Incompatibility provisions relating to given roles, to avoid particular the SRIB board members holding positions which could otherwise create a conflict of interest, were repealed in a decree dated 2012. This was passed by the Brussels government.
The repeal occurred just in time to enable the appointment of Bernard Richelle, with affiliations to Ecolo (the French-speaking Green party), as Chairman of the board of directors of the Brussels Regional Investment Company (SRIB)
Three individuals who were, moreover, ministers at the time are now confirming that the repeal of the list of incompatible roles flowing from a decree dated 2001, was directly linked to Ecolo’s desire to put Bernard Richelle into the SRIB.
This information is published today (Wednesday) in Le Soir.
Ecolo thus decided to put in someone with experience, able to oppose (Serge) Vilain, with Socialist affiliations. Vilain was Chairman of the management committee and the board of directors until 2012.
A source told the daily publication, “Moreover this person had to be Richelle.”
Evelyne Huytebroeck (of Ecolo), then Minister for Public Works and Transport in the Brussels government, has indicated, “…this is not true and the repeal was in fact justified on other grounds.”
Le Soir notes that the government decree dated April 26th, 2012, which repeals the text anticipating specific incompatibilities (initially in the decree dated October 18th, 2001), does not, however, mention any specific ground or grounds.
The appointment of Bernard Richelle and his Dutch-speaking counterpart, Quentin Van den Hove (of the Open VLD), as joint chairmen of the board of directors was notified to the government on May 3rd, 2012 – just a few days later.
The particular concern at the time was that Bernard Richelle was director of a consultancy firm for SMEs. This was a function which fell within the above text as a role anticipated to be incompatible with the roles of SRIB director or commissioner.