compared to only 20% of the Flemings; 20% of
the Walloons are unemployed, compared to only 8% of the Flemings.
However, if the Walloons refuse to remedy this situation, if they
refuse to pull their act together, if they keep voting for
irresponsible and corrupt Socialist politicians who promise that
everything will remain as it is, they themselves are asking for the end
of Belgium. The Flemings have had enough.
Flanders – not just “nationalist extremists” as the Walloon Socialists
and the Belgian establishment say – has had enough. Recent polls
revealed that more than 40% of the Flemish entrepreneurs and over half
the Flemish population are in favour of Flemish independence. Those
Flemings who do not aim (yet) for downright independence, want to
reduce Belgium to a confederation of two almost independent states.
year 6.6% of Flanders’ GDP is spent on welfare in Wallonia. The money
has not helped the Walloons but turned them into welfare addicts.
Belgium is a case study of how socialist redistribution schemes lead to
Yves Leterme, the Christian-Democrat leader, who is the son of a Walloon father and a Flemish mother, caused a stir
recently when he told the French newspaper Libération that Belgium is
an “accident of history” which to him has no “intrinsic value.” He also
criticized Belgian King Albert II for not being fluent in Dutch, the
language of the majority of his people.
By refusing to join a
government led by Mr Leterme, Flanders’ most popular politician, the
Walloon politicians yesterday forced him to request the King, who is
one of the leaders of the French-speaking establishment, to defuse the
situation. This is perceived by many Flemings as a public humiliation
of Mr Leterme.
Today, Flemish newspapers unanimously warn that
the Walloons are playing a dangerous game. Last Wednesday Prof. Em.
Robert Senelle, one of Belgium’s most prominent constitutionalists and
formerly a teacher of the Belgian Crown Prince, advised the Flemings
to annul the Belgian Constitution. Prof Senelle, a Flemish Socialist,
said the Flemish regional parliament should solemnly declare Flemish
The unravelling of Belgium does not bode well for
the European Union’s attempts to transform itself into a multinational
state. Belgium is the EU’s model. As early as 1904 the Belgian
ideologue Léon Hennebicq, a Brussels lawyer, wrote:
Have we [Belgium] not been called the laboratory of
Europe? Indeed, we are a nation under construction. The problem of
economic expansion is duplicated perfectly here by the problem of
constructing a nationality. Two different languages, different classes
without cohesion, a parochial mentality, an adherence to local
communities that borders on the most harmful egotism, these are all
elements of disunion. Luckily they can be reconciled. The solution is
economic expansion, which can make us stronger by uniting us.”
His words foreshadowed the Europeanist project of the 1950s which
aimed for political unification through economic integration. Two years
ago Guy Verhofstadt, Belgium’s current (and maybe its last) Prime
Minister called Belgium “the laboratory of European unification.”
Foreign politicians watch our country with particular
interest because it can teach them something about the feasibility of
the European project.
It seems that what Belgium can teach foreign politicians is the infeasibility of the “European project.”
Remarkably, the non-Belgian
press has so far taken hardly any notice of the political problems in
the EU’s host country and model. This is not the first major story that
the mainstream media misses.
And for those looking for a more local comparison, think United Kingdom. This Belgian article has direct comparisons to the financial and social inequality NuLab have developed and encouraged between Scotland and England, and Wales and England.
UPDATE: Will Flanders and Holland re-unite ?