Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Students at the College of Europe in Bruges have drawn criticism from local police after their end-of-year celebrations got out of hand.
During the celebration of the end of the academic year, “all corona measures were violated and the police officers copiously insulted,” the force said in a statement to Belga News Agency on Tuesday.
In consultation with the Rector’s office, it had been decided that various end-of-year parties scheduled for last night could be held at various locations on campus. The agreement specified that visitors were not allowed. However, about a hundred students found themselves in the same house and the situation escalated, with police intervention several times throughout the evening, according to reports.
“It is worrying that graduates of the College of Europe, who will one day be at the top of European politics, administration and diplomacy, are behaving in such a reprehensible and arrogant manner,” said Chief of Police Dirk Van Nuffel.
The event drew a comparison with incidents on Saturday night in Brussels, where police intervened to break up a crowd of partying young people gathered in their hundreds on Place Flagey in Ixelles.
The gathering took place after the cafes on the square had closed at 1:00 AM as required under the deconfinement rules. Despite the lack of bar service, the party continued.
“Last night we noticed that there were a lot of people present on Place Flagey,” said police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere. “We’re talking about several hundred people. We intervened and asked the people to leave the square. That was difficult because it was clear that they wanted to stay on and sing and dance together,” she said.
As for Bruges, Van Nuffel has said he believes there is a need for future discussions in order to make sure things are put right before the future academic year. “Young Europeans in Bruges should be an enrichment for the city, but this is less and less the case,” the chief explained.
The Brussels Times