Record Breakers!

On Sunday, Belgium broke the record for the longest political crisis and longest period without an elected government.

It has been 592 days since the previous government, led by former Prime Minister Charles Michel, collapsed over inter-party tensions on migration in December 2018.

The previous record holder was… Belgium.

8 thoughts on “Record Breakers!

    1. Not much. Belgium is a very decentralised country — Flanders and Wallonia both have their own parliaments, and below that there’s provincial government and then local government, so there is a lot that can continue while the federal government is still being negotiated.

      And there is a caretaker administration at the federal level — basically the previous government stays in place to keep things ticking over. Normally, the caretaker administration is very limited in what it can do and is not allowed to sign treaties or launch new policies. This one, however, has additional powers to handle the corona virus.

      Those powers expire sometime in September, which is fast approaching and probably why people are looking at the coalition negotiations again.

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    1. I find it endlessly fascinating. Given the extreme federalism of the country and the fact that Flanders and Wallonia are pulling in very different politically, it’s probably inevitable that coalition negotiations are going to continue to be long and painful for the foreseeable future.

      That said, the country as a whole does seem to cope remarkably well. More than anything, I’m impressed at the determination of very different groups of politicians to thrash out a compromise.


  1. The situation seems like an action movie issue. It also seems that everyday life follows the path, maybe people don’t care too much.
    If that were to happen in my country, there would be gangs looting supermarkets and blocking the bridges with burning truck wheels.
    I admire the common sense and civics of the Belgians.

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