Flemish Government

The Flemish Government (Dutch: Vlaamse regering ) is the executive branch of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region of Belgium. It consists of a government cabinet, headed by the Minister-President and accountable to the Flemish Parliament, and the public administration (civil service) divided into 13 policy areas, each with an executive department and multiple agencies.

Flemish Government
Vlaamse Regering
Emblem of the Flemish government (pre-2014)
Overview
Established22 December 1981 (1981-12-22)
PolityFlanders (Community & Region)
LeaderMinister-President
Appointed byFlemish Parliament
Responsible toFlemish Parliament
Annual budget€ 44.7 billion (2018)
HeadquartersMartyrs' Square, Brussels, Belgium
Websitewww.flanders.be

The Flemish Government cabinet consists of up to a maximum of eleven ministers, chosen by the Flemish Parliament. At least one minister must come from Brussels. The ministers are drawn from the political parties which, in practice, form the governing coalition. The Government is chaired by the Flemish Minister-President. Ministers head executive departments of the government administration. Ministers must defend their policies and performance in person before the Flemish Parliament. The Flemish Government must receive and keep the confidence of the Flemish Parliament. Until 1993 the Flemish Government was called the Flemish Executive (Vlaamse Executieve).

Cabinet composition

Jambon (2019-current)

The coalition replaced the interim Homans Government, again consisting of the   N-VA (35 seats),   CD&V (19 seats) and   Open Vld (16 seats). In contrary to what was expected, the N-VA only has four ministers (instead of five), while CD&V has three (instead of only two). Finally, Open Vld has two ministers.

PartyNameFunction
N-VA Jan JambonMinister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Culture, Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation
CD&V Hilde CrevitsVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Economy, Employment, Social Economy, Innovation and Agriculture
Open Vld Bart SomersVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for the Interior, Administrative Affairs, Integration, and Equal Opportunities
N-VA Ben WeytsVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Education, Animal Welfare, Brussels Periphery and Sport
N-VA Zuhal DemirFlemish Minister for Justice, Planning, Environment, Energy, and Tourism
CD&V Wouter BekeFlemish Minister for Welfare, Health, Family and Poverty Reduction
N-VA Matthias DiependaeleFlemish Minister for Finance, Budget, Housing and Immovable Heritage
Open Vld Lydia PeetersFlemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works
CD&V Benjamin DalleFlemish Minister for Brussels, Media and Youth

Homans (2019)

Flemish Government - Homans 2019 (Jul-Oct)
PartyNameFunction
N-VA Liesbeth HomansMinister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Public Governance, Civic Integration, Housing, Equal Opportunities and Poverty Reduction
CD&V Hilde CrevitsVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Education
Open Vld Sven Gatz (until July 18, 2019)Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Media, Culture, Youth and Brussels
Open Vld Lydia Peeters (from July 18, 2019)Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Finance, Budget, Energy, Media, Culture and Youth
N-VA Ben WeytsVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, the Brussels Periphery, Tourism, Animal Welfare, Foreign Policy and Immovable Heritage
CD&V Jo VandeurzenFlemish Minister for Welfare, Public Health and Family
Open Vld Lydia Peeters (until July 18, 2019)Flemish Minister for Finance, Budget and Energy
Open Vld Sven Gatz (from July 18, 2019)Flemish Minister for Brussels
N-VA Philippe MuytersFlemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation, Scientific Policy and Sport
CD&V Koen Van den HeuvelFlemish Minister for Town and Country Planning, Environment and Nature

Bourgeois (2014-2019)

PartyNameFunction
N-VA Geert BourgeoisMinister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy and Immovable Heritage
CD&V Hilde CrevitsVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Education
Open Vld Annemie Turtelboom (until April 29, 2016)Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Finance, Budget and Energy
Open Vld Bart Tommelein (from April 29, 2016 until November 30, 2018)Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Finance, Budget and Energy
Open Vld Lydia Peeters (from November 30, 2018)Flemish Minister for Finance, Budget and Energy
N-VA Liesbeth HomansVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Public Governance, Civic Integration, Housing, Equal Opportunities and Poverty Reduction
CD&V Jo VandeurzenFlemish Minister for Welfare, Public Health and Family
Open Vld Sven Gatz (until November 30, 2018)Flemish Minister for Media, Culture, Youth and Brussels
Open Vld Sven Gatz (from November 30, 2018)Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Media, Culture, Youth and Brussels
N-VA Ben WeytsFlemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, the Brussels Periphery, Tourism and Animal Welfare
CD&V Joke Schauvliege (until February 5, 2019)Flemish Minister for Town and Country Planning, Environment and Nature
CD&V Koen Van den Heuvel (from February 6, 2019)Flemish Minister for Town and Country Planning, Environment and Nature
N-VA Philippe MuytersFlemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation, Scientific Policy and Sport

Peeters II (2009-2014)

Following the 7 June 2009 election,     CD&V (31 seats),     N-VA (16 seats) and     SP.A (19 seats) parties formed a coalition.

Flemish Government - Peeters II 2009-2014
PartyNameFunction
CD&V Kris PeetersMinister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Economy, Foreign Policy, Agriculture and Rural Policy
SP.A Ingrid LietenVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Innovation, Public Investment, Media and Poverty Reduction
N-VA Geert BourgeoisVice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Public Governance, Local and Provincial Government, Civic Integration, Tourism and the Brussels Periphery
CD&V Jo VandeurzenFlemish Minister for Welfare, Public Health and Family
CD&V Hilde CrevitsFlemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works
SP.A Freya Van den BosscheFlemish Minister for Energy, Housing, Cities and Social Economy
N-VA Philippe MuytersFlemish Minister for Finance, Budget, Work, Town and Country Planning and Sport
CD&V Joke SchauvliegeFlemish Minister for Environment, Nature and Culture
SP.A Pascal SmetFlemish Minister for Education, Youth, Equal Opportunities and Brussels Affairs

Leterme I/Peeters I (2004-2009)

Following the 2004 election,    CD&V (29 seats)/   N-VA (6 seats),    SP.A/   Sociaal-Liberale Partij (25 seats) and    Open VLD (19 seats) parties formed a coalition.

  • From 19 July 2004 to 26 June 2007, the Minister-President of Flanders was Yves Leterme (CD&V), leading a coalition of CD&V-N-VA, VLD-Vivant, and SP.A-Vl.Pro.
  • On 26 June 2007, in the aftermath of the 2007 Belgian general elections, Yves Leterme and Inge Vervotte resigned as minister-president and minister in the Flemish Government to take their seats in the Belgian Parliament. On June 28, Kris Peeters was sworn in as new minister-president, taking over the responsibilities of Leterme, and Vanackere and Crevits replaced Vervotte and Peeters as Flemish ministers.
  • On 10 October 2007 Fientje Moerman resigned due to the fallout of a hiring scandal; she was replaced as vice-minister-president by Dirk Van Mechelen and as minister by Patricia Ceysens.
  • On 22 September 2008 Geert Bourgeois (N-VA) was forced to resign due to pressure by the SP.A-Vl.Pro and Open VLD coalition partners because of his party's no confidence vote in the federal government of Leterme and their lack of trust in further negotiations by the Regions regarding the state reform. His portfolios of Administrative Affairs, Foreign Policy, Media and Tourism were taken over by minister-president Peeters.
  • On December 30, 2008 Steven Vanackere resigned to become federal Minister of Civil Service and Public Enterprises. He was replaced in the Flemish Government by Veerle Heeren.

The composition at the end of the legislature:

Peeters I Flemish Government (2007-2009)
PartyNameFunction
CD&V Kris PeetersMinister-President; Minister for Institutional Reform, Ports, Agriculture, Sea Fisheries and Rural Policy
SP.A Frank VandenbrouckeVice-Minister-President; Minister for Work, Education and Training
VLD Dirk van MechelenVice-Minister-President; Minister for Finance and Budget and Town and Country Planning
SP.A Bert AnciauxMinister for Culture, Youth, Sport and Brussels Affairs
VLD Marino KeulenMinister for Home Affairs, Urban Policy, Housing and Civic Integration
SP.A Kathleen Van BremptMinister for Mobility, Social Economy and Equal Opportunities
CD&V Hilde CrevitsMinister for Public Works, Energy, the Environment and Nature
VLD Patricia CeysensMinister for Economy, Enterprise, Science, Innovation and Foreign Trade
CD&V Veerle HeerenMinister for Welfare, Public Health and Family

Dewael I (1999-2003)/Somers I (2003-2004)

After the regional elections of 1999, a coalition of VLD, SP, Agalev and the VU was formed with Patrick Dewael (VLD) as Minister-President.

After the federal elections of June 2003, Patrick Dewael resigned as Minister-President and went to the federal political level. He was succeeded by Bart Somers as Flemish Minister-President until the end of term in 2004. Due to changes in political parties, the coalition was different:

Van den Brande IV (1995-1999)

After the regional elections of 1995 (which were the first direct elections for the Flemish Parliament), a coalition of CVP and SP was formed.

MinisterNameParty
Minister-President, Foreign Policy, European Affairs, Science and Technology Luc Van den Brande CVP
Vice-Minister-President, Education and Public Administration Luc Van den Bossche SP
Environment and Labour Theo Kelchtermans CVP
Finance, Budget and Health Policy Wivina Demeester CVP
Public Works, Transport and Spatial Planning Eddy Baldewijns SP
Economy, SME, Agriculture and Media Eric Van Rompuy CVP
Home Affairs, Urban Policy and Housing Leo Peeters SP
Culture, Family Policy and Welfare Luc Martens CVP
Brussels Affairs and Equal en Equal Opportunities Policy Anne Van Asbroeck SP

List of Flemish Minister-Presidents

NamePeriodPartyComments
Rika De Backer1974 – 1981CVPOnly of Flemish Community
Gaston Geens22 December 1981 – 21 January 1992CVP
Luc Van den Brande21 February 1992 – 1999CVP
Patrick Dewael13 July 1999 – 5 June 2003VLD
Bart Somers11 June 2003 – 20 July 2004VLD
Yves Leterme20 July 2004 – 28 June 2007CD&V
Kris Peeters28 June 2007 – 25 July 2014CD&V
Geert Bourgeois25 July 2014 – 2 July 2019N-VA
Liesbeth Homans2 July 2019 – 2 October 2019N-VA
Jan Jambon2 October 2019 – presentN-VA

Administration

The Flemish administration (Dutch: Vlaamse overheid) denotes the Flemish civil service. With the 2006 reform program Better Administrative Policy (Dutch: Beter Bestuurlijk Beleid), the Flemish civil service is designed to make the Flemish public administration more efficient and transparent.

The tasks of the Flemish public administration are now organised in 13 policy areas. Each policy area comprises a department and a number of (semi-) independent government agencies. Only those with their own article are mentioned below.

The 11 policy areas are:

  1. Public Governance and the Chancellery (KB)
  2. Foreign Affairs (iV)
  3. Finance and Budget (FB)
  4. Education and Training (OV)
  5. Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI)
  6. Culture, Youth, Sport and Media (CJSM)
  7. Welfare, Public Health and Family (WVG)
  8. Agriculture and Fisheries (LV)
  9. Work and Social Economy (WSE)
  10. Mobility and Public Works (MOW)
  11. Environment (OMG)

Several other institutes, such as the Flemish Opera and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), were not incorporated into the above structure.

Every year, the Minister-President presents the current state of affairs in Flanders and the Government's plans for next year during the September Declaration on the fourth Monday in September.

Budget

2018 Flemish budget

  Education (29.6%)
  Well-being, Health, Family (27.2%)
  Chancellery and Governance (8.9%)
  Employment and Social Economy (8.3%)
  Mobility and Public Works (8.2%)
  Other domains (17.8%)

The below figures use the 2018 budget as example, which had €44.7 billion in expenses and €42.3 billion in revenue.[1]

The revenue commes from the following sources:

  • 56% – Special financing law: the so-called "shared taxes" and "merged taxes" which the federal government raises through income taxes and VAT and partially transfers to the communities and regions based on a complex formula
  • 34% – Fiscal autonomy
    • 18% – Opcentiemen: additional "centimes" to the federal income tax (the height of which can be set by the Flemish Government)
    • 16% – Regional taxes (taxes under the proper authority of the Flemish Government), such as the traffic tax and inheritance tax
  • 10% – Other revenues

The expenses are as follows per policy area:

€13.2 billionEducation and TrainingMostly wages of education personnel
€12.1 billionWelfare, Public Health and FamilyE.g. child benefits
€3.96 billionChancellery and GovernanceMostly funds for local governments (provinces, cities and other municipalities)
€3.69 billionWork and Social EconomyMostly service vouchers
€3.67 billionMobility and Public WorksMostly the public transportation company De Lijn and road infrastructure and road safety
€2.52 billionFinances and BudgetMostly financial incentives for private property
€2.04 billionSpatialE.g. management of immovable heritage and sustainable energy
€1.66 billionEconomy, Science and InnovationSupporting entrepreneurship, scientific research and innovation
€1.29 billionCulture, Youth, Sports and MediaMostly the public broadcaster VRT and sports
€0.19 billionAgriculture and FisheriesMostly the Agriculture Investment Fund
€0.17 billioninternational FlandersTourism, international entrepreneurship, development aid and international relations
€0.13 billionHigher EntitiesOperating costs of the ministerial cabinets and the Flemish Parliament

Projects

The Flemish Government owns the rights to Flanders Today, an English-speaking online and print newspaper focused on current affairs in Flanders and Brussels. The project was launched in 2007 by Geert Bourgeois – then Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism -, for three main reasons:[2]

  • Facilitating the integration of expats living in the region by informing them of the region's current events.
  • Informing international journalists about the region, as most foreign correspondents based in Brussels get their news from the French-speaking press because the majority cannot read Dutch. Flanders Today would act as a counterweight to that side of every story.
  • Informing diplomats, investors, potential tourists and others outside of Belgium’s borders about the region.

In May 2017, the Flemish Government announced it wouldn’t be rebidding the Flanders Today project. Both the print and the online version of the paper are to be shut down in October 2017.[3]

See also

References

  1. "De Vlaamse begroting in cijfers". Flemish government.
  2. "Save Flanders Today!". Save Flanders Today!. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  3. "UPDATE: Flanders Today contract cancelled | Flanders Today". www.flanderstoday.eu. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
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