MP Roosmarijn Beckers asked Lieven Viaene to ‘resign’ if censorship allegations true

Sarhan Basem
Credit: ndtv

Brussels (Brussels Morning – March 29, 2024) Resignation calls echo as allegations of censorship and improper interference shake the foundations of the Flemish Education Inspectorate. Inspector General Lieven Viaene accuses Education Minister Ben Weyts of manipulating communication and censoring critical reports, sparking outrage and demands for accountability from Flemish Member of Parliament Roosmarijn Beckers.

Is the Minister Curtailing Inspectorate Independence?

Lieven Viaene’s revelations shed light on concerning practices within the Flemish Education Inspectorate. According to Viaene, Minister Weyts’ cabinet wields undue influence over inspectorate communications, stifling transparency and impeding the publication of policy-critical reports. The minister’s alleged censorship notably includes suppressing a damning report on air quality deficiencies in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting systemic infrastructure shortcomings.

Beckers, representing Vlaams Belang, underscores the gravity of these allegations, emphasizing the imperative of inspectorate independence for effective governance. She asserts, “If the allegations are true and the minister actually practices censorship, he has no choice but to resign.”

A Threat to Parliamentary Oversight?

Beckers contends that Minister Weyts’ actions constitute a direct challenge to parliamentary oversight, effectively nullifying the institution’s ability to scrutinize government policies. By stifling critical reports, Weyts obstructs the inspectorate’s role as parliament’s eyes and ears in the education sector, undermining democratic accountability.

The Vlaams Belang faction aims to address these concerns head-on, pushing for a hearing with both Lieven Viaene and Minister Weyts to elucidate the extent of governmental interference and censorship. Beckers insists, “If this shows that the allegations are true and he harms the decretal assignment of the inspectorate, then Weyts must respect himself and resign.”

As accusations swirl and pressure mounts, the fate of Minister Weyts hangs in the balance, with the integrity of education governance in Flemish regions at stake.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.