Belgium has procedures to protect parliament from riots, assures Chamber
Share article:
Share article:

Belgium has procedures to protect parliament from riots, assures Chamber

Credit: Belga

Procedures exist to protect the democratic functioning of parliament in Belgium, said Eliane Tillieux speaker of the Chamber of Representatives, after the riots on the US Capitol.

Following the riots in Washington DC on Wednesday, Tillieux met with the security in charge of the parliament to go over the existing mechanism on Thursday.

The first of the parliament’s protections is the neutral zone in front of the building, which does not allow a gathering like the one that took place in front of the Capitol in the US. In case of proven risk, the gates of the parliament can be closed immediately, and the local police can be called in as reinforcements.

Additionally, badges are required to pass through the entrance gates of the buildings and, following the 2015 terrorist threat, security gates and bag-scanners have been installed at visitor access points.

Related News:

 

Potential danger is likely to come from an isolated individual, rather than from a mob of people, but the Chamber has evacuation plans in that case, according to Tillieux.

“Everything has been put in place to ensure maximum security in our assembly,” she told the Belga Press Agency.

The neutral zone was created in 1892 on the initiative of then-mayor of Brussels Charles Buls, for fear of workers’ riots in the capital. In 1954, it was incorporated into law.

It covers the area around the Brussels Park in which the Royal Palace, the Parliament, and the seat of government are located. It was later amended to adapt to the boundaries of the area to the evolution of Belgian institutions, and in 2017 to implement a comparable system in Namur, around the seat of the Walloon parliament, and in Eupen, around the German-speaking institutions.

In these neutral zones, open-air gatherings and individual demonstrations are prohibited. However, the rule is far from always respected by the demonstrators who regularly march in Brussels and who sometimes attempt to enter or enter the area before being chased away by the police.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...