The Flemish government obliges municipal authorities to issue an annual policy statement from 2026, similar to the September statement by the Flemish Prime Minister. This is what “De Tijd” writes. The aim is to provide more transparency to citizens and municipal councils about the work of local authorities.
In such a statement, the mayor should outline the department’s plans for the coming year and related expenditures. Before voting on the long-term budget, a discussion can take place on what the council does and does not do. Unlike the Flemish government, this usually takes place at the local level in November or December.
Municipalities must provide an overview of key financial figures on an A4 sheet, such as deficits, debts, personnel expenses or provisions to the police. In addition, it should be clear at a glance how much the expenses or debts have increased.
Municipalities must also provide a more complete picture of all expenditures, such as poverty or employment policies. The government also requires transparency about how much money goes into the inter-municipal companies.
In the first place, the reform should help municipal councilors to better perform their oversight duties. For Flemish Interior Minister Bart Sommers (Open VLD), this is also “more professionalism”. This prepares the local authorities to “take on more powers”.
Although the CD&V endorsed Somers’ plan, the parliamentary group is important. “It’s just a mouse move. It would be better to work on a digital accounting platform where all expenses are recorded, ”says MP Brecht Warnez (CD & V).
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