The Reformist Movement (MR), one of Belgium’s ruling coalition parties, is no longer opposed to the amendment of Article 7bis of the Belgian Constitution. The amendment would, in effect, legally bind the Belgian government to commitments made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Questioned during the radio program Matin Première (RTBF) on the issue of the revision of Article 7bis, Belgian Prime Minister and leader of the MR, Charles Michel, said: “We [the MR] are ready to move forward with regard to the climate.”
“The climate law as it stands today only sets goals,” he continued. “We want a substantive debate on concrete measures of how to achieve them. We must refrain from making vague proposals, as others have done, and we now expect clarity from other political parties on these issues.”
The Greens (Ecolo-Groen), Socialists (PS, sp.a), the French-speaking Christian Democrats (cdH), the Democratic, Federalist, Independent Party (DéFI), and the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB) are all in favour of the amendment. Opposing the bill are the governing parties CD&V (Christian Democratic and Flemish), Open VLD (Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats), as well as – until recently – the MR. The nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) is also against the amendment.
Even with the support of the MR, however, the necessary “special majority” required to amend the Belgian constitution – a majority which involves the approval at least two-thirds of all Belgian parliament ministers, as well as a simple majority in both the French-speaking and the Flemish-speaking language groups – is still far from certain of being achieved.
Further details on the amendment, and the recent public protests surrounding it, can be found here.