Vlaams Belang, “Flemish Interest”, the Belgian political party which is pushing for the independence of Flanders, is a threat to European Union. An independent Flanders — especially when led by a conservative free-market party like Vlaams Belang — would be an affront to everything the EU stands for. It would resurrect the unfashionable idea of nationhood, a concept which would shake the European enterprise to its very foundations.
The breakup of Belgium would be a dress-rehearsal in miniature for the dissolution of the EU, and so must be prevented at all costs. One method of dealing with the upstarts of Vlaams Belang is to go after them legally, and the European Parliament is now considering revoking the parliamentary immunity of a prominent member of Vlaams Belang so that he can be prosecuted for “racism”.
According to the Vlaams Belang website, as translated by our Flemish correspondent VH:
The immunity of Vanhecke
This afternoon [September 8] the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament is examining the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of Frank Vanhecke.
A few months ago, CD&V [Christian Democrat] Minister of Justice Vandeurzen asked for the lifting of the immunity after a complaint by Freddy Wilockx (SP.A [Socialist Party]), for the purpose of being able to prosecute the former Vlaams Belang chairman on the basis of the Racism Law.
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Nobody less than Guido Naets, a former journalist of the VRT [Flemish Radio and Television] and former spokesman for the European Parliament, defends Frank Vanhecke. “In the almost 30 years that I have known Frank Vanhecke, since he became the assistant to Karel Dillen [one of the founders of the VB], I have never been able to catch him on any form of racism whatsoever,” Guido Naets said. “Vanhecke will be prosecuted because he is a symbol for a party that wants to abolish Belgium, like Cato in Rome ended every speech to the Senate in Rome with the words ‘ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam’ [‘Furthermore, I think Carthage should be destroyed’].” (…) “For all these reasons I beg the European Parliament, beginning with this Commission [Committee on Legal Affairs], not to become an accessory to a political lynching party and an attempted smear attack of a radical Flemish party, in which racism is to be used as just a cheap justification. Belgium today is facing one of the biggest challenges since it separated from the Netherlands in 1830; it would be very unwise if the European Parliament were to choose sides in the community negotiations [between the Flemish and the Walloons].”
Frank Vanhecke, who incidentally will be nominated by the board as leading candidate for Vlaams Belang in the European elections, risks losing his political rights — and therefore his mandate in the European parliament — as well as the opportunity to participate in the [European] elections of June 2009.