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New Flemish Alliance

New Flemish Alliance
Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie
Leader Bart De Wever
Founder Geert Bourgeois
Founded 2001
Preceded by People's Union
(split in 2001)
Headquarters Koningsstraat 47, bus 6
B-1000 Brussels
Membership  (2014) 11px 41,176[1]
Ideology Flemish nationalism
Liberal conservatism[2]
Political position Right-wing
European affiliation European Free Alliance
European Parliament group European Conservatives and Reformists
Colors Black, gold
Chamber of Representatives
(Flemish seats)
33 / 87
(Flemish seats)
12 / 35
Flemish Parliament
43 / 124
Brussels Parliament
(Flemish seats)
3 / 17
European Parliament
(Flemish seats)
4 / 12
Flemish Provincial Councils
104 / 351
Politics of Belgium
Political parties

The New Flemish Alliance (Dutch: Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, N-VA)[3] is a right-wing Flemish nationalist[4] and conservative[5][6][7] political party in Belgium, founded in 2001.[8] It is a regionalist[9][10] and separatist[11][12][13][14] movement that self-identifies with the promotion of civic nationalism.[15] It is part of the Flemish Movement, and strives for the peaceful[16] and gradual secession of Flanders from Belgium.[17] In recent years it has become the largest party of Flanders as well as Belgium as a whole, and leads the 2014–2019 Flemish Government.

Following the 2014 elections, the New Flemish Alliance is the largest Belgian/Flemish political party in the European Parliament, with 4 MEPs, where it sits in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) parliamentary group where it co-operates with parties like the UK Conservative Party, Alternative for Germany and Law and Justice of Poland.

The party is also known for its insistence on the exclusive use of Dutch, Flanders' sole official language, in dealings with government agencies, and for the promotion of the use of Dutch in Flanders as the language enabling integration.[15] The main objective of the party is to work on Flemish independence[18] by gradually obtaining more powers for both Belgian communities separately. Furthermore, it emphasizes its non-revolutionary and pro-European character (as opposed to the far-right and Eurosceptic character of the Vlaams Belang) in order to legitimize increased Flemish autonomy.[19] The N-VA advocates free-market economics, and their manifesto proposes immediate tax reductions to stimulate the economy.[20] They also advocate deepening ties with the European Union.[21]


Fall of the People's Union

The N-VA stems from the People's Union (Dutch: Volksunie, VU), a Belgian political party and broad electoral alliance of Flemish nationalists. Towards the end of the 20th century, with a steadily declining electorate and the majority of the party's federalist agenda implemented, friction between several wings of the People's Union emerged. In the beginning of the 1990s, Bert Anciaux became party president and led the party in an ever more progressive direction, combining the social-liberal ideas of his new iD21-movement with the regionalist course of the People's Union. These experiments were opposed by the more traditional centre-right party base.

Tension rose towards the end of the decade, as Geert Bourgeois, foreman of the traditional and centre-right nationalist wing, was elected chairman by party members, above the incumbent and progressive Patrik Vankrunkelsven. Factions subsequently clashed multiple times, over the future course of the party and possible support to current state reform negotiations. On 13 October 2001 the party openly split into three factions: The progressive wing around Bert Anciaux, which would later become the Spirit party, the conservative nationalist wing around Geert Bourgeois and a centrist group opposing the imminent split. A party referendum was held on the future of the party, where the right wing gained a substantial plurality of 47% and inherited the party infrastructure.[22] Since no faction got over 50%, however, the name Volksunie could no longer be used.

Foundation and the election threshold

In the autumn of 2001, the New Flemish Alliance (Dutch: Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, N-VA) was founded. Seven members of parliament from the People's Union joined the new party. The new party council created a party manifesto and a statement of principles. The first party congress was held in May 2002, voting on a party program and permanent party structures. Geert Bourgeois was elected chairman.

The party participated in elections for the first time in the 2003 federal elections, where it struggled with the election threshold of 5%. This threshold was only reached in West Flanders, the constituency of Geert Bourgeois. With only one federal representative and no senator, the party lost government funding and faced irrelevance.

Cartel with CD&V

The N-VA entered into an electoral alliance, commonly known in Belgium as cartel, with Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V). They joined forces in the regional elections in 2004 and won. Both parties joined the new Flemish government, led by CD&V leader Yves Leterme. Bart De Wever became new party leader, as Geert Bourgeois became minister.

The cartel was briefly broken when the former right-wing liberal Jean-Marie Dedecker left the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD) and entered the N-VA on behalf of the party executive. However, the party congress did not put Dedecker on the election list, instead preferring to continue the cartel with CD&V, who had strongly opposed placing him on a joint cartel list. Dedecker saw this as a vote of no confidence, and left the party after only 10 days, to form his own party, List Dedecker (LDD). Deputy leader Brepoels, who supported Dedecker, stepped down from the party board afterwards.

In the Belgian federal election of 2007 the CD&V/N-VA cartel won a major victory again, with a campaign focusing on good governance, state reform and the division of the electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde. They N-VA claimed five seats in the Chamber of Representatives and two seats in the Senate. Yves Leterme initiated coalition talks, which repeatedly stalled (see 2007–2008 Belgian government formation). On the 20 March 2008, a new federal government was finally assembled. N-VA did not join this government, but gave its support pending state reform.

The cartel ended definitely on 24 September 2008, due to lack of progression in state reform matters and a different strategy on future negotiations. N-VA left the Flemish Government and gave up its support of Leterme at the federal level.

Mainstream party

In the regional elections of June 2009, N-VA won an unexpected 13% of the votes, making them the winner of the elections, along with their old cartel partner CD&V. N-VA subsequently joined the government, led by Kris Peeters (CD&V). Bart De Wever chose to remain party leader and appointed Geert Bourgeois and Philippe Muyters as ministers in the Flemish Government and Jan Peumans as speaker of the Flemish Parliament.

Foundation and ideology

The New Flemish Alliance is a relatively young political party, founded in the autumn of 2001. Being one of the successors of the Volksunie (1954–2001), it is, however, based on an established political tradition. The N-VA works towards the same goal as its predecessor: to redefine Flemish nationalism in a contemporary, pro-European setting. Party leader De Wever calls himself a conservative and a nationalist.[23]

The N-VA argues for a Flemish republic, a member state of a democratic European confederation. The party believes that the challenges of the 21st century can best be answered by strong communities and by well-developed international co-operation, a position which is reflected in their tagline: "Necessary in Flanders, useful in Europe." (Dutch: Nodig in Vlaanderen, nuttig in Europa.)

A label for the political orientation of the N-VA is difficult to find as the party combines both left and right-wing policies. According to its 2009 election programme for Flanders, the N-VA is economically liberal and ecologically green. The N-VA supports public transport, open source software, renewable energy and taxing cars by the actual number of kilometres driven. It wants more aid for developing countries but also more compulsory measures to require that immigrants learn Dutch.[citation needed]

At European level, the N-VA is part of the European Free Alliance (EFA), a European political party consisting of regionalist, pro-independence and minority interest political parties, of which the People's Union was a founder member. During the 7th European Parliament of 2009–2014, the N-VA was a member of The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) group in the European Parliament. However, following the 2014 European elections, the N-VA moved to the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group.[24]

Party chairmen

Name Portrait From To
1 Geert Bourgeois Geert Bourgeois 2001 2004
2 Bart De Wever Bart De Wever 2004 present


At the federal elections in 2003 N-VA received 3.1% of the votes, but achieved only one seat in the federal parliament. In February 2004 they formed an electoral alliance (cartel) with Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V). The cartel won the elections for the Flemish Parliament. The N-VA received a total of 6 seats. However, on 21 September 2008 the N-VA lost its faith in the federal government and the following day minister Geert Bourgeois resigned. In a press conference he confirmed the end of the cartel CD&V/N-VA.

In the 2004 European elections, N-VA had 1 MEP elected as part of the cartel with CD&V.

In the 10 June 2007 federal elections, the cartel won 30 out of 150 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 9 out of 40 seats in the Senate.

In the regional elections of 11 June 2009, N-VA (now on its own after the split of the cartel with CD&V) won an unexpected 13% of the votes, making them the winner of the elections along with their former cartel partner. In the 2009 European elections held on the same day, the N-VA returned one MEP.

In the 2010 federal elections, N-VA became the largest party of Flanders and of Belgium altogether.

In the 2014 federal elections, N-VA increased their dominant position, taking away votes and seats from the far-right Flemish Interest. In the simultaneous 2014 regional elections and 2014 European elections, the N-VA also became the largest party in the Flemish Parliament and in the Belgian delegation to the European Parliament.

The six biggest Flemish political parties and their results for the House of Representatives (Kamer). From 1978 to 2014, in percentages of the total vote in Belgium.

Electoral results

Federal Parliament (Federaal Parlement)

Chamber of Representatives (Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers)
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
 % of language
group vote
# of
overall seats won
# of language
group seats won
+/– Government
2003 201,399 3.1
1 / 150
1 / 88
in opposition
2007 1,234,950 18.5 29.6 (#1)
5 / 150
5 / 88
11px 4 in opposition
In cartel with CD&V; 30 seats won by CD&V/N-VA.
2010 1,135,617 17.40 27.8 (#1)
27 / 150
27 / 88
11px 22 in opposition
2014 1,366,073 20.32 (#1)
33 / 150
33 / 87
11px 6 in coalition
Senate (Senaat)
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
 % of language
group vote
# of
overall seats won
# of language
group seats won
2003 200,273 3.1
0 / 71
0 / 41
2007 1,287,389 19.4 31.4 (#1)
2 / 71
2 / 41
11px 2
In cartel with CD&V; 14 seats won by CD&V/N-VA.
2010 1,268,780 19.6 31.7 (#1)
14 / 71
14 / 41
11px 12
2014 N/A N/A N/A (#1)
12 / 60
12 / 35
11px 2

Regional parliaments

Brussels Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
 % of language
group vote
# of
overall seats won
# of language
group seats won
+/– Government
2004 10,482 16.8 (#4)
0 / 89
0 / 17
in opposition
In cartel with CD&V; 3 seats won by CD&V/N-VA
2009 2,586 5.0 (#6)
1 / 89
1 / 17
11px 1 in opposition
2014 9,085 17.0 (#4)
3 / 89
3 / 17
11px 2 in opposition

Flemish Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
 % of language
group vote
# of
overall seats won
# of language
group seats won
+/– Government
2004 1,060,580 26.1 (#1)
6 / 124
in coalition
In cartel with CD&V; 35 seats won by CD&V/N-VA.
2009 537,040 13.1 (#5)
16 / 124
11px 10 in coalition
2014 1,339,946 31.88 (#1)
43 / 124
11px 27 in coalition

European Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
 % of language
group vote
# of
overall seats won
# of language
group seats won
2004 1,131,119 17.4 28.2 (#1)
1 / 24
1 / 14
In cartel with CD&V; 4 seats won by CD&V/N-VA
2009 402,545 6.13 9.88 (#5)
1 / 22
1 / 13
11px 0
2014 1,123,363 16.85 26.67 (#1)
4 / 21
4 / 12
11px 3


European Politics

European Parliament (2014–2019)
Name Parliamentary group
Johan Van Overtveldt European Conservatives and Reformists
Helga Stevens
Louis Ide
Mark Demesmaeker

Federal Politics

Chamber of Representatives (2014–2019)
Constituency Name Notes
23x15px Antwerp Rita Bellens
23x15px East Flanders Siegfried Bracke
23x15px East Flanders Peter Buysrogge
23x15px West Flanders An Capoen
23x15px Flemish Brabant Inez De Coninck
23x15px East Flanders Peter Dedecker
23x15px West Flanders Koenraad Degroote
23x15px Antwerp Zuhal Demir
23x15px Antwerp Peter De Roover
23x15px Antwerp Bart De Wever
23x15px Antwerp Sophie De Wit
23x15px East Flanders Christoph D'Haese
23x15px West Flanders Daphne Dumery
23x15px Flemish Brabant Theo Francken
23x15px West Flanders Rita Gantois
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Karolien Grosemans
23x15px Antwerp Jan Jambon Floor leader
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Werner Janssen
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Peter Luykx
23x15px Antwerp Koen Metsu
23x15px East Flanders Sarah Smeyers
23x15px Flemish Brabant Jan Spooren
23x15px East Flanders Goedele Uyttersprot
23x15px Antwerp Yoleen Van Camp
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Steven Vandeput
23x15px Antwerp Rob Van de Velde
23x15px Antwerp Valerie Van Peel
23x15px Flemish Brabant Kristien Van Vaerenbergh
23x15px West Flanders Jan Vercammen
23x15px West Flanders Brecht Vermeulen
23x15px Flemish Brabant Hendrik Vuye
23x15px Antwerp Bert Wollants
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Veerle Wouters
Senate (2014–2019)
Type Name Notes
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Community Senator TBD
Co-opted senator Jan Becaus
Co-opted senator Pol Van Den Driessche

Regional politics

Flemish Government Bourgeois (2014–2019)
Name Function
Geert Bourgeois Minister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy and Tourism
Liesbeth Homans Vice Minister-President and Flemish Minister for Local Government, Poverty Reduction, Housing, Civic Integration, Equal Opportunities, Cities and Social Economy
Ben Weyts Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, the Brussels Periphery and Animal Welfare
Philippe Muyters Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation, Science Policy and Sport
Flemish Parliament (2014–2019)
Constituency Name Notes
23x15px Antwerp Vera Celis replacing Liesbeth Homans, who became minister in the Flemish Government
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Jan Peumans
23x15px West Flanders Bert Maertens replacing Geert Bourgeois, who became minister in the Flemish Government
23x15px Flemish Brabant Peter Persyn replacing Ben Weyts, who became minister in the Flemish Government
23x15px East Flanders Matthias Diependaele Floor leader
23x15px Brussels-Capital Region Karl Vanlouwe
23x15px West Flanders Ann Soete
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Lies Jans
23x15px East Flanders Elke Sleurs
23x15px Flemish Brabant Nadia Sminate
23x15px Antwerp Kris Van Dijck
23x15px East Flanders Andries Gryffroy
23x15px Flemish Brabant Piet De Bruyn
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Grete Remen
23x15px Antwerp Annick De Ridder
23x15px West Flanders Wilfried Vandaele
23x15px Flemish Brabant Lorin Parys
23x15px West Flanders Axel Ronse
23x15px Antwerp Marc Hendrickx
23x15px East Flanders Marius Meremans
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Jos Lantmeeters
23x15px Limburg (Belgium) Jelle Engelbosch
23x15px Flemish Brabant Lieve Maes
23x15px West Flanders Cathy Coudyser
23x15px Antwerp Paul Van Miert
23x15px East Flanders Karim Van Overmeire
23x15px West Flanders Björn Anseeuw
23x15px Flemish Brabant Bart Nevens
23x15px East Flanders Ingeborg De Meulemeester
23x15px Antwerp Manuela Van Werde
23x15px Flemish Brabant Danielle Godderis-T'Jonck
23x15px East Flanders Sabine Vermeulen
23x15px Flemish Brabant Willy Segers
23x15px Antwerp Herman Wynants
23x15px East Flanders Miranda Van Eetvelde
23x15px Antwerp Kathleen Krekels
23x15px East Flanders Koen Daniëls replacing Lieven Dehandschutter, who remains Mayor of Sint-Niklaas
23x15px Antwerp Jan Hofkens replacing Philippe Muyters, who became minister in the Flemish Government
23x15px Antwerp Peter Wouters
23x15px Antwerp Ludo Van Campenhout
23x15px Antwerp Sofie Joosen
23x15px Antwerp Jan Van Esbroeck
23x15px Antwerp Tine Van der Vloet
Brussels Regional Parliament (2014–2019)
Name Notes
Liesbet Dhaene
Cieltje Van Achter
Johan Van den Driessche


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  2. ^ Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  3. ^ Pronunciation: About this sound Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie
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  8. ^, english information page
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  15. ^ a b Manifesto of the New Flemish Alliance point 13: "Inclusion for newcommers" (in Dutch)
  16. ^ Manifesto of the New Flemish Alliance point 6: "Pacifisme" (in Dutch)
  17. ^ Manifesto of the New Flemish Alliance point 3: "Flanders member state of the European Union" (in Dutch)
  18. ^ Beginselverklaring N-VA
  19. ^ Internationale persconferentie, Retrieved on 2010-06-14.
  20. ^ Knack Magazine election manifesto review 2014
  21. ^ FAQ | Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie "Is the N-VA a pro-Europe party?"
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  23. ^ Trouw: "Laat Belgie maar rustig verdampen", last seen April 8th, 2010.
  24. ^ Van Overtveldt, Johan (2014-06-18). "N-VA kiest voor ECR-fractie in Europees Parlement" [N-VA chooses ECR Group in the European Parliament]. (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-06-18. 

External links