Belgium returns 100 square metres of land to the Netherlands
Share article:
Share article:

Belgium returns 100 square metres of land to the Netherlands

Credit: Pixabay

Belgium lost 100 square metres of its territory to the Netherlands this week following a realignment of the border, which turned out to be historically inaccurate.

On Thursday, construction workers started removing the black and yellow bricks that mark the Belgian-Dutch border in the Belgian municipality of Essen, in the Antwerp province. Between the Grensstraat and the Nieuwstraat, the line will be moved 1.80 metres towards the south, downsizing Essen with 100 square metres. The works are set to finish by 1 September.

The correction does not mean that some Belgian citizens will now be living on Dutch territory, though the Essen municipal centre for social welfare is now partially located in the Netherlands.

The realignment was realised by the Dutch border municipality of Roosendaal, with knowledge of the Essen municipality.

The decision came following a survey by the Belgian-Dutch border commission, which showed that the border had not been maintained correctly since 1843.

Related News:

 

In Essen, in the 19th century, the Belgian-Dutch border crossed through a canal. The landmark demarcating the border then had to be placed on the northern quayside of the waterway, in the Netherlands. The canal was later drained and filled in, but the landmark was not moved further south to correctly align with the border.

Belgium and the Netherlands have a long and sometimes complicated history, as (parts of) Belgium used to be part of the earlier versions of the Netherlands. Between 1815 and 1830, the two countries were temporarily unified as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The current border was officiated in 1843 with the Treaty of Maastricht.

To this day, there still exists one Belgian municipality that is entirely surrounded by Dutch territory: Baarle-Nassau. The municipality is located in the Dutch province of Northern-Brabant, 4.5 km from Belgium, and has over 6,000 inhabitants. Its total size is 76.36 square kilometres.

In March of this year, the border in Baarle-Hertog led to a complicated situation as the different coronavirus regulations in both countries led to one store only half opening, as it was located squarely on the line.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

Latest news

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 ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...