“Ask a Belgian “who can claim to be Belgian nowadays?” The answer will presumably be “everyone as anyone!”
Obviously, not being able to define oneself throughout a unique and common model is one of the biggest particularities of the contradictory Belgian spirit. With 3 different languages: French, Dutch, German and as many communities, the Belgian has spent most of his time managing with its tricky historical and cultural background.
Even today, regular language tensions backdropped by social and religious questions are at the centre of our political conciliations. The spaces of meetings and exchanges between French speakers and Flemish speakers narrow, universities and political parties are split on many issues and we have never had bilingual Unitarian media… It is an established fact: we trade off and mix without really knowing each other.
But as curious as it can appear, this “Belgium Compromise” concept has also positive impact …
The Brussels Capital region, considered by large numbers as the nexus of the E.U, is a perfect example of this constructive paradox. Concentrating in itself a surrealist multicultural population due to the influence of the 3 Belgian communities, the input of the foreign communities who live and work in it, the implementation of 3 of the main European institutions and the structural anchors that it involves, Brussels is situated at a cross road of the Western World. But even with its plural component, this town has retained a common beating heart, rhythms by a look ahead to progress in environmental protection, a constant social interaction and cultural exchanges, a particular support of arts which are popularly considered as an important resource for the democratic process.
Because of this identity in permanent rebuild is a source of creativity, the young Belgian citizens are, without whether knowing it, at the heart of a perfect laboratory to figure out the future of Europe. Indeed, the economic, political and sociological challenges that we, Belgians, are facing nowadays, constitute the policy challenge of all European member states. Such as for the E.U, the future of Belgium as a country runs by different communities in a viable and strong union seems evenly undermined. To acquire the means to accomplish its ambitions, our national as European institutions should rebuild a bridge toward a space of common good promoting the making of concrete realizations which eliciting curiosity of the differences and fostering solidarity between its various actors.
This challenge will certainly be one of the biggest that the Belgian youngsters will have to take up for the further decades. It is as true for the youth French, the Dutch and the German speakers but also for the Italians, the Spaniards, the Moroccans, the Congoleses, the Turks who have chosen Belgium to live in. ” – Audrey Vandenbosch