The parliamentary Commission for the Interior in the Chamber of Representatives has decided to seek the opinion of local authorities regarding a bill which will create neutral zones around the parliaments for the individual federal regions in Brussels. There is an issue in Brussels. Here the well-known site containing the statue of Manneken Pis may find itself being located in the area where the neutral zone of the regional parliament will be.
The bill was tabled by the President of the Chamber of Representatives, Siegfried Bracke, by applying an agreement of the Conference of Presidents within the parliament.
There is only one neutral zone, where demonstrations are illegal, around the Palais de la Nation, the seat of the federal parliament, as well as the Flemish and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation parliaments which are next to it.
Following the Paris attacks, it seemed necessary to increase the security around the other assemblies, being the Walloon parliament in Namur, the German-speaking parliament in Eupen and the Brussels parliament.
This was done by, in particular, creating a neutral zone of around 200 metres. The Brussels deputy and alderwomen, Karine Lalieux, however remarked that the potential problem for the Brussels parliament, is its location on the Rue du Chêne. This is right in the tourist centre, a stone’s throw from the site of Manneken Pis, a top tourist attraction.
To avoid any problems, the Commission will therefore discuss this matter with the relevant local authorities.