Thursday, 6 December 2012

BELGIUM A plan to restore balance to the Army Language

    The Working Group of the House for two years on board the "linguistic balance" within the army on Wednesday approved, majority against opposition (who abstained), recommendations asking "tend towards equilibrium "between the French and Dutch officers to the highest positions in the military hierarchy. For the FDF, it does nothing to change the situation.

    These recommendations made by the majority, but deemed insufficient by the FDF and exaggerated by the Vlaams Belang and the N-VA, is the requirement of increased consolidation efforts between the two linguistic roles "as well in the lower grades and above "and in international organizations.

    The Working Group also considers that the Defence must generally "continue to strive for (a division of) 60% of Dutch soldiers and 40% of French military" - which is the size of the two communities.

    "For officers, the knowledge of both national languages ​​must remain a basic requirement to enter into consideration for promotion to a higher grade," added the recommendations, which also advocated strengthening the learning of both national languages "so immersive."

    The Working Group recommends that, wherever possible, a "gradual appreciation" of the bilingualism bonus for all categories of military personnel.

    The defense minister also asked to report on the situation each year, as stipulated in a 1938 law on the use of languages ​​in the army to allow the House to "continue to follow transparent and constructive manner the evolution of language distribution in the army. "

    These recommendations will now be forwarded to the Defence Committee for approval, then to the plenary of the House. "There is an agreement not to reopen the debate" at both levels, said MP George Dallemagne (CDH), causing a release in the work of the working group.

    And the majority had agreed two weeks ago to erase the document the findings, which stood a picture of the linguistic situation - contrast - the army, where the proportion of Dutch increases with rank, with only 28% of French generals. While in the lower grades, the deficit is on the Dutch.

    With these recommendations, the French believe they have obtained recognition of the existence of an imbalance for the highest functions, while the Flemish deputies - Gerald Kindermans (CD & V), Luk Van Biesen (Open Vld) and David Geerts (sp . a) - evoke the character "cyclic" this imbalance.

    This working group was set up two years ago at the request of French-speaking parties as a result of comments made in October 2010 by the former base commander of Florennes, Colonel Luc Gennart now retired, who had denounced "Flemishization" army before entering politics in the MR.

    Meanwhile, the issue has been the subject of an agreement between the six-party coalition government.The government statement team Di Rupo first stipulates that "respect for the linguistic balance within the army will be a constant concern of government."

    But the MP Denis Ducarme (MR) has recently threatened to withdraw its confidence in Defence Minister Pieter De Crem (CD & V) in case of non respect of this text and re-appointment of generals who would not in the sense of a catch (the linguistic balance), asserting that this was the position of all the MR.

    An agreement that will not change for Damien Thiery (FDF)

    Damien Thiery asks: "If the working group was unable to agree on a report containing the findings of the hearings and a year and a half of work and discussions, how could he make a series of recommendations on objective and verified? ".

    MP FDF is surprised at the satisfaction of the majority, including MR, have garnered an agreement on measures called "concrete", which according to him are not because they do not have the force of law.Damien Thiery questioned the scope of these measures with the Defence Minister Pieter De Crem.

    For him, nothing has been resolved and the linguistic imbalance remains present.

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