‘Ethnic’ organisations will no longer be subsidised by the Flemish government
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‘Ethnic’ organisations will no longer be subsidised by the Flemish government

The Flemish government no longer wants to subsidise 'ethnic' organisations. Credit: Vlaams Parlement

The Flemish government has prepared a draft decree to stop the subsidies for organisations “that are based on their ethnic-cultural origin and that encourage segregation.”

With this decree, the parties aim to keep their promise from the Flemish coalition agreement that they signed on 30 September, which states that “the Flemish integration policy does not want to address people on account of their ethnic-cultural origin, but strives for an inclusive society. Initiatives that are based on ethnocultural origin and encourage segregation will therefore no longer be subsidised by the Flemish government,” reports VRT NWS.

“It concerns organisations that, on an ethnocultural basis, focus on only one ethnocultural group, and that also encourage segregation. Cumulative conditions. These are organisations that can exist,” said Bart Somers, Flemish minister for Coexistence, in the tv-programme ‘De afspraak op vrijdag‘.

“We need to use the Flemish money where people from different background meet and strengthen each other. That’s the philosophy,” said Somers. “We are going to get reports from the inspection. They have to investigate the organisations,” he added.

Moreover, in theory, Flemish organisations could also lose their subsidies as a result of the measure. “A Flemish organisation that says ‘We are only focusing on our own ethnic-cultural group and we refuse to contribute, or we want to encourage segregation’. Organisations like that may exist, but I don’t think that we should put our money there,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times