Trump’s visit to Belgium: negative opinion of the unions for the training site

On the basis of Friday’s visit and subsequent documents, the unions decided on Monday to deliver a negative opinion of the site planned for the special training on May 17 with a view to the visit of US President Donald Trump on May 24, said Frédéric Fortunato of the SNPS.

A senior committee, including the federal authority, is scheduled this week to prepare personnel management around this venue.

The training is planned on the Heysel plateau, more precisely at the old Palace 9, the former Ibis hotel, and the Bruparck village. It aims, among other things, to improve coordination between the different police forces mobilised.

In the hotel, the unions found glass debris and droppings. The tables in Palace 9, where police officers have to eat, are also covered with bird droppings. Compliance documents are lacking, particularly for asbestos and electricity. As it stands, the trade unions have issued a negative opinion. The prevention counselor also listed various conditions to be met in order to obtain a favorable opinion. The authority may decide to correct the deferred items and go ahead with the exercise. “If the exercise is canceled, it will not have a major impact on the performance of the staff from the 21st to the 25th because not all the staff were planned for the exercise. It will not reflect all the situations to be managed during these 4 days and it especially takes time to learn to do things correctly”, said Frédéric Fortunato. “Some parts of the exercise are feasible, including a football field on the site that could accommodate police officers safely.”

The NATO summit will bring together the heads of state in Brussels on 24 and 25 May. The visit of the American president will be accompanied by numerous demonstrations against his policy. The arrival of Turkish President Recep Erdogan at the same time is also likely to mobilise street protesters. Frédéric Fortunato underlined the deficiencies in training and expressed his concerns about the management of peripheral events.

The author: Michel THEYS

Michel Theys, a Belgian native, began his career as a civil servant, serving the public for several decades. After retirement, he shifted gears to follow his passion for journalism. With a background in public administration, Theys brought a unique perspective to his reporting. His insightful articles, covering a wide array of topics, swiftly gained recognition. Today, Michel Theys is a respected journalist known for his balanced and thoughtful reporting in the Belgian media landscape.

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