Belgian commission of inquiry issues hundreds of recommendations

Belgian commission of inquiry issues hundreds of recommendations

Inquiry looks at the emergency services in case of a terrorist attack The parliamentary inquiry into the terrorist attacks of March 22 has delivered 311 observations and recommendations in the first part of its mission that is dedicated to the work of the emergency services.

A meeting in a closed session ended on Tuesday night (19 July). A second meeting is expected to take place on Wednesday for the final reading. A unanimous vote is expected although two points still are open to debate.

The findings and recommendations involve very different aspects: commemoration events, emergency plans particularly in cases of terrorism, assistance and support to victims, communication, and the role of the crisis center.

Although the idea of ​​a federal operational command center, as advocated by the experts in the commission, was not retained,  it was agreed to strengthen the management unit of the crisis center by establishing an information platform  for  follow-up of decisions in order to avoid the “cascading” of information.

According to several sources, the discussions were held in a constructive spirit, but loud voices were also heard, including by the chairman of the inquiry, Patrick Dewael, at some members of the majority to avoid politicization of the debate and a majority vote  against the opposition in this matter.

Two remaining points are still unsettled: an amendment concerning the coordination role of the Minister of the Interior in the event of a terrorist attack and the definition of the role of a high-ranking official in the Brussels Region compared to that of the Minister-President.

Belga news agency learned on Wednesday evening (20 July) that the points still need to be resolved. The experts of the commission were tasked to redraft certain clauses in the report.

The Brussels Times (Source: Belga)

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