Is there a new government in Belgium? Actually, it depends how you define a government. No worries, there is no political instability at the Federal level and Charles Michel remains the Belgian Prime-minister. The Brussels authorities will also keep on managing your daily life and you won’t be impacted if you live in the capital.
The new government abovementioned is the Walloon one. As you probably know, Paul Magnette (Socialist Party – PS) -the former Walloon Minister-President that made Wallonia famous around the World last October, when he refused to sign the EU-Canada free trade agreement (CETA)-, left his position when the Christian party (CDH) decided to stop governing with the PS on 19 June. This decision left the Socialist party without any majority.
After CDH made that choice, political negotiations have been carried out by the different parties and put Wallonia in disarray for some weeks. The Socialist Party run the Walloon government, or at least was part of it, for about 30 years; since the 4th of February 1988, it has never stopped participating to the government and its political ally left the coalition. Uncertainty was therefore quite high, but the political leaders finally found a new way to make the French-speaking region governable.
After several mandates, the Socialist party has been ejected from the government. And the new and very short majority is now formed by the Reformatory Movement (MR – right wing party) and CDH (centre). The motion that was presented by both parties got 39 votes (35 votes against), which leaves the new majority almost no space for disputes.
This government is composed by seven ministers, which is actually one less than the past one. MR got four ministers and CDH got three of them. The team will be lead by Willy Borsus, from MR. After the motion for the new Walloon government was voted in the Parliament, Willy Borsus went to Laeken, where he took the oath before the King and the Belgian Prime minister.
It is a sort of political earthquake in Wallonia, as no Socialist party in the government means a radical change in regional politics. But it is also a great success for the Head of the Federal government, Charles Michel. He is also from MR and he managed to make one of his former federal ministers the head of the new Walloon administration. Therefore, there might be a shift and the MR-CDH government could indeed be in line with the political orientations from the Federal level.
However, it seems that both the former and the current Minister-Presidents wanted to make the transition easy.
The new administration has started to work and the first formal meeting will be held on Thursday. If this political majority works, Willy Borsus should remain the Wallon Minister-President until May 2019.