"Despite difficult times Flanders stays on course"
Minister-president Bourgeois delivers September Statement to Flemish Parliament
On 26 September Minister-president Bourgeois kicked off the political year with the September Statement. Also present at the Flemish Parliament were the Flemish General Representatives abroad. They are currently in Brussels for their annual seminar.
Despite difficult times, Flanders stays on course, said the Minister-president. "It was and remains our ambition to achieve a balanced budget in 2017, to free up budgetary resources for investments and to make structural efforts that will prepare us for 2019. And we have succeeded." Minister-president Bourgeois announced investments in education, research and development ( "we are on our way to the magical three percent in 2020") and mobility ( "there have never been more investments in road infrastructure in Flanders.").
The Government of Flanders is also looking beyond its borders. The importance of export for the open Flemish economy cannot be underestimated. "That's why we strengthen and deepen the excellent international network of Flanders Investment & Trade. And we help our businesses, particularly our SMEs, to internationalize through a reformed policy on subsidies."
Also in the domains of art and culture there is a focus on internationalization. For example the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2016 with Flanders and the Netherlands as guests of honour.
Furthermore in the September Statement, a lot of attention for climate and energy. To achieve the ambitious goals of the Climate Agreement Paris, Flanders too will have to quicken up its step. "To this end we organize a Flemish Climate and Energy Summit on 1 December. We expect substantial commitments from different sectors and governments, "said the Minister-president.
On Wednesday, 28 September a debate on the September Statement will take place in the Flemish Parliament.