The Brussels and Flemish governments continue to clash over the issue of aeroplane noise nuisance at Brussels Airport. Flanders has raised a conflict of interest against the Brussels Government’s decision to enforce compliance with its noise standards.
A meeting upon this subject today (Wednesday) was indeed of no effect for the Conciliation Commission.
The Flemish Minister of Transport confirmed following the meeting, “We have gone backwards with Brussels simply refusing any form of dialogue.” The Brussels government denies this, mentioning that it has been requesting a dialogue for more than two years. The Prime Minister, Charles Michel, will bring all parties together in February to try and find a solution.
The meeting of the Conciliation Commission, the organisation that is pulling together the various governments of the country, emphasised heavily today the thorny issue of noise nuisance.
If no solution is found by February 21st, the conflict of interest procedure will terminate and the Brussels Government’s decision to apply noise nuisance standards, with no tolerance margin, will come into full force and effect.
No solution emerged from the meeting. On the contrary, the deadlock between the parties seems greater than previously. The Flemish Minister of Transport, Ben Weyts, is accusing the Brussels government of refusing any form of conciliation. “We are not even ready to sit around the table to reach a consensus,” he commented, stating that he wished to “exhaust all legal means” to counter the Brussels Government’s decision.
The Brussels Minister-President, Rudi Vervoort, and the Minister for the Environment, Céline Fremault, deny that Brussels is refusing all forms of conciliation. They stress, “We have requested conciliation for two years.” In particular the Brussels government would like the federal government to take the initiative and work on “an overall solution” (notably resuming the issue of the law upon air routes, editor’s note).
The Prime Minister Charles Michel intends to bring the two governments together swiftly to speak about the matter. The next meeting of the Conciliation Commission is scheduled for February 22nd, that is to say after the “conflict of interest” time limit has expired.
The current objective is to move the meeting forward in an attempt to break the deadlock.