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New Pact for Europe – National Report of Belgium. Belgium and the EU : matching rhetoric and commitment

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This is the first in a series of National Reports to be published as part of the new phase of the New Pact for Europe project. As a founding member state that sits at the crossroads of European cultures, Belgium has persistently advocated European cohesion and sought to act as a bridge-builder within the EU. This position is increasingly under pressure, while the successive crises the Union has faced in recent years have accumulated into a strategic shock for the central component of Belgium’s foreign policy. Drawing on the discussions held amongst the members of the NPE Belgian Reflection Group, the present report presents a set of conclusions on how Belgium sees the future of the European project and on how present challenges might be overcome:

  • Above all, this will require restoring a sense of confidence that member states can and will live up to their commitments, particularly in the areas of economic governance, migration and security.
  • Belgium is keen to team up with the Netherlands and Luxembourg and ready to consider options for increasing differentiation in the European architecture through a multi-speed arrangement. Whilst not ideal, this is an emergency solution to prevent Europe from breaking up completely.
  • The EMU cannot remain limited to economic matters. In a world that is becoming more dangerous, German economic strength needs to be reinforced with French military experience and political confidence.
  • Belgium first needs to puts its own house in order if is to remain a credible partner to the EU.

Download and read the report.

(Photo credit: Jean-Pol Schrauwen)