Shortly after 3.30 am yesterday morning, Brussels government negotiators announced an agreement on the founding text of the new government.
The agreement was reached after more than two weeks of intense negotiations among six coalition political parties (Ecolo, PS, Défi, Groen, Open Vld, one.brussels-sp.a). The discussions encountered many serious obstacles along the way, including Open Vld’s desire to impose the MR’s presence as a seventh negotiating partner.
The contents of the 120-page text of the agreement was unveiled to the press on Wednesday afternoon.
The agreement contained many specific proposals about how to improve transport links in the Belgian capital, and also included initiatives to implement the construction and renovation of social housing.
The distribution of ministerial posts among the different political parties has also been agreed: Rudi Vervoort (PS) will take up the position of Minister for Housing and Urban Development; Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) will be Mobility Minister; Alain Maron (Ecolo) will be Minister for the Environment; Sven Gatz (Open Vld) will be Finance Minister; Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI) will be Employment Minister; Nawal Ben Hamou (PS) will be Minister for Equality; Barbara Trachte (Ecolo) will be Economics Minister; and Pascal Smet (one.brussels) will be Minister for External Relations.
With the exception of the German-speaking area of Belgium, the Brussels Region is the first region in the country to reach an agreement on forming a government following the Belgian national elections on 26 May.
The parliamentary process for the installation of the new Brussels government will likely begin on Thursday, just in time for the new regional government to be installed on 21 July, Belgium’s National Day.