Fédéralistes Démocrates Francophones
|Francophone Democratic Federalists|
|Fédéralistes Démocrates Francophones|
|Founded||11 May 1964|
Chaussée de Charleroi 127
|Ideology||Interests of French speakers in Brussels,
|European Parliament group||ELDR Group (1994-99)|
|Chamber of Representatives|
|Parliament of the French Community|
|Politics of Belgium
The Francophone Democratic Federalists (French: Fédéralistes Démocrates Francophones, FDF) is a militant regionalist political party in Belgium whose aim is expansion of the linguistic rights of French-speakers at the expense of the Flemish in and around the Brussels-Capital Region. The party is led by Deputy Olivier Maingain.
The FDF was founded on 11 May 1964 and until 1982, dominated Brussels' municipal politics. Until January 2010 the party was known as the Democratic Front of Francophones (French: Front Démocratique des Francophones).
On the national level the FDF was a constituent part of the Reformist Movement (MR), an alliance of Francophone liberal parties from 2002 until 25 September 2011. On that day, the FDF decided to leave the coalition. They did not agree with the manner in which president Charles Michel defended the rights of the French-speaking people in the agreement concerning the splitting of the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde district, during the 2010–2011 Belgian government formation.
The party advocates extension of the bilingual status of the Brussels-Capital Region to many officially Dutch-speaking municipalities around Brussels (in Flemish Brabant), where a majority of the population is French-speaking. This is strongly opposed by all Flemish parties, who say that these inhabitants should respect and learn the majority language of the Flemish region. At the same time, the FDF demands the abolition of similar services for Dutch-speaking minorities within Wallonia. The FDF aggressively pushes for the rights of French-speakers in Flemish municipalities use French instead of Dutch in dealing with Dutch-speaking officials. However, the FDF agitates against any similar rights for Dutch-speakers in Wallonia. This double-standard is opposed by all Flemish parties, who argue that the rights of all citizens on both sides of the linguistic border and federal structure should be equal since the state reforms in recent decades, and that the Frenchification of Brussels should not further itself into the Flemish Region.
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