09 October, 2007

Belguim: The Split

Yesterday Belgium reached its 120th day being ungoverned. It is unclear (to me) what is to happen... a coalition reaching an agreement governing Belgium or some other solution would seem most likely.

What I like the idea of is the possible split. Just to have a country so close to us called Wallonia, where people speak Walloon (+French).
This would reshape Europe: the four Europhile low countries (Netherlands, Flanders, Wallonia, Luxembourg) squashed in between the big three of Germany, France and the UK.

And then what about Brussels? This predominantly French speaking city is the capital of Europe located within Flanders. With current EU border travel getting easier and easier by the year, this should not cause a problem for the city whoever were to control it but there are issues.
If you follow the Geographical logic, the Flemish (a dialect of dutch) Flanders would take control of the French Belgian capital, but surely Wallonia would loose out on the Belgium split if they were no longer the country in the focus of EU attention.
Alternatively, going by language, Brussels could stay united with the French speaking Wallonia, but a three kilometer stretch of Flanders would cut the capital off from it's country.
Then option three - I like this option ;) or maybe that's just me! - Belgium is split into three. Wallonia in the south, Flanders in the north, and the self governing capital of Europe, Brussels in the centre. The question that immediately springs to my mind is would each three of these states be able to hold their own in the big wide world? The answer is they wouldn't have to because this could actually strengthen their bonds with the rest of the EU in the creation of a Capital of Europe in the middle. The United States of Europe doesn't seem too far off.

However, at the moment we must remember that Belgium is still just one nation - despite what the Belgian news channel RTBF told their citizens last december!
(You can get the gist if you listen to the French and read the Dutch at the same time).

(Notice it reads "Ceci est une fiction" at the bottom several times throughout the report, but many people including some of the international ambassadors in Brussels, missed this.)

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