Belgian opinion leaders sound alarm bell toward politicians
In a public letter in the press more than 20 Belgian cultural and business opinion leaders call for a joined vision about the future. A vision that transcends the actual disagreements between political parties.
The authors of the letter note that there is no long-term vision in Belgium about important themes, like migration, mobility, energy, ageing or climate. The danger is that succeeding coalitions take contradictory decisions in the short term and people get discouraged.
“This lack of vision creates immobility and undermines the competitiveness of the Belgian economy”, the letter says. “In Belgium there is an urgent need for more ambition.”
A clear vision for the long term in the different fields has therefore to last several legislative periods, say the subscribers. “The Belgian population is in urgent need of a certain peace of mind.”
This turnover needs a radical change in political habits. Political parties have to collaborate and reach out to each other, over the common borders. “Politicians have to overcome the interests of their party, region, administrative level. Independent of the fact that they belong to the majority or the opposition.”
“The institutional complexity, the different coalitions on different administrative levels and the ‘particracy’ are the causes of this stagnation. In each of the indicated domains we have to plan 10, 15 or even 20 years ahead. For that our political parties have to cooperate.”
The letter was signed by a lot of leading voices in Belgium. Among them Luc Bertrand (president Ackermans & van Haaren), Wouter De Geest (CEO Basf), Bernard Delvaux (CEO Sonaca), Vincent Engel (professor), Hilde Laga (president Gimv), Leo Neels (CEO Itinera), Michèle Sioen (CEO Sioen Industries), Pierre Wolper (rector University of Liège) and many others.