Ambitious and confident Flanders claims place on European stage

  • July 10, 2019

Brand new Vice-Minister-president and Minister for Foreign Policy Ben Weyts gave his first 11 July speech before the diplomatic corps. He sketched a self-assured and ambitious Flanders; ready for a leading position within the European Union.

Minister Weyts looked back briefly on the past period of government and set out some achievements.

"The Flemish economy is in very good shape. 145,000 jobs have been added. … We are already investing fully in cross-border infrastructure projects. There is the new lock in Terneuzen ... The 3RX project is back on track ... And with the signing of the Lys Mitoyenne Treaty, the Seine-Scheldt connection is a fact. "

Minister Weyts also looked ahead. Full of ambition and belief in the own abilities. Certainly within the European Union. "Flanders is perfectly placed to shape what I refer to as " European common sense ". A level-headed, assertive attitude, not set out from all manner of precepts or lofty ideals, but rooted in common sense. "

To illustrate this, he cited Brexit and the consequences of a no-deal. “We need solutions that safeguard our economy. ... The Government of Flanders unreservedly calls for a Brexit Adjustment Fund for the worst hit regions ... and for a new partnership with the United Kingdom aimed at good trade relations with the least possible friction and the fullest possible cooperation. "

Minister Weyts also extended his hand and emphasized the importance of cooperation. He used a cycling expression for this: “You can have our wheel, we ask yours. We will both need it to be successful. "

pdf fileFlanders Day speech by Minister Ben Weyts 10 July 2019 (66 KB)

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