In an interview with the financial newspaper De Tijd, Professor Bart Maddens (Catholic University of Leuven), the inventor of the so-called ‘Maddens Doctrine’, states that his own doctrine becomes obsolete after last Sunday’s elections. His “doctrine” was a strategy to achieve the big state reform that Flanders has been requesting for ages. Flanders should stop begging for something it cannot get. Instead, it should let things rot until the francophones realise that something must change. Maddens is saying today that Flanders should now switch back to the older ‘Van Rompuy Doctrine’, called to the current President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy. The ‘Van Rompuy Doctrine’ is saying that the Flemish political parties should go to the negotiations with the Walloon political parties making immediately clear that there will be no Belgian federal government without first reforming the federal state. According to Maddens in the same interview the following should be reformed: move the collection of the personal income tax from the Belgian federal level to Flanders and Wallonia, give the Brussels Region a less important role and let Flanders and Wallonia build there own health care systems.
After the N-VA (New Flemish Alliance) had won a stunning 28 per cent of the vote in Dutch-speaking Flanders on Sunday, miraculous waves of pampering comments in both parts of Belgium are flooding chairman Bart De Wever. Politicians and journalists who constantly reviled and abused Mr. De Wever before the elections, as he was the incarnation of the devil, are now making remarkable different analyses in the media. So for example the editor in Chief of the Flemish newspaper De Standaard is titling in an opinion piece that De Wever is capable to save and reform Belgium. Mrs. Onkelinx of the PS (Walloon Socialists) who ones compared the Flemish people with fungus and who is a very strong defender of the Belgian state is now -after a standstill of 3 years negotiating with less Flemish-minded parties- arguing that a compromise with the N-VA is feasible. The socialist mayor of Antwerp Mr. Janssens and Mrs. Thyssen, CD&V chairwoman are encouraging Mr. De Wever to become the prime minister of Belgium. For the time being Mr. De Wever is reacting very temperate on all these strategic moves by pointing out he is only interested in achieving the necessary constitutional reforms. Still according to a cautious Mr. De Wever nothing will be possible without constructive engagements of the other political parties. Who gets the role of prime minister is still not any of his concerns.