Brussels government wants to open Laeken royal park to the public
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    Brussels government wants to open Laeken royal park to the public

    The question of whether or not the royal park in Laeken should be opened to the public is one that comes up almost once a year. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

    For the first time, the Brussels government approved a document on Tuesday that expresses its interest in making the royal park of Laeken partially accessible to the public via “group visits.”

    In consultation with all those involved, the team of Brussels Prime Minister, Rudi Vervoort (PS), wants to cooperate with other stakeholders in the interest of such an opening, Bruzz explains.

    “If openness was envisaged by the responsible authorities [who would be involved in the discussions], in order to make the public benefit from the park’s exceptional biodiversity, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region would be interested in being associated with the [implementation of its opening] in a supervised manner, through group visits,” spokesperson for the Vervoort cabinet, Nancy Ngoma told BX1.

    The document, which highlighted that in the event of a public opening the safety of the royal family must be guaranteed, was approved in response to a question posed in the House Affairs Committee, which asked the government to take an opinion on the issue.

    Although the government is not currently in the process of opening the royal park, if working groups were set up the government is ready and willing to take part in discussions, Ngoma added.

    Importantly, however, the Brussels government alone wanting to open the royal park does not mean that the park can be opened. The initiative must come from the Royal Trust and Buildings Agency who are the owners of the site.

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    “This is an important political signal. Many Brussels residents crave greenery in that part of the region. It is not logical to reserve such a large area for one family,” said Flemish MP Hannelore Goeman.

    The question of opening the royal park in Laeken is one that surfaces almost every year- normally brought forward by a Dutch-speaking MP.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times