Belgium in Brief: Plan Ahead, Please

Belgium in Brief: Plan Ahead, Please
Credit: Canva/ Belga

The arrival of US President Joe Biden in Belgium is dominating headlines as he meets with prominent EU leaders as part of his first official trip abroad since assuming the presidency.

Fascinating, and way more on it here, but not the focus of the newsletter today.

Instead, I want to talk about the odd little addition that comes with any visit of a high ranking official to Belgium.

The dreaded security perimeters.

Venturing around the city can start to feel more like an art than science, especially for those with the misfortune of venturing into the Bubble. Getting from point A to point B often requires redirection through C-F, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people recall stories of how they planned to leave the city only to learn the ring road is partially closed, while the rest is at a standstill.

So no, today is not about Biden, more of a heads up to anyone with plans. Here are the currently planned disruptions, learn them well, study them before you go anywhere.

AND PLEASE, if you happen to see any more, let @johnstonjules know.

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1. Brussels Airlines resumes flights to the US

Brussels Airlines is resuming its flights to the United States from today/Monday, with a flight to New York being the company’s first transatlantic flight since March 2020. Read more.

2. US President Joe Biden arrives in Belgium for historic visit

Credit: Belga

US President Joe Biden has arrived in Belgium for a historic visit as part of his first official trip abroad since assuming the presidency. Read more.

3. Biden visit and NATO summit will disrupt traffic in Brussels: Find out where and when

President of the United States Joe Biden landed in Belgium on Sunday evening and will stay in Brussels from 13 to 15 June, which will result in the closing off of several districts in the region and the disruption of traffic. Read more.

4. ‘No concrete steps have been taken’ in decolonisation of Brussels’ public spaces, say MPs

A year after the Brussels Parliament asked the government to start decolonising the capital’s public spaces, no concrete steps have been taken towards that end, according to MPs Soetkin Hoessen (Green) and Kalvin Soiresse Njall (Ecolo), who led that first initiative. Read more.

5. Only Chile and Poland have less public trust in government than Belgians

Belgium is third from the bottom of the table of nations expressing their level of trust in government, according to a survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Read more.

6. Temperatures to hit 33 °C this week

Belgium’s sunny weather will continue into this week, with temperatures expected to hit 30 °C before storms roll in towards the weekend. Read more.

7. Jacques Brel’s yacht could become protected heritage

The restoration of the imposing yacht once owned by late Belgian singer Jacques Brel is almost finished and could now become protected under the national patrimony. Read more.

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