Share article:
Share article:

Brussels to organise public debate about 5G roll-out

Credit: Belga

On Wednesday morning, Brussels Environment Minister Alain Maron announced that he wants to organise a public debate about 5G, to ensure that decisions on emission standards are taken in full transparency.

According to the Minister, the commercial offer for a so-called “5G light” launched by Proximus in some 30 municipalities across Belgium during the lockdown, demonstrated the need for a public debate.

MPs from almost all parties asked questions in the Environment Committee on Wednesday about the roll-out of a 5G network in Brussels, reports Bruzz.

The auction of 5G licences has been blocked, mainly because of political disagreements on the distribution of the proceeds.

At the moment, the tests for a 5G light network are almost exclusively happening in Flanders, as the Brussels’ radiation standards are too strict, and protests in Wallonia have stopped the rollout in several municipalities.

“The Region is not responsible for the 5G licences as such, only for the radiation standards, the licences needed for the antennas, and the fiscal aspect,” said Maron.

“Personally, I am in favour of the tax on the antennas becoming a regional competence, because now every municipality does its own thing and there are several lawsuits,” he said, adding that Bernard Clerfayt, Minister for Local Governments is in charge of that.

Related News:


“Everyone must be able to understand the issues at stake in terms of the environment, health, the economy and uses. On many of these points, the experts disagree with each other, and there is some controversy,” Maron told L’Echo, adding that he wants to hold a serene debate.

“The conspiracy theories linking the coronavirus to 5G will only develop more as decisions are taken without transparent debate,” he added.

What that public debate should look like, has not been decided yet. “It may take the form of a community consultation, a public inquiry, hearings or a traditional committee of inquiry,” he said.

“The government will discuss the appropriate form and decide as quickly as possible. Experts will certainly be involved in the debate,” Maron stressed.

The cabinets of the ministers concerned will start mutual consultations this week. When the debate will be held is not clear yet, but this is not a delay mechanism, he said. “After all, the licenses will still be issued this legislature,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels pharmacies report rush on rapid tests due to Covid Safe Ticket
Many pharmacists in Brussels have noticed a remarkable increase in the demand for Covid-19 tests this weekend, following the official expansion of ...
Students filmed naked on ULB campus given a warning
A group of students caught on camera mimicking sexual acts on the campus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) have been issued an official ...
EU Digital Covid Certificate becomes an international success story
The European Commission adopted on Monday a report on the EU Digital Covid Certificate and its implementation across the EU. According to the ...
Belgian chocolatier agrees to $15 million settlement over misled consumers allegations
Internationally recognised Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva has reached a $15 million (€12.9 million) settlement after US consumers said they ...
‘Buying second home does not mean you are rich’: government disagrees on tax break
The Francophone liberal MR party and the Flemish socialist Vooruit party strongly disagree on the current scheme for tax benefits on people's second ...
EMA starts evaluating Pfizer vaccine for children over 5 years old
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating an application to extend the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to children ...
Energy prices: EU’s demand and supply dilemma in importing natural gas
The European Commission adopted last week a plan on how to tackle the rise in global energy prices in the short-term while relying on the transition ...
Tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels’ outskirts to airport
Works on a tram line connecting Brussels, the NATO headquarters and Brussels Airport in Zaventem, which could attract up to 10,000 passengers a day, ...
SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp
In a joint project between Belgium’s federal police and the Brussels Capital Ixelles Policing Area, 15 European police officers visited Antwerp to ...
Offshore wind farms could help reach climate neutrality by 2050
A study carried out by the Bureau fédérale du Plan (BFP) – an independent Belgian organisation that investigates questions of environmental and ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
STIB launches free transport for Museum Night Fever this weekend
STIB buses will run between Brussels museums for free on Saturday night as part of the Museum Night Fever celebrations taking over the capital.  ...