Police domestic visits – 49 communes in Wallonia and Brussels to decide on issue
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    Police domestic visits – 49 communes in Wallonia and Brussels to decide on issue

    © Belga
    Belgian communal councils are in the process of voting upon their treatment of migrants residing in Belgium without permission.
    © Belga

    In Wallonia and Brussels, 42 communes have already adopted a motion against a bill targeting allowing domestic visits to third parties, with a view to arresting migrant individuals, residing in Belgium without permission. The information comes from a statement by the Ecolo party. No less than 54 communes are being asked to come to a decision upon this by the end of March. Of these, 49 will have done so by the end of this week.

    The text of the motion was only rejected in nine communes, namely Etterbeek and Koekelberg in the Brussels region and Braine-le-Comte, Braives, Gesves, Lessines, Libramont, Villers-la-Ville and Wavre in Wallonia.

    In the Brussels region, 10 communes have already adopted the motion. These communes are Bruxelles-Ville, Anderlecht, Evere, Forest, Ganshoren, Ixelles, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort and Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe. Five Brussels communes are due to make a decision upon the issue this week. The relevant communes are Auderghem, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Jette, Saint-Gilles and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.

    Amongst the 32 Walloon communes which have already adopted a motion against domestic visits, in particular Liège, Mons and Namur feature. Of the 49 still required to make a decision by the end of March, 44 will submit an appropriate text to their respective municipal councils this week; those of particular note being Charleroi, Tournai and Arlon.

    In Flanders, only the commune Drogenbos has adopted a motion against such domestic visits if the statement published on February 23rd on the Facebook group “Communes hospitalières” can be believed. A vote is scheduled for this week in Antwerp (Monday) and Kraainem (Tuesday). The communes Balen and Wezembeek-Oppem should follow suit over the course of the next few weeks.

    The texts differentiate given communes from others. However, in substance they call upon the federal government to reconsider its position, having regard to the various opinions by the Council of State, the Belgian Bar Council, the Association of the Judiciary, the Bishops of Belgium and the various citizen associations. These bodies are also inviting the federal parliament to reject all bills aiming to allow such domestic visits. The texts are mainly being sent to the President of the parliament, the various heads of parliamentary groups, the Prime Minister, as well as all ministers for the Interior and Justice ministers.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times