Brussels journalists covering the European Union have complained that Belgium is breaching media freedom after being told they will have to pay 50 euros (44.43 pounds) to cover the next summit of EU leaders.
They were joined in their protests on Wednesday by the EU executive which, like the European Council which runs summits, urged their Belgian government hosts to reconsider a new law that makes people pay to be vetted by its security services.
“The implementation of the new measures will be evaluated and may, if necessary, be adjusted in the future,” Matthieu Branders said in a statement to Reuters.
Introduced on June 1, it came to journalists’ attention on Tuesday when the Council issued a routine invitation to accredit for coverage of the next quarterly summit in October. For the first time, it said that those based in Belgium must pay the Belgian authorities for their compulsory security screening.