‘As soon as it is time to reopen, we must be there,’ says De Croo in New Year’s speech
Share article:
Share article:

‘As soon as it is time to reopen, we must be there,’ says De Croo in New Year’s speech

Credit: Alexander De Croo/screengrab

In the traditional New Year’s speech, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stressed the importance of reopening Belgium’s society and economy as soon as possible.

In a ceremony that largely took place digitally due to the coronavirus measures this year, De Croo held a speech in the Royal Palace’s Throne Room, addressing King Philippe and the different governments.

After acknowledging that 2020 has been “a difficult year” in which many Belgians have suffered and lost a lot, De Croo stated that Belgium is a resilient country, prepared to make extraordinary efforts.

“As soon as it is time for our society and our economy to reopen, we must be there. Without reservation,” he said, adding that the government will continue to support families and businesses, while counting on the social partners to reach productive agreements.

“We must do everything possible to get all people back to work as soon as possible, in their old job or in a new job,” De Croo stated, promising that the government will invest in skills, as a matter of priority.

Related News:


Looking further ahead, Belgium will make the transition to a more sustainable and digital society, according to De Croo.

Soon, Belgium will submit its interfederal investment plan to the European Commission, which puts the emphasis on pioneering technology, the production of sustainable energy and cybersecurity.

“We must also continue to invest in healthcare. And especially in the people who shape our care every day,” De Croo said, referring to the implementation of a social agreement, providing over €1 billion for an increase in wages, among other things.

Innovating healthcare will also be a keystone this year, by cooperating with private partners, research institutions and our universities, “so that we remain world leaders in pharma and vaccines, something the whole world is praising us for today.”

Lastly, De Croo stressed the importance of joining forces and embracing diversity to stand strong. “The best ideas are those that people have developed together,” he said.

Belgium has everything to succeed in the post-Covid-19 world, according to De Croo, with the most important resource being the people.

“If we bring together the wealth of experience and insight of everyone in our country, young and old, male and female, from all backgrounds, if everyone brings the best of themselves to the table, we will be stronger and able to cope with anything.”

De Croo’s full speech can be read here, in Dutch or in French.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

EU decides to activate emergency brake against new COVID-variant but stops short of flight ban
The new COVID variant detected in South Africa has put the EU on alert and prompted the Council’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) to ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
Cheat Sheet: New Rules, Quiet December Nights
It's been a while since we've had measures complicated enough to deserve a cheat sheet, but less than a week after Belgium rolled out new measures, ...
Belgium records highest number of new cases since start of pandemic
An average of 16,762 infections per day is now recorded in Belgium, with an absolute record of more than 25,000 infections in one day last Monday, ...
Brexit: trade and travel disrupted as French fishermen blockade ports and Eurotunnel
On Friday, the national committee for the French fishing industry has coordinated a blockade of three French ports as well as lorries bearing freight ...
Belgium implements ‘package of strict measures’
Not even a week after the previous measures came into force, Belgium is taking stricter measures to stop the fourth wave in the country, announced ...
Even with strong action now, ‘we will still have a few weeks of misery,’ says Vlieghe
Even if the Consultative Committee takes powerful and clear decisions today, Belgium will still have to endure a few weeks of misery while the number ...
Brussels tunnels blocked by Uber driver protest
Several tunnels in the centre of Brussels were blocked on Friday morning by Uber drivers protesting against a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal ...
Police strikes at Brussels and Charleroi airports cause delays
Police unions are taking action at Brussels and Charleroi airports this Friday morning, causing delayed services at both locations. At 7:00 AM at ...
Black Friday not your bag? Try Green Friday
Today is Black Friday: a North American custom that has made its way across the Atlantic and is when retailers aim to draw consumers in with low ...
Study links social media use with depression in adults
While social media has been linked to anxiety and depression in teens, a new study now suggests that adults are also susceptible. In Belgium, a ...
Nearly half a million of lives saved by COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, new study shows
A new study published on Thursday estimates that at least 470,000 lives have been saved among those aged 60 years and over since the start of ...