What do a cycle path in Etterbeek, a gas power station in Vilvoorde and the COP26 in Glasgow have in common? The answer: three failures of our institutional model, which does not work when a minimum of political will and a sense of the general interest are not present.
In Etterbeek, the development of a cycle path along Avenue de Tervueren is the subject of a dispute between the municipality (led by a mayor MR) and the Region (where the liberals are in opposition) . On Monday, the town decided to force its way and install this band for bikes before receiving a PV generated from the Region ordered it to reverse. The two parts are finally more or less awarded on Tuesday. But, beyond the sandbox dispute of which we will skip the details here, it is a very concrete project for road users that has been dragging on… for more than two years. This local example is illustrative of the inability of many Brussels women to get along.
Whether small or large, in a few hours, several files are entered in our institutional mishmash.
Let’s go a little further north of Brussels. In Vilvor from precisely where Engie planned to build a new gas-fired power station. This project is not trivial: it is one of the two selected to compensate for the exit from nuclear power in Belgium. To do without the atom (or not) is a federal decision. But the building permit was rejected on Tuesday by the Flemish regional minister Zuhal Demir. Not without political ulterior motives: his party, the N-VA, is not only pro-nuclear but also in opposition to the federal government. His refusal therefore embarrasses the Vivaldi. In the meantime, it is the country’s entire energy supply that is on a waiver.
The same Zuhal Demir is also participating in the Belgian-Belgian negotiations on our country’s climate ambitions. The idea is to distribute the efforts to reduce our CO2 emissions between the different entities. Las, Tuesday in Glasgow, in the middle of COP26, the various Belgian ministers have noted the failure of their negotiations. Flanders openly questions the Belgian target of a 47% reduction in our emissions. Stakeholders disagree on a common methodology to measure. Result: a disastrous picture for Belgium.
We can see that, whether small or large, in a few hours, several files are stuck in our institutional mishmash. These examples are only the latest avatars to date of a discomfort that has already been experienced many times in the past. Ultimately, to get out of it, put in place more efficient structuresor even establish a hierarchy of norms between the different levels of power.
But, without delay, let us already call for a start. It is necessary more political responsibility to rise above partisan and short-term interests. By dint of wanting to put obstacles in the wheels of the other parties, we discredit the entire political class. Watch out for the fall.