Belgium in Brief: Why Would Thousands Gather In Bois de la Cambre? 
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Belgium in Brief: Why Would Thousands Gather In Bois de la Cambre? 

Credit: Belga

Some questions in life are difficult.

  • What is the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything?
  • How many roads must a man walk down?
  • What’s love got to do with it?
  • Why are over 10,000 people interested in a new party in Brussels de la Cambre?

Pop culture has answered a few of them, but to try and tackle the final question, we need a little context. Let’s do that.

This new event follows an April Fools’ party which drew thousands of people to Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre last week and ended in riots. That party – and the current coronavirus situation – prompted an open letter to Belgium’s youth written by Federal Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden calling on young people to “hang in there a little longer.”

“Think of something that will make the last few weeks weigh less. Be creative and motivate each other,” she said. “Think of a challenge and share it – and let us know how we can help.”

L’Abîme, the organisers of the new event, took up this challenge and called on Belgium’s youth to gather in the park again, and people seem interested.

“We have found an occupation for our young people who are experiencing a lack of freedom, parties, love and hugs,” the collective wrote. “We suggest that they help think up and organise La Boum 2 in the Bois de la Cambre.”

So… Why are over 10,000 interested in a new party in Brussels de la Cambre?

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure yet, but I’m sure we’ll find out if the event goes ahead.

What’s your take? Should it get government approval so there is some control? Will it inevitably end in chaos? Is the whole thing a meta event? Does that matter? 42?

Let @johnstonjules know on Twitter.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

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1. Back to School: Consultative Committee likely to meet next week

The next meeting of Belgium’s Consultative Committee will likely be held next week, in time to discuss the start of the school on 19 April, several government sources confirmed to the Belga news agency.

This new meeting will have the task of assessing the epidemiological situation and evaluating the measures taken during the previous meeting on 24 March. Read more.

2. Almost no queues to register for coronavirus vaccination reserve list today

There were almost no queues on the Qvax platform, which allows people to place themselves on a reserve list for a coronavirus, on Wednesday morning in comparison with yesterday’s rush.

On Tuesday morning, after the QVax platform was launched, people experienced waiting times of up to an hour as tens of thousands of people attempted to register at once. Read more.

3. EMA and Belgium to decide on use of AstraZeneca vaccine today

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be announcing its opinion on the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in the continent at 16:00 PM today, following new reports of blood clotting that were linked to the dose.

In its previous announcement on the vaccine following reports of blood clotting, which led to the suspension of the vaccine in several European countries, EMA stated that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Read More.

4. ‘Would make no sense’: Brussels won’t use Belgium’s vaccination reserve list

People in Flanders, Wallonia and the German-speaking community can register to get on Belgium’s vaccination reserve list via the federal QVax platform from today.

Residents of the Brussels-Capital Region, however, will be required to use a different system. Read more.

5. Police in Belgium have ‘insufficient insight into racism and illegal violence’

The police in Belgium don’t have sufficient insight into illegal police violence, discrimination, and racism within its ranks, as there are no clear, centralised figures on these incidents, an investigation by the General Inspectorate published on Tuesday found.

Following a thorough investigation, the General Inspectorate, which supervises the local and federal police services, found there is no overall picture of these incidents in the country as they are not being systematically registered. Read More.

6. 16-year-olds in Belgium will be able to vote in European elections from 2024

People from the age of 16 in Belgium will be allowed to vote in the European elections starting from 2024 after a bill to introduce the right to vote for people of younger age was put into practice, De Morgen reports.

The joint bill, which was introduced by the Green party and the Flemish conservative party Open Vld, was finalised in the federal coalition agreement at the end of last year, and aims to “restore confidence in politics and to ensure that the concerns of young people are given more weight in decision-making.” Read More.

7. Warning: Danger of slippery roads around Brussels

The roads into and around Brussels risk being slippery this morning because of snowfall, the Flemish agency for roads and traffic has warned.

Gritters are on routine stand-by in April as in winter, the agency explained, and have been out on major roads during the night. Snowfall has been relatively light but persistent, and fresh snow falling on melting snow is a particular risk. Read More.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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