Brussels - Local authorities become slightly more transparent about municipal councils.
Flemish people who want to see draft decisions for the municipal council are at the mercy of the goodwill of local governments. In Wallonia, every municipality has recently been obliged to publish draft decisions five days before the council meeting.
By law, Flemish cities and municipalities only have to publish agendas, date, and place of the monthly session. A screening of all 300 Flemish cities and municipalities, shows that 3% do not meet the minimum obligation.
The check further reveals that one in three municipalities guides citizens through cryptic agenda items with explanatory notes. Only 12% of municipalities actively publish draft decisions. The results of the journalistic survey of 300 cities and municipalities are shown on an interactive map.
Thereby, Flemish cities and municipalities do slightly better than a similar 2022 screening. Yet they do worse than a similar 2021 survey in Wallonia.
Meanwhile, since October 2023, Walloon cities and municipalities have been required to publish their draft decisions five days before the municipal council. The decision came under pressure from media coverage and transparency organisation Transparencia.