In Belgium, politics is a family business

In Belgium, politics is a family business

Matthew Michael, son of former European Commissioner Louis Michel, Belgium's Secretary of State for Digitization, in Brussels on October 1, 2020.

Letter from Belgium

They are the sons and daughters of “of”. They are also called dynasties so as not to be confused with giant scorpions of the same name. The people we are talking about here are members of a family who used power and then used it, enjoying the resemblance of hereditary rights. Over time, Belgium has made this a specialty.

With its six governments (one federation, five regions and communities), its seven parliaments, its three linguistic zones, its ten provinces – and several provincial councils – and its 581 municipalities, the kingdom – 30,000 km – offers, which, of course, sells a lot to proxy candidates Stations. Annoyingly Libran – always rational, easily hurt emotionally, very passionate and maybe a little too intense. They gladly contribute, even to promote a tradition of compulsory voting, surrealism, like mussels and fries and abbey beer, which will soon sign in the image of their country.


15% of the elected officials of the state now have a father or mother who is already in office. Beyond 10%, we can say that a democracy that gives dynasties the pride of place is dormant, according to a 2016 study by Harvard University in the United States. In Europe, only Greece and Ireland would do “better” than King Philippines in terms of unity, while in Germany it is almost non-existent. In the Netherlands, the Chamber of Deputies, in 2017, had only one “son” out of 150 elected representatives.

However, all Europeans have camped as far away as Thailand and the Philippines, where 40% of parliamentarians are dynasties. In the United States, only 6% of elected officials have prominent parents in politics, albeit with a few examples – the Clintons, the Bush family and the Trump family, tomorrow? – Can suggest the opposite.

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A little critical, but very hard-working, Belgian citizens raised an eyebrow at the announcement of the formation of the new federal government in October 2020. Prime Minister? Alexander de Crowe, son of Herman de Crowe, a former minister, Member of Parliament, party leader and mayor of Brockley, was preceded in this post by five of his ancestors.

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Finance Minister? Vincent van Bittekam, son of a deputy who was mayor for fourteen years. Secretary of State for Gender Equality? Sarah Schlitz, the granddaughter of the former senator and mayor of the League, however, had the distinction of being an environmental activist when her grandfather was a socialist.

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