Feature

Belgium: The Flemish as the ultimate Belgians

Is any government in Europe as dysfunctional as Belgium’s? Yes!

Dave SinardetLa Libre Belgique

Is any government in Europe as dysfunctional as Belgium’s? asked Dave Sinardet. Yes! The Belgian province of Flanders embodies all the nightmarish bureaucracy, nepotism, and “political paralysis” of the larger polity, only in microcosm. The Commission for Administrative Efficiency and Effectiveness recently analyzed Flanders, and the picture was bleak: “The multiplication, fragmentation, and compartmentalization of administrative bodies” is complicated by metastasizing regulations, and the resulting mess oppresses citizens and civil servants alike. Fittingly, the report was just another example of the redundancy it was criticizing, since two other government commissions had already released reports that reached the same conclusions. Everything bad about Belgium is replicated at the Flemish government level. Even the famously idiotic “Belgian waffle policy”—under which all public improvements must be dispersed equally across counties just as batter flows evenly into all divots of a waffle iron—is followed slavishly in Flanders. The result is a lot of superfluous bridges and roads and enormous public debt. Still, at least the Flemish can take heart that they are not second-class Belgians. If anything, they set the pattern.

Recommended

Sudan civilian leaders arrested in apparent military coup
Pro-government protesters in Suday
Coup alert

Sudan civilian leaders arrested in apparent military coup

Colombian forces capture country's most wanted drug lord
Colombian anti-narcotics police helicopter.
in the company of Escobar

Colombian forces capture country's most wanted drug lord

Ex-U.S. envoy to Afghanistan defends withdrawal deal
Zalmay Khalilzad.
'the american people should be pleased'

Ex-U.S. envoy to Afghanistan defends withdrawal deal

Erdogan orders removal of 10 ambassadors from Turkey, including U.S. envoy
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
'persona non grata'

Erdogan orders removal of 10 ambassadors from Turkey, including U.S. envoy

Most Popular

The 'Trump app' will be the insurrection on steroids
Donald Trump.
Picture of Damon LinkerDamon Linker

The 'Trump app' will be the insurrection on steroids

The American 'Great Resignation' by the numbers
Help wanted sign
Help Wanted

The American 'Great Resignation' by the numbers

Liz Cheney, Marjorie Taylor Greene take turns calling each other 'a joke'
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
war of words

Liz Cheney, Marjorie Taylor Greene take turns calling each other 'a joke'