Flemish Interest calls for full transfer of powers to Länder around labour Unemployed people who do not follow calls in the context of 'passive availability', can be sanctioned.

In 2018, this was the case in Flanders with 9,157 unemployed people. Ninety-eight percent of them were also immediately sanctioned and 2 percent received a warning. In Wallonia, there are 5,828 people, but only 33.4% of them were effectively sanctioned here and no less than 66.6 percent only received a warning. This is shown by figures that Senator Guy D'haeseleer (Flemish Interest) requested from the Minister of Work Nathalie Muylle (CD&V). With the sixth state reform, the control and transfer of sanctions to the unemployed on passive availability was transferred to the regions. Passive availability means that an unemployed person does not have to apply for himself, but is obliged to respond to concrete job proposals from the VDAB. But it is clear that this regionalisation has led to a different sanctions policy in Flanders and Wallonia. That in itself does not have to be a problem, according to Senator D'haeseleer. "The labour market situation in Flanders and Wallonia is different and requires a different approach," it reads. "The problem, as so often, is that only a partial transfer of competence to the regions has been organised here, without the regions being responded to for their decisions. The result now is that in Wallonia one sanctions much more laxly than in Flanders." Further powers around the succession of unemployed for regions are needed, says Flemish BelangThe consequence of this is, says D'haeseleer, again a welfare transfer from Flanders to Wallonia. "It is the federal level, especially the Flemish taxpayer who is in the majority, that once again the Walloon bill can pay for this different policy", it continues. "Because while the vast majority of negligent Flemings are penalised for temporarily not receiving unemployment benefits, the vast majority of walen defaulted are paid further. A further transfer of these powers to the regions therefore arises, so that each region is responded to the policies it pursues." The different unemployment situation between Flanders and Wallonia is also apparent from the various reasons for which the regional labour services act sanctioning. In Flanders, this happens in 79% of cases because the unemployed person does not register with the placement service or to a vocational training service. In Wallonia, this is in only 49% of cases, while 43% of the penalties are imposed for not signing up to an employer (in Flanders it is only 5.5% of the penalties).