“Make Europe Great Again”: Vlaams Belang’s Battle for Indipendence and Identitary of Flanders

(Red.) In via eccezionale pubblichiamo questa intervista in inglese, anche in vista di una maggiore diffusione internazionale. A breve Ticinolive pubblicherà la versione italiana.

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Vlaams Belangs is the Flemish eurosceptic and identitary political party, as Lega Nord in Italy, Alternative for Deutschland in Germany and Front National in France.  Populism’s wind is blowing now throughout Europe and the desire of revenge against Europe’s tecnocrates and bankers grows up day by day. So, the TicinoLive’s editor decided to interview Vlaams Belang’s young leader.

Bart Claes, chairman of the Vlaams Belang Jongeren

Bart Claes is the responsible for the social media in the party and in January this year, he has been elected as chairman of the Vlaams Belang Jongeren, their youth wing.

“My main objective” says “Is to make Vlaams Belang great again: I would like to inspire young patriots to organize and engage themselves for their ideals.”

Together with the Freedom Party of Austria, Northern League and the National Front, your political party is entered in The Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom. What are the major criticisms that you have expressed against the EU?
There are several problems with the current EU. Firstly, the EU respects the democracy nor the sovereignty of its member nations. The new European elite forces nations to act against their own interests, they attempt to smother referenda or blatantly ignore the results, their policies -for example on open borders- are about the opposite of what the common European citizens want. For us, the people should decide their own fate. Not a largely unelected political elite.
A second problem with the European Union is that it’s immensely bureaucratic. Eurocrats live very far from the people they are supposed to represent and have a tendency for finding complex and inefficient ‘solutions’ for simple problems. The overpaid eurocrats are masters in justifying their own position, by making regulations for about everything, from the curvature of bananas to the power of vacuum cleaners.

What are your primary aims to make another Europe?
Europe should make life for its inhabitants better, not worse, and it could certainly play that role. Economic coöperation between the European nations makes all of us more prosperous. And when it comes to defense and geopolitics, a common European voice is essential for the security of our nations. Also for migration, the EU has a part to play, but more or less the opposite part of what it does today: securing the borders of our continent instead of opening them.
The European Union should focus itself on these tasks without trying to usurp everything else. And, importantly, the essence of why coöperation between European nations works, is because our nations belong to the same civilization. So the idea that we could expand towards Turkey or other non-European states, who don’t share our democratic tradition, have a different identity and a religion which is hostile towards Europe is utter madness.

Would you like a “Brexit” also for Flanders?
We would prefer not to leave the European Union, but in that case the EU needs some serious changes. If those changes are not possible, yes, then we should certainly consider saying goodbye.

What do you think about Matteo Salvini’s Lega?

We have very good relations with the Lega Nord and its youth wing, they often visit us and vice versa. Salvini and the Lega voice the same concerns as us, they share our ideals, and the people obviously agree with us as well. bart-claes-marion

And what do you think about Marin and Marion Le Pen?
As with Salvini and the Lega, we are friends of Marine and Marion Le Pen and the Front National. Again, we find an inspiring example in them of a nation rising up against a crooked system.

Like Lega Nord and the National Front you are against Turkey’s entry into Europe. Could that increase Islamic terrorism?
That’s a certainty! If Turkey joins the EU, they would immediately become its largest state population-wise and its first Muslim nation. Under Erdogan, Turkey changed from a society which attempted to be secular to a society which flirts with islamic extremism, with autoritarianism – and with ISIS. Giving all those people access to Europe, means giving all of its extremists access as well. It means importing all of Turkeys conflicts, with salafists, Kurdic freedom fighters, Grey Wolves,… into Europe.

Europe has failed to manage the immigration’s emergency. How Terrorism and Immigration are related?
That’s obvious: practically all terrorists are either immigrants, descendants of immigrants or (for a small part) converted by immigrants. During the last decades, we have imported millions of muslims to Europe, people with a religion which has always had a difficult relation with our civilization, to say the least.
Massive immigration has been a failure on itself, with massive unemployment, enormous crime rates, the appearance of ghettos and increasing social tensions. Adding an extremist ideology to that was bound to be an explosive cocktail.

Vlaams Belang is an identitary movement. Can Nationalism and Independentism coexist?
Certainly, I’d say that nationalism and artificial states would be more difficult to reconcile. After all, nationalists strive to preserve their identity and their sovereignty.


Identity and Nationalism: communs ideals between Vlaams Belang and Front National

Does your battle for the independence of Flanders still continue today? What is your purpose for Flanders?
It remains one of our core issues. Our purpose for Flanders is to become an independent nation. Belgium has never been a good state for the Flemish, from its inception onwards. Today the Flemish and the Walloons have a different opinion about everything that matters. Not to mention the enormous ‘forced solidarity’, where the Flemish people pays billions and billions of euros to keep a bureaucratic and socialist Wallonia from collapsing.

What about Monarchy of Belgium?
The Belgian monarchy has never been a friend of the Flemish. But even aside from that, as democrats we believe in electing our own leaders based on their capacities, not in appointing them based on their family tree. Our current king, who isn’t too bright, only illustrates the problems with the monarchy.


In 2016 the Belgian State gave to the Royal Family almost 36 million of Euro.

Do you think European media, journalism, are against your movement?
Absolutely. The media belong to what Alain de Benoist calls ‘la nouvelle classe’, together with the mainstream politicians, the big bankers, the multinationals and the self-declared cultural elite. Today we see that the main political divide is no longer between the left and the right – but between the people, which has retained its common sense, and this new class which bathes itself in moral righteousness and completely lost touch with reality.
Luckily we also see that the common folks are increasingly able to voice themselves, both through social media and through alternative media channels.

Historiographycal regime usually denies the importance of the battles that stopped the Islamic invasion, like Poitiers, Lepanto (in which the whole of Europe – and expecially the Flanders- took part for their own defense) and Vienna. Does Vlaams Belang fights to preserve their memory and historical identity, that the European globalism tends to forget? How do you do to make direct information?


A picture of the Battle of Lepanto, (Europe against Turkey) in which Flanders played an important role in getting one of the most important victories of Christianity.

That’s an important point indeed. The distortion of our history is a means of propaganda, which tries to undermine our identitarian consciousness and the will to defend ourselves. An example of our information: a couple of weeks ago, we distributed croissants with flyers about the history of the Siege of Vienna at major Flemish railway stations.

What do you hope for the future of Belgium and Europe?
For Belgium, we hope it will cease to exist. For Flanders, Wallonia and our European brother nations, we hope that they can revolt, reconquer and revive!

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