Low turnout at Flemish community day. La Libre Belgique reported on Monday (11 July) that Dave Sinardet, professor in political science at VUB and St. Louis University, stated that separatism in Flanders has no big following. He said this after the low participation at the celebration of the Flemish community day in Brussels on Saturday.
The Flemish Community Day is celebrated every year on 11 July in remembrance of the battle of Golden Spurs or Guldensporenslag in 1302. A Flemish militia defeated a French army of knights. The large number of the golden spurs collected from the field gave the battle its name.
“The low participation shows the decline of the attractiveness of Flemish nationalism,” he said.
“In Scotland, a third of the population is said to support separatism, in Catalonia it’s 40 to 50%. In Flanders, the latest studies show that the separatists are only around 5%.”
According to Sinardet, there is no “popular support” for separatism. “Flemish nationalism as such is not very powerful,” he adds.
However, he mentions the “growing support in Flanders” for refederalisation of competencies. “People dare to speak publicly about refederalisation without being labelled as being for or against Belgium or Flanders.”