New Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon on Wednesday called for an end to negativism, stressing in an address to the Flemish Parliament that he wants to write a history that “arouses enthusiasm in all of Flanders’ people, whatever their origin, conviction or orientation.”
He also advised young climate activists not to yield to catastrophism.
“I am launching an appeal to our youths,” he said. “Do not give up hope. We will need you more than ever to achieve the transition to a circular economy. It is with your commitment today, on the school bench, that we shall win the fight against climate change.”
Much of his address focused on integration. “We shall provide warmth and safety for anyone who is born, grows up, resides, works and lives here,” he said, “but also for those who wish to build a new life here and become fully immersed in our community. Anyone who wishes to become part of our community deserves a chance, but we expect everyone to contribute.”
The new Prime Minister said he abhorred racism. “I make it a point of honour for this government to fight any form of discrimination, and that will only be possible if we are able to defend ourselves as a community and as individuals,” Jambon stressed. “Neutrality in public authorities, in public education, the strictest norms of recognition of religious communities and schools, the Flemish Justice Ministry, the implementation policy… All of that is aimed at maintaining freedom in our society.”
The government agreement concluded by the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA), Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V) and Open Vld parties attribute responsibility for community and institutional issues to Parliament. “We ask you, Flemish parliamentarians, to prepare Flanders institutionally for the future. It is our ambition to use our autonomy to the fullest, in the broadest manner possible,” Prime Minister Jambon stressed.
He also highlighted the investment that the incoming Flemish government will make, to the sum of 1.5 billion euros, in areas such as school buildings, social housing, public works, infrastructure and culture.