News "Not having given Bart De Wever a royal mission...

“Not having given Bart De Wever a royal mission is obviously a mistake”


“Not having given Bart De Wever a royal mission is obviously a mistake” – © All rights reserved

Can the role of the King be questioned in the federal political crisis? In almost nine months, King Philippe has initiated five royal missions for a total of eight men … And today, the blockage is more topical than ever. To talk about it, on the CQFD tray, two guests: Christian Behrendt, professor of constitutional law at ULiège and KU Leuven, and Marc Uyttendaele, lawyer and professor of constitutional law at ULB.

Loss of control and big mess

The King must assume responsibility politically, not legally, considers Marc Uyttendaele: “He cannot find solutions if they do not exist on the ground. However, there is a rule of fact: the King, who takes an initiative after consulting the most important political leaders, ensures that It will not be questioned. And during the last mission, that of Koen Geens, we realized that this initiative had been taken without the approval of the CD&V, which immediately made a sort of foot of nose to the King, by enjoining his minister to explore only the PS-N-VA track, a track which we have known since November that it is blocked. ” The lawyer speaks of a “loss of control” and an inability for the King to “restore order in the big mess”.

“You should be careful”, reacts Christian Behrendt who explains: “First of all, the King must act, according to our current system, he must take the initiative, say who will take which mission and for how long. Then there are the results of the last elections in north of the country [où les grand partis ont perdu beaucoup de plumes, notamment au profit du Vlaams Belang, Ndlr], these are extremely complicated data. ” The professor recognizes that the attribution of the last two missions to two newly elected party presidents, on the one hand, and to Koen Geens, on the other, may be surprising, but “we can’t replay the scene after the fact”, he argues.

Should the N-VA be charged with a mission?

As we know, the president of the Flemish nationalists said he was available several times, but the Palace never gave him a mission. “Designating him now would be very late and very difficult”, comments Christian Behrendt. Marc Uyttendaele adds: “There were two moments when it would have made sense: after the failure of Paul Magnette and after the failure of the Bouchez-Coens duo”.

The case of the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the power of the king in forming the government was reduced in 2012. Before that, it was the king who appointed informant (s) and trainer. Today, the monarch has been withdrawn from this procedure, which returns to the House. He returns after the negotiations, during the ceremony to take office of the ministers, who take the oath in his hands … A purely formal role . The aim of this reform was to make the process of government formation more transparent and without the influence of the king.

For Marc Uyttendaele, “the constitution of a coalition, in any country whatsoever, is also done in dialogues, which share definition, remain discreet […] The dictatorship of transparency, like that of neutrality, are fine principles but not necessarily producers of solutions “. For the professor of constitutional law at the ULB, the training of regional and community governments is much more effective, and this in a completely informal setting.

Christian Behrendt does not advocate this transposition to the federal government, but, he says, “It could be imposed by the fact that the difficulties for the King become such, that he would prefer not to get involved for his own good.

CQFD, What Makes Debate, a face-to-face meeting on a topical issue every day at 6:20 p.m. on La Première and at 8:35 p.m. on La Trois. The entire debate below.

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