French Fry, Belgium Style

This is what happens when you stop reading every story that comes on your radar, you miss something big.  I had known that there were elections coming up in Belgium, but I did not know the stakes.  The elections in Belgium have resulted with the Flemish nationalist party winning 30 seats in the election, the most of any party.  The French socialists took 2nd with 26.  This means that the pro Flemish (dutch speaking) independence movement will get to form the government.  This story is made even more interesting by the fact that in three weeks Belgium will assume the mantle of the EU presidency (it seems that the EU presidency has a history of landing on leaders during controversy)

It has been quite a long time since the national boundaries have shifted in western Europe (the uniting of the Germanies after the fall of the Berlin Wall if I am not mistaken), and this will also mark the first time that a country in the EU has been split up.  While a split in Belgium is not guaranteed, there will definitely be a few stories to follow.  Here are just a few ideas off the top of my head

  • What will the new borders look like.  Like most of Europe, there are many parts of  Belgium where the Ethnic borders are not clearly defined
  • How will territorial negotiations take place?  Will this be held as an internal issue, or will there be a third party appointed to act as a mediator
  • What will happen to Brussels, the effective capital of the EU
  • What will the role of the EU be during this
  • What will happen to Belgium’s international commitments? Will only the remaining ‘Belgium’ be held to them? Or will both countries assume responsibility for them.  This is potentially an explosive as this relates to many issues, including but not limited to; trade agreements, NATO and UN military commitments, ratification of the EU constitution, and national debt.

What happens with the national debt could be the largest powder keg of all (possibly the allocation of Brussels).  Currently, Belgium holds  around a half a trillion dollars in public debt.   The split is complicated by the fact that the Flemish secessionist movement is unique among succecionist movements in western democracies because the majority of the country is actually Dutch speaking (est 60%).   Furthermore, the Dutch part of the country is  more prosperous than the French part, so who assumes how much debt will be a very controversial issue for both sides.

One final issue, is that other groups trying to gain independence in Europe, such as the Basque and Cypriots (while Cyprus is only half run by Greece, Turkey’s attempts to join the EU will make this an important issue for both halves of the island) will be watching how the EU reacts very closely.  Depending on if the European courts step  and set precedent, we could see a large step towards independence for a lot more groups in Europe.

2 Responses to “French Fry, Belgium Style”

  1. Jen says:

    This will hopefully happen to the increasingly anti-white USA in my lifetime.

  2. David Katz says:

    Jen you are right. I will say it here, and say it now, I believe that the dutch speaking population of the united states deserves the right for self determination, and should gain independence from the union

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