The Belgian government wants to expand its influence on state-owned companies such as telecom operator Proximus and postal company Bpost.

In Belgium, state-owned companies enjoy a high degree of autonomy due to the Law on the Autonomy of State-owned Companies. The law permits state-owned companies to decide on certain matters without having to seek permission from the government.

Belgian newspapers report that Minister Petra de Sutter wants to put an end to this.

De Sutter seeks to amend the law. In doing so, the minister hopes to increase the government’s say in state-owned companies, including telecom company Proximus. A ministry-appointed observer is proposed, actively keeping the minister informed on the processes within an organization.

Appointment of Board of Directors

The proposal was prompted by the appointment of an independent member of the Board of Directors at Bpost. Bepost wanted an international candidate familiar with the US market. An independent agency found the candidate, while Minister De Sutter put forward his own candidate.

Bpost refused to include the minister’s candidate as an independent member in its Board of Directors. Resultingly, Minister De Sutter seeks to amend the law.

Tip: Proximus wants 65,000 fibre connections in West Flanders