Dutch, French, English: how does the National Security Council communicate?
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
Credit: Belga/Bert Van Den Broucke
Following the announcement of the start of Phase 3 in Belgium’s exit plan out of lockdown, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès clarified how the members of the National Security Council communicate with each other.
The Council brings together the Minister-Presidents of the different country regions, as well as the Prime Minister and several experts. However, the Flemish Minister-President is Dutch-speaking, and the Walloon one speaks French. Then, there is also the Minister-President of the German-speaking part of the country.
Following the announcement of the new measures, Wilmès answered a question on a lighter note, and explained that the different members communicate with each other in several languages during the meetings. “Not so much in German, I’d say. But everyone does their best,” she said.
“French-speakers speak Dutch, Dutch-speakers speak French. It depends on the mood, the atmosphere,” said Wilmès.
During this particular meeting on Wednesday, the members of the Council spoke in English for a large part, according to her. “The report we were discussing was written in English. So, when someone had a remark, they made it in English,” she added.
“But if the question is whether we all understand each other, then yes. Don’t worry, we are all on the same page,” she laughed.