Belgium’s green parties, Ecolo and Groen, presented 25 proposals for “rebuilding Belgium” to the press during a train ride on Wednesday from Brussels to Antwerp, that started out at Charleroi. The Greens highlighted the bridges that have been built between the two sister parties from the north and south of the country, an experience they aim to pursue in the federal government that will result from the 26 May elections after “five years of division caused by the Government of Charles Michel and many heavy blows from the N-VA”, a reference to the co-ruling New Flemish Alliance.
They urged the “traditional parties” to form similar collaborations between sister formations. In this regard, the head of the Green group in parliament, Kristof Calvo, a proponent of a “progressive coalition”, noted positively a recent visit by Socialist Party campaign spokesman Paul Magnette to Socialistische Partij Anders (sp.a) leader John Crombez.
The 25 joint proposals launched on Wednesday could form “the backbone of a future government agreement,” according to Meyrem Almaci, president of the Flemish green party. Her French-speaking counterpart, Jean-Marc Nollet, said the aim of the proposals was to “rebuild Belgium, to build a modern Belgium”.
The ecologists wish to promote a climate law and an inter-federal investment pact in strategic sectors of the economy, with the support of Belfius Bank. Their investment priorities include mobility, which they see as the biggest challenge.
Ecolo and Groen also aim to support the circular economy and small and medium-sized businesses. Other priorities include reinvesting in justice, particularly in favour of women. This proposal ties in with a particularly sad event in Antwerp, Saturday’s murder of young student Julie Van Espen by a convicted predator who had been allowed to remain free pending his appeal against his conviction.
The Greens further want to promote healthy, high quality food, and “no, once and for all, we do not want to tax beef, a fake news created by the MR (Mouvement Réformateur)” that has led to a complaint by the ecologists to Facebook. “We wish to offer the consumer more choices and prevent him from being forced to eat the same thing always,” Jean-Marc Nollet said.