No change in food policy after Belgian elections, says Fevia

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Food policy in Belgium is unlikely to be impacted by a shifting political focus, says the country’s food industry association after yesterday’s elections.

Speaking to this morning, Fevia director general Chris Moris said the group is preparing to work with the new majority, but does not expect any changes related to food legislation.

Yesterday’s election saw the nationalist party New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) win a sweeping victory in the Dutch-speaking north of the country, where it secured 30 per cent of the vote. This was matched by a Socialist Party (PS) victory in the French-speaking southern province of Wallonia.

Existing food dossiers

“It is clear that major challenges lay ahead for the Belgian political leaders,”​ said Moris, but added that “I don’t think the change in government will change anything in the content of the dossiers relevant to our sector”.

A coalition alliance would likely see all food policy-related issues dealt with by the socialists, who have “traditionally”​ maintained an interest in the area and who will likely continue with their existing approach, said Moris.

Results released this morning from the electoral commission revealed that the N-VA had gained 17.4 per cent of the national vote, while PS received 13.7 per cent. N-VA is expected to have 27 seats in the lower house of parliament, which is one more than the 26 seats taken by PS.

The two parties are now expected to start coalition talks, and will need to create alliances with other political parties to build a majority in both parts of the country. At least four parties will be needed to form a coalition government.

No major changes

For the food industry, the impact of the elections will not give rise to major changes,”​ said Moris.

“NVA has until now no experience in federal government. Their program does not mention anything about food policy. So they probably won’t claim most of the dossiers relevant to the food industry (food labeling, food control), which are considered as being more ‘technical’.”

“It is expected that the socialist party having more experience and being more interested in food policy, will claim these dossiers. Since they had these dossiers in the past, there are no major changes ahead.”

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