Flemish communes that are willing to join together will get a financial bonus in the form of a debt reduction. It was mentioned in a memo about the application of the Flemish government agreement. The memo was sent out by the Home Affairs Minister, Liesbeth Homans (New Flemish Alliance). The bonus was adopted by the Flemish government on Friday. Mrs Homans is leaning towards stronger local authorities to guarantee better service for citizens, she said in a press release on Sunday. This means the communes that want to join together will be granted a debt reduction by the Flemish authorities. It could be as much as 500 euros per resident in the commune.
Liesbeth Homans has also called on Flemish communes to think about the role they will have in the future. “Can they continue to provide a quality service for citizens at their current size? Are they well enough equipped to deal with the challenges they will face?”, the Flemish Minister asks. She added that she thought voluntarily joining together was the best way to meet new needs that have appeared at a local level over the years.