Being no different than last year, the Walloon Minister-President is not attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, whilst his Flemish counterpart Geert Bourgeois is attending with the Prime Minister Charles Michel. “Accountable for its own resources, Wallonia has its own strategy and has not idenified [specific] opportunities” to pursue during this annual meeting of business leaders, politicians and intellectuals from across the world, the Office of Mr Magnette (of the Socialist Party) confirmed on Tuesday, stressing that Rudi Vervoort (also a Socialist) was not attending either. “We are convinced that the Prime Minister, who is representing the whole of Belgium will also represent Wallonia,” the Office noted, adding that there will be numerous other occasions in other international trips and summits. The fact that the central theme of the forum is the fourth industrial revolution, that of the digital economy, the number which the Walloon government took with its Marshall Plan 4.0, changes nothing: “…we are championing this theme on our visits abroad.”
The Office of Mr Magnette is refuting that by this repeated absence, it is showing defiance towards the neo-liberal ideology which is promoted by the Helvetian Forum, rivalled every year by the World Social Forum of the altergloballists. In the past, Mr. Magnette had already been invited to speak at the Davos Forum during his academic career, but he chose not to go.