First Meeting with the New Belgian Minister of Defence
On 27 October 2020 the Belgian trade unions had a first encounter with Ms Ludivine Dedonder, who took the oath on 1 October 2020 as the first female Minister of Defence of Belgium. In view of the corona restrictions in place, the meeting with the minister was organised online.
‘Our’ new minister was very clear about her priorities: the recapitalisation of the workforce will be the main priority during her term of office. Human resources will no longer serve as a balancing item in the defence budget.
In addition to efforts to enhance the military recruitment, initiatives will be launched to improve retention and thus reduce the outflow of disappointed service members. Her main line of effort in this field will be a better remuneration by means of a revision of the wages.
She also underlined her intentions to come to a more convenient and modern infrastructure for all units and to provide adequate resources to work and operate in a correct way.
In addition, Minister Dedonder emphasized the importance of a solid support base and large ‘buy-in’ for the armed forces within society. This will be a particular focus during her term of office.
The minister also explained another spearhead of her policy the coming years: to regain the trust of the workforce in the defense organization. Military personnel should no longer have the feeling that they are a commodity that can be used at the discretion of the members of the government or military leaders.
Ms Dedonder finally stressed the importance of a good dialogue with the social partners. The military trade union ACMP-CGPM can only welcome such an approach. Consequently, we are looking forward to a constructive cooperation in the interest and for the benefit of all service members.