Belgian Senate could be abolished by summer

Belgian Senate could be abolished by summer
Senate seats at the Federal Parliament in Brussels. Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

Senate President Stephanie D'Hose (Open VLD) will submit a proposal to abolish the Senate before the summer, she announced on VTM News on Sunday.

The Flemish liberal claims that discussions with the various political groups have shown that there is a great deal of unity on this issue. Plans to abolish the Senate regularly pop up in the press, but D'Hose is taking concrete steps to abolish one of Belgium's parliamentary chambers.

On several occasions, she has stated that she no longer considers an independent Senate to be necessary, as it does not have many competencies left.

Credit: Belga

Stephanie D'Hose has been quietly consulting the different political groups. One of the results was that the president of the MR, Georges-Louis Bouchez, himself a co-opted senator, is in favour of abolishing the co-optation system, she said.

In Belgium, ten senators are co-opted, meaning they are elected by their peers: six by the Dutch-language group of the Senate and four by the French-language group of the Senate.

However, abolishing the Senate requires a change in the constitution, which requires a consensus between all parties.

For this constitutional amendment, the House and Senate and the government must agree on which articles of the constitution should be declared open for revision. These articles can then be amended in the next parliament, allowing the Senate to disappear.

"We want the people to have a say on this in the next election," concluded Stephanie D'Hose, who wants to table a proposal in the Senate before the summer.

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