Belgium inches towards ‘Vivaldi’ government

Sixteen months after the election, Belgium is closer to finally forming a government, following a day of talks on Monday (28 September) between all seven coalition negotiators for a potential ‘Vivaldi coalition’ government (PS, sp.a, MR, Open Vld, Ecolo, Groen and CD&V).

Coalition negotiators did not reach an agreement on Monday as they had aimed for, but pledged to continue talks early Tuesday morning.

Formateurs Paul Magnette (PS) and Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) reported to the King on Monday evening, where they received additional time for bilateral talks which continued until 3 am. Results are expected to be announced this Tuesday morning when all parties meet again.

One of the final items to agree is the federal budget, a traditionally very difficult point in Belgium’s government formation talks as the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the budget deficit.

In addition to the budget, the negotiators of the seven parties must also agree on the name of the prime minister who in principle is likely to be one of the two talk leaders, either Magnette or De Croo.

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