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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Freedom EU style

We were over in Brussels yesterday testing the temperature before the big summit next week. When EU leaders arrive the entire area around the Council and Commission buildings will be fenced off so that the great unwashed can't get near to the politicians and journalists inside.

But never let it be said that our masters in Brussels don't run a benevolent regime. They have set up a "freedom of expression" zone just up the road where people will be allowed to protest. The catch is that any protest needs to get authorisation from the Brussels police.

As one Brussels punter put it : "freedom of expression... but only with permission".


T said...

I think it is quite unfair to blame the EU for this. First, any demonstration in any liberal democracy needs to be vetted by the local authority/police. Second, if there were anyone to blame for this than not the EU but the local authorities.

Open Europe blog team said...

Good to see you back Tomas!

Rather than "blame the EU", I think we were just suggesting that it is a bit paradoxical to have a permission only "free expression zone".

Perhaps they should have called it a "regulated expression zone" instead...

Anonymous said...

Err, no, you were clearly blaming the EU. The post clearly reads, 'Our masters in Brussels...have set up a "freedom of expression zone"...'. Surely you believe that it is the EU who are 'our masters', not the Belgian police? Instead of just denying you said it, why not just correct yourselves? You never know, correcting yourselves could become a good habit.