The Universalist Centrist Vision: Tackling Poverty, Cohesion, and Governance in Brussels

2023-09-24 11:18:00

At a time of debate on the financing of the metro project, according to him this would produce a saving of 20 million euros per year, or one billion over fifty years.

“The Brussels minister-president employs 86 people in his cabinet, which makes it the largest cabinet in the entire country,” he declared in front of some 200 to 250 Brussels activists from the centrist party gathered on Sunday for a back-to-school congress .

For the occasion, the four Brussels mayors of the centrist party, as well as the aldermen and deputies, but several former members of the cdH, such as Joëlle Milquet, Francis Delpgée, or even the former mayor of Jette Hervé Doyen, had held to provide support to the training in the process of (re-)foundation….

The president of Engagés Bruxelles immediately took the opportunity to resituate the project of his training: “universalist”, resolutely “centrist”, focused on the “quest for meaning”.

For him, this project implies having a certain dose of “courage” in terms of childcare through innovative projects at home or in business; employment via a system of mentoring by alumni, young job seekers who are still too numerous; of governance, notably through a depoliticization of the administration.

We must also have the courage to respect the international commitment to end homelessness in 2030 through an amplification of the housing first system by reserving 5% of social housing or to review the “avalanche of bonuses and subsidies completely illegible today”, in terms of housing insulation. Christophe De Beukelaer said he prefers a less expensive system of third-party investors, accredited project managers, and a systemic approach per building and per district.

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For his part, the president of Les Engagés Maxime Prévot spoke of the numerous “wounds” of the Brussels Region in terms of poverty, conviviality, security, mobility, attractiveness and humanity.

For him, “the closure of the attacks was a reminder that this injury of 2016 certainly left scars in terms of living together”, The fragility of social cohesion in the capital has certainly been accentuated by the health crisis and just as by those of energy and their consequences in terms of housing and employment.

This has contributed to aggravating the lack of connection and increased the divide between all the actors, the withdrawal into oneself increasingly based on identity. But in his eyes, “the Brussels government is responding very poorly to all these fractures which it is accentuating. The government locomotive seems to be running out of steam…”, added the president of Les Engagés.

For Maxime Prévot, however, there is no inevitability whether in the aforementioned areas or in those of mental health – “the new health crisis” – or the exodus of families and the middle class which is reaching the social and economic functioning of Brussels.

“Let’s put the human resources in place so that they stay,” he said, proposing a review of registration fees “with zero fees, zero rates” and increased support for shared housing formulas.

Maxime Prévot also returned to the issue of security in Brussels, “well beyond the Gare du Midi”, believing that it was time for the federal government to fully assume its responsibilities, in particular by revising the standards for supervising the zones of Brussels police.

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“Brussels is also wounded at the level of its humanity: we must have the courage to open a debate on asylum policy other than through caricatures and by working in denial and extremes. It is unacceptable that ‘a state is punished by justice without this causing any shock in the government…’, he continued.

Finally, the president of the Engagés did not say a word about the names of the people who will have to draw the lists of the Engagés in view of the federal, regional and European elections next year. He confirmed that he would say more on October 7, on the occasion of Humanist Training Families Day.

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