On Thursday, the Brussels government took several measures to support the economy of the Brussels-Capital Region and to strengthen security mechanisms, following the March 22nd attacks. In order to support the economic sector, two flagship measures have been put forward. Firstly there will be a temporary exemption of the City Tax for all hotel establishments, offset, for the communes, with 12 million euros in the regional budget. Secondly, support for business cashflows in waning sectors will be provided, through a temporary mechanism of specific guarantees by the Fonds Bruxellois de Garantie (which offers credit guarantees) and also by the granting of so-called crisis credits.
These measures will be presented to relevant social partners during an extraordinary meeting of the Comité Bruxellois de Concertation Économique et Social (CBCES – the Brussels committee for economic and social coordination) on April 20th. A dialogue has already started with a view to working towards more structural measures.
The Brussels-Capitale Region also intends to strengthen security within the area, through new centralised initiatives by the non-profit organisation Bruxelles-Prévention & Sécurité (which specialises in terrorism prevention and security).
In this context, on Thursday the government appointed both a top-ranking civil servant with responsibility for civil security and emergency planning, as well as the new head of day-to-day management of the organisation Bruxelles-Prévention & Sécurité who also has responsibility for ensuring execution of the Minister-President’s duties in this sphere.
A decision has been made to increase the operational capacity dedicated to the fields of both security and prevention, in particular within the public transport sphere. Furthermore a communication and regional crisis centre will be set up, which is integrated into an accelerated development of the video surveillance platform.
Moreover, members of the Vervoort government will meet on April 28th for a seminar to establish additional measures within these two spheres and consider workable avenues to re-establish the Region’s tarnished image.