‘Where Belgium goes, Europe goes’

“If you want to know how the EU will look like in about five years time, you should look at Belgium today”, writes former Belgian MEP Derk Jan Eppink in De Volkskrant. Both are “permanent construction sites where the roofs are rebuild [sic] to hide a problem with the foundations”, and share a similar outcome after the 25 May elections (general elections took place in Belgium on the same day as European elections in most of member countries) as well as the same fundamental problem: a gap between North and South.

The elections for the European Parliament show a similar pattern: “In Mediterranean Europe the left won, in the North, it was the right” that took the upper hand. Eppink thinks these results will complicate the distribution of the European top jobs: “The EU is heading now to an intergovernmental conference for institutional renovations ‘à la Belge’.”

He feels the problem of the EU and Belgium lies in the foundations of socio-economic development. Both have to deal with a growing gap between the North and South. “North believes that the South should hurry up with structural reforms and the South finds the North selfish and anti-social. That has caused polarization within Belgium for a few decades, and is increasingly doing so in the EU.”

Eppink recommands [sic] the EU to have a closer look at Belgium:

Where Belgium goes, Europe goes. If the EU continues to follow the Belgian track, the consequences will be global. It is useful for europoliticians to look at that puny-looking Belgian government formation.

Full article: ‘Where Belgium goes, Europe goes’ (VOXeurop)

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