Saturday, 14 August 2021
Joint President of the French-speaking green party Ecolo’s, Jean-Marc Nollet, supports the idea of an inter-parliamentary commission of inquiry into July’s deadly floods in Wallonia if the ongoing judicial investigation permits it.
Nollet said such an inquiry could be conducted by the regional and federal parliaments, since both levels of the state are involved.
“Why not imagine an inter-federal commission of inquiry? The Federal State’s capacity to act in three situations needs to be strengthened,” he told l’Echo.
Such an initiative would be in line with the institutional vision of the party to strengthen the federal state’s role in dealing with such crises.
“When there is an emergency, when there is a strong need for coordination, and when a persistent disagreement prevents Belgium from moving forward. The Federal State needs to have the last word,” he explained.
The commission should clarify three points: the origins of the disaster, and in particular territorial management and climate disruption; the way the crisis was managed by the emergency relief services; and human resources and procedures.
Like other parties, Ecolo has pointed a finger at the civil protection reform launched by the former government, headed by Charles Michel.
In the Walloon majority, the Mouvement Réformateur has come out in favour of a commission of inquiry, whereas the region’s Minister-President Elio Di Rupo is against the idea.
“We want to know everything, but an investigating judge has been appointed,” Di Rupo said late last month in Le Soir.
“I’m happy with that. Now we need to let it work without any media or parliamentary pressure. What could a commission of inquiry do without interfering in its work? Politicians are not equipped for such work, they do not have the technical skills,” he added.
The Brussels Times