An agreement in principle on the creation of a new post aimed at strengthening ties between Wallonia, Brussels and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation was reached at negotiations on the formation of a new government in Brussels.
The post will reportedly be reserved for the current president of the Democratic, Federalist, Independent (DéFI) party, Olivier Maingain, L’Echo reported on Wednesday.
“The final contours of this post, which will not be remunerated, have not yet been mapped out,” the daily cites Brussels Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort (PS) as saying. “It’s a liaison post between the Community and the Regions, a major concern of DéFI.
Olivier Maingain stressed that he found it indispensable to conduct a broad reflection on solidarity between Francophones.
“When we had contacts with the Walloon representatives of certain parties, I mentioned the need to reflect on the future of the Francophone institutions and, more particularly, on how to strengthen relations between Brussels and Wallonia,” he commented.
“We too often limit these to the competencies of the Federation, among them education and culture,” he added, “but there needs to be a common vision on the economic and social plane.”
While insisting that the post is not remunerated, Maingain said it will come with a cabinet with four or five staffers to help it carry out its mission. “It’s still under discussion, but the Cocof (French Community Commission) will help to provide financing for the small team,” he explained.
Rudi Vervoort, for his part, was more cautious. “The possibility of redeploying existing staff was mentioned, but we did not go into any detail during the negotiations,” he said. “What is certain is that it must not cost anything more.”