Journalists and technicians of Belgian nationality or residing in Belgium will have to pay 50 euros if they wish to attend the European summits in Brussels. The fee requested is to cover the security checks carried out every 6 months by the Belgian authorities, announced the Council of the European Union on its media accreditation page.
The website of the Council also reads, “Since June 1st, 2018, a new Belgian law provides for a 50 euro fee for the employers of any person subject to a security check by the Belgian authorities. This control currently has a validity of 6 months. An invoice will be sent to the employer by the Belgian authorities.”
Several journalists reacted to the new measures via Twitter and other social media outlets.
There seem to be some loopholes and even discriminatory aspects of the new law. For instance, if salaried journalists can rely on their employers to pay the fee, this is not the case for the self-employed one, who will have to pay it themselves. This new rule also makes a distinction between, on the one hand, correspondents sent from time to time to cover European summits and, on the other hand, journalists based in Brussels and responsible for daily monitoring of European politics. Correspondents, as far as it has been understood, will be exempt from this fee.