Ratification by Belgium of the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities.
Even France has not signed this! There is a debate about whether recognized cultural communities within their own country can be defined as minorities. But in any case, in Sint-Genesius-Rode, it is not the Francophones but the Dutch speakers who are increasingly placed in the situation of a minority.
Suppression of the legaly required language facilities?
These facilities may only be amended by a two-thirds majority in the Federal Chambre and by a majority in each language group. This means probably never. Both Flanders and the RESPECT list respect the law, including the language laws and facilities. Sint-Genesius-Rode is in the Flemish Region and offers some language facilities for its residents. This is not a bilingual status, which only the Brussels-Capital Region has. Is it not evident that new residents make an effort to learn the language of the region where they have come to live?
Does one have to have "a link with the area" to be able to buy property?
Flanders is looking for a solution to allow young people in to continue living in their own area. Some areas (69 municipalities all over Flanders) have become too expensive for local youngsters, and this rule is an attempt to find a solution. If it were found not to comply with European or international rules, Flanders would find another solution.
Is social housing reserved for people who speak Dutch?
This does not apply to the municipalities with facilities! But in the rest of Flanders, candidates are asked to prove they "are willing to learn Dutch." Indeed, how can a migrant integrate and find work if he or she is not willing to learn Dutch? In the Netherlands, one must even learn Dutch beforehand!
Does Flanders want to eventually abolish Francophone schools in the municipalities with facilities?
Flanders has met all its legal obligations and it will continue to respect the laws. This cannot be said of Wallonia, which has always refused to fulfill its obligation to subsidize a Dutch school or schools in the municipalities with language facilities in Wallonia.
This was challenged in the State Council but the circular was not rejected. Again: is it not evident that new residents make an effort to learn the language of the region where they settle?
NVA vs. FDF: nationalism or extremism?
The NVA is a democratic party in Flanders supported by the elections in 2010 by around 30% of voters. The NVA finally seeks confederation with Wallonia, in an open and transparent way. The local NVA has completely accepted the RESPECT programme, which is in 4 languages, out of respect for all residents.
The FDF is considered by a lot of Flemish to be an extremist party. The FDF is virtually non-existant in Wallonia, having been expelled by the MR from their alliance. The FDF stirs up community tensions, and couldn't care less about the real needs of the inhabitants of Rode. It campaigns only in French -- and this in Flanders!
The RESPECT team is proud of its programme and their campaign that still remains factually correct and respectful.
There is more than ever a need for RESPECT in Sint-Genesius-Rode!