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Leonid Bershidsky

Want to Secede? Follow the Flemish

Flemish nationalists headed by Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever may me the most effective secessionist force in the EU thanks to their gradual approach to change.
Flying the other flag.
Flying the other flag.

Who are the most successful separatists in the European Union? Well, it's clearly not the Scots, and it's probably not going to be the plucky Catalans. No, it's the quietly stubborn Flemish.

On Wednesday, Belgium formed a federal coalition government, which for the first time will include the Flemish nationalist party, N-VA. Bart De Wever, the party's leader and the mayor of Antwerp (and a man who once denied the existence of Belgium as a country) has agreed to take a step-by-step approach to dissolution. For now, his goal is a loose confederation of Belgium's three regions: prosperous Dutch-speaking Flanders, less prosperous francophone Wallonia and the bureaucrat-filled capital, Brussels.