The President of the sp.a, John Crombez, and his Brussels Minister, Pascal Smet, are stating their desire to see a City-Region for Brussels. The project, spearheaded by the Socialist figures, consists in the entire unification of Brussels. The current 19 communes would be removed, making way for a City-Region, which would subsume the same territory (thus outside of the current facility-based commune structure). It would have its own parliament, named the Regional Urban Council, still guaranteeing Flemish representation.
The communes would disappear, replaced by around 20 districts. They would not be delineated by present commune boundaries but by physical boundaries (railways, canals and the main ring roads). Overall, the number of inhabitants in each district would be identical under this proposal. Each district would have highly localised remits for matters such as property, security, area improvements, ecology and associational and community life.
Lastly, elected representatives will be trilingual: French and Dutch would remain the two administrative languages, but there will also be a role for the English language in the region.
Mr Smet is insisting, “Our proposal is not in any way community-based.” He concludes, “There is now a new generation in Brussels…which I would not go so far as to call ‘French-speaking’ but simply Brusselers who speak French. Within their ranks, there is a call for change and good management, regardless of the language spoken. We must get out of our old ways of thinking. In Brussels, we are all Bruselers.”
John Crombez indicated, “Really what we want, is to start a debate so that dialogue can begin around our proposal.”