For the first time ever, the Flemish Parliament reopened on Monday without the traditional “September Statement”, a general policy declaration delivered by the executive at the start of each parliamentary year.
The Nieuw Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA), Christen Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V) and Open Vld are still locked in laborious negotiations to reconduct their majority in Flanders, so no government could be installed there by 23 September, the deadline set for the discussions to be concluded. According to the latest estimates, a new majority agreement should now be ready in the latter part of the week.
In the absence of a declaration of the Government’s general policy, the reopening of the Parliament was shorter than usual. As the most senior parliamentarian, Filip Dewinter of the Vlaams Belang party chaired Monday’s opening session. He then ceded his place to N-VA’s Wilfried Vandaele, re-elected as speaker of the Flemish Parliament by a majority of the legislators.
The Brussels Times