26 Oct, 2022

Open VLD adopts statements on migration and mental health

Flemish liberals gathered in Brussels for the fourth and final ‘Liberal Fire’ congress to carry out an ideological reboot and agree on a new name for the party by May 2023.

This congress was themed ‘Feeling at home in our society’ with discussions on how immigration, ethnic diversity and integration are important parts of a bigger story of inclusion and living together in harmony.

The Congress was open to members and non-members of the party, with key interventions from Minister of Flanders Bart Somers, Member of the Chamber of Representatives Jasper Pillen and Souad Abihi, health care specialist and Open VLD activist.

In the end, Open VLD adopted 11 statements to create an inclusive but resolute migration policy, mental health care for all and a strong integration policy. The adopted statements will form the basis for the party’s major congress on 12-14 May 2023.

The 11 agreed policy statements are:

  • No residence permit without respect for our values
  • Fair distribution of refugees among EU member states
  • Those who want to work in Belgium should be able to do so
  • An inclusive labour market tailored to the individual
  • Stricter conditions for family reunification
  • We break through segregation and strengthen the social mix
  • Integration courses in the country of origin
  • Sanctions for countries that do not take back their own citizens
  • Inclusive childcare for every child
  • Increased budget for mental health care
  • Reform of Growth Package payment so money goes to education purposes, and not people smugglers

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo concluded the Congress stating that solidarity is not infinite:
However much we want to show solidarity. There is a moment when we have to say, we have done our part, we cannot create infinite places."

Photo credit: Open VLD

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