Two weeks after Paris 11/13 and the whole world is looking at Belgium and especially at Brussels as if it has become the most dangerous place in the world. I live in Belgium and over the past two weeks I got lots of messages from worried relatives and friends asking me what’s happening here. To tell you the truth, nothing special. The children are going to school and on field trips, streets and shopping malls are full of people, and the main topic of conversation is – as always – the weather. If it wasn’t for the media and the international press headlines screaming terror and danger, I wouldn’t even have realised that I’m living in such a dangerous place.
Today I heard an interview with Howard Gutman, former US ambassador to Belgium, and I have to agree with him that the reactions are completely disproportional.
Is Belgium Safe? Is Brussels Dangerous?
At this moment Belgium is the 14th safest country in the world on the Global Peace Index (GPI is the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness, and measures peace according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators/ for comparison, UK is 39th, US – 94th on that list).
Life in Brussels is back to normal, and not much has changed compared to a month ago. Yet some serious damage has been done to the image of the country and that of Brussels in particular, resulting in massive cancelations in the tourism sector. And that’s just one single aspect…
The truth is that Brussels is not any less safe than before 11/13, and as Mr. Gutman was joking ‘the most dangerous thing you are going to face in Belgium is the chocolate’ and the biggest risk is that of high cholesterol’.
So if you are hesitating whether you should come to Brussels for its Christmas markets or visit the famous bi-annual Brussels flower carpet in August 2018, reconsider. Belgium is a beautiful safe country that has so much to offer. You will absolutely love it here!