Belgische Unie – Union Belge
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|Leader||Hans Van De Cauter|
|Headquarters||Rue du Merlo 8B
|International affiliation||International Monarchist Conference|
|Chamber of Representatives||
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Belgische Unie – Union Belge (Dutch and French for Belgian Union), known by the acronym BUB, is a small political party in Belgium. It describes itself as "The Centrist Party for a United Belgium". As one of the only political parties organised across the entire country, it wishes to abolish the federal system in Belgium and re-establish a unitary state based on the original nine provinces. The party is explicitly opposed to separatism and the partition of Belgium.
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Background of separatism in Belgium
Belgium is a federal country with an unusual structure. It consists of 3 groups differentiated by language: Dutch-speaking Belgians or Flemings (about 59% of the population who live in the north of the country), French-speaking Belgians or Walloons (about 40% of the population who live in the south), and German speaking Belgians (about 1% of the population who live in the east). At present, Belgium is a federation with two different divisions of authority: there is a Belgian Federal Government, the territory is divided into three Communities on a linguistic basis (Flemish, Walloon and German-speaking), and concurrent with this division also exists another one, the Regions (Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region). So one is part of Belgium, one Community, and one Region. The Communities have the power over cultural facilities: education, culture, sport etc., while the Regions have power over environmental facilities: environment and city planning, tourism etc. The federal government has been reduced to mainly the departments of Justice, Finances, Foreign Affairs (though Foreign Trade is regional), and Internal Affairs (though regions also have ministers for this).
Party ideals and agenda
The BUB promotes reconciliation between the language groups, promoting multilingualism, and one government and one parliament for all Belgians without the division by language (which they consider as discriminatory as a division by skin colour). They mainly want to get rid of the Regions and transfer their powers back to the federal state of Belgium and the provinces. They are the only party with this outlook, as all other Belgian parties except for the Workers Party of Belgium (PVDA/PTB), Left Socialist Party, and minor liberal grouping "Vivant" have, together with the creation of the federal states, been split on a language basis.
The party also advocates a better knowledge of the other national language(s) among the citizens of Belgium. They call it "individual multilingualism".
The BUB has no elected seats at any level and operates only on the margins of Belgian politics. The party got 10,000 votes in the 2003 federal elections and 13,000 votes in the 2004 regional elections. The votes were concentrated in the northern provinces, in the central constituencies of Brabant and Brussels and in 2003 also in the southern province of Namur. Though the party did not gain any seats in the 2006 communal elections, BUB did far better at the ballots, gaining up to 2% of the vote in some cities. In the federal elections of 10 June 2007, the pro-Belgian party also progressed everywhere it participated but again obtained no seats.
At the 2010 federal elections, the party formed a pro-Belgian cartel with CDF under the name BELG-UNIE and obtained a record result of 20.000 votes in 5 constituencies. Since 22 June 2011, the cartel consists of a third pro-Belgian party, the BAB.
The party is headed by a national president (Hans Van de Cauter) and is divided into 9 provincial sections, corresponding with the 9 provinces that existed before the split of the central province of Brabant in 1995.
- "BUB - Home Page". Belgischeunie.be. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "DH.be - CDF et BUB se présentent sous le cartel BELG.UNIE". Dhnet.be. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "Elections 2010 - Chambre - Résultats des listes Royaume". Elections2010.belgium.be. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "Belg-Unie | Declaration Commune – Gemeenschappelijke Verklaring Van B.U.B. & Cdf & Bab". Belg-unie.be. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Monarchist Conference - Members". Internationale.monarchiste.com. 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2012-09-27.