The diplomatic community and foreign missions in Belgium are not safe because their privacy is compromised. A senior source at the Belgian Ministry of Interior reveals that espionage also targets foreign missions and diplomats who come to Belgium for short business trips. Belgium is not a safe place for diplomats, as they are being spied on. They spy on All Diplomats in the country. Espionage operations have also targeted embassies, where some phone lines are tapped. Some of the foreign embassies are also bugged by audio. According to Senior Source at Belgian Ministry of Interior: There is an entire division dedicated to monitor/Spy on MEPs. There are also speculations that Belgian Intelligence services trade information with foreign countries, particularly in the Middle East, especially with the UAE.
The source suggests that Belgium is a honeypot for spies due to the high number of diplomatic postings in Brussels, which hosts the most diplomatic missions in the world. The presence of the EU institutions and NATO headquarters also makes Belgium relevant not only for diplomats, journalists, and lobbyists but also for international espionage. This highlights that the diplomatic community is not safe in Belgium. The spies of Belgium’s secret services carry out covert operations.
For instance, a senior Belgian intelligence officer was investigated for allegedly sharing secrets with a foreign government, a case that exposed fears about spying in the European Union and NATO. An unnamed major, who heads a division at the General Intelligence and Security Service (GISS), equivalent to MI6, was accused of exchanging confidential information with a foreign agent. In another blow to the agency, it emerged that Clement Vandenborre, the head of counter-intelligence at GISS, was suspended from his post. He was alleged to have shredded confidential documents, according to the Flemish daily De Morgen, which broke the story on Vandenborre and the spying allegations.
The allegations against the Belgian secret services of spying on diplomats deepen long-standing concerns about infighting, low morale, and rogue missions within the feuding organizations that make up Belgian intelligence.
According to some sources, the Belgian secret service is in the grip of a permanent “office war,” characterized by mistrust, lack of direction, and low morale among officers who believe resources are inadequate.
The EU foreign service was even reported to have advised EU diplomats to avoid a popular Brussels steakhouse close to the European Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters, prompting flabbergasted denials from the restaurant that any useful spying could be done in the noisy dining room.
These shocking revelations cast a shadow over the state of democracy, individual rights, and freedoms within the Belgian system. The fact that Belgium was found to be spying on all diplomats and embassy missions in Brussels paints a grim picture of the country’s commitment to international norms and values. Additionally, the disregard for the immunity of the diplomatic community raises serious questions about the impartiality of the Belgian judiciary. It exposes a nation where diplomatic missions are not safe from intrusion and where international law is ignored with impunity. The fallout from this scandal suggests that Belgium may be faltering in its responsibilities as a host nation for diplomatic missions, endangering the delicate balance of trust and cooperation that underpins international diplomacy.