'Unacceptable': Belgian PM slams Brussels mayor's attempt to shut down NatCon

Liberal Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo slammed the decision of a Brussels mayor to send police to shut down the National Conservatism Conference (NatCon) on Tuesday.

"What happened at the Claridge today is unacceptable. Municipal autonomy is a cornerstone of our democracy but can never overrule the Belgian constitution guaranteeing the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly since 1830. Banning political meetings is unconstitutional. Full stop," he posted to X.



Police arrived at the event, hosted by the Edmund Burke Foundation, and began blocking any further people from entering the venue shortly after it began. They even blocked lawyers for the host and Members of the European Parliament from entering the event which featured Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the Brexit Party in the UK, former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban.



Emir Kir, mayor of the St-Josse-ten-Noode commune in Brussels, posted his statement to X: "I issued an order from the Mayor to ban the 'National Conservatism Conference' event to guarantee public safety."

"In Etterbeek, Brussels City and Saint-Josse, the far-right is not welcome." 
 

The conference stated on X that they would be launching legal action against Kir's order. 

“There is no public disturbance and no grounds to shut down a gathering of politicians, intellectuals, journalists, students, civic leaders, and concerned citizens," they said. "The police entered the venue on our invitation, saw the proceedings and the press corps, and quickly withdrew. Is it possible they witnessed how peaceful the event is?" 

ADF International also announced they would be joining an "emergency legal challenge" against Brussels authorities.


Image: Title: alexander de croo
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