nine provinces in Flanders ?

Radio 1 this morning discussed a proposal to split Flanders into nine provinces. Disregarding the fact that I oppose the eight layered governance of a random street(*) in my city, I would like to redraw the current map of Flanders.

One of the main issues that prevents this country from having a government resolves around (imho ridiculous) language problems in and around Brussels (the brown area). Brussels is surrounded by (officially) Dutch speaking communities, but is itself mainly French-speaking.
Bad governance between 1970 and 2010 resulted in discrepancies (for instance: French-speaking people in Dutch-speaking territory BHV can vote for French-speaking politicians, but Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the French-speaking part of Belgium cannot vote for Dutch-speaking politicians).

Also, Brussels is structurally way too small to make decisions that it should be capable of making (about its airport/highways/public transport/industry/...), since those are mainly in Dutch speaking parts outside Brussels (falling under another government).

The new map:

This new map enlarges Brussels so that it can manage the areas that currently surround Brussels but that economically and structurally belong to Brussels. Another advantage is that adding more Dutch-speaking people to Brussels makes it more balanced linguistically.
The red part is the new province of Leuven. Some municipalities from the former province of Vlaams Brabant migrated to neighboring provinces.

(*) Depending on what happens in a random Antwerp street, one or more of the following eight 'governments' is responsible:
- district (part of the city)
- gemeente (the city council)
- kanton (district, smaller than a province)
- provincie (province)
- gemeenschap (the Flemish Community)
- gewest (the Flemish Region)
- land (Belgium)
- Europese Unie (European Union)
What happened to the KISS strategy ?!


Martijn said...

Do we really need provinces?
Brussels is geographically in Flanders, so it shouldn't be an independant entity, unless it's a city state like eg Monaco. Provinces are useless, be it in Belgium or Flanders.

Paul Cobbaut said...

Martijn, I agree we can do with less layers of responsible governments.

Having Brussels as a part of Flanders would also solve the current issues (of being a city suffocating on an area too small to be a real city), but that solution is not realistic.

In the case that Brussels becomes a city state in Europe, then it should be larger than it is today, otherwise the current issues(*) will remain.

(*)Even if you believe there are no current issues.