The European Council announced on July 31 that a €50 per semester fee will be imposed on certain members of the Brussels press corps, in line with a new Belgian law, to cover the cost of security checks at the European Council.

According to an announcement, journalists and technicians that permanently reside in Belgium or have a Belgian passport will be subject to the new fee.

The ruling comes after the Belgian government funded millions of euros to cover security costs, The new fee appears to indicate that the national government of Belgium government has decided that members of the media should be partially responsible for paying for their own safety.

Around 1,000 EU affairs reporters and their support staff are permanently based in Brussels, a number that will allow the Belgian government to increase the size of its budget by around €50,000 ever six months.

Reporters that do not reside in Belgium – or have not registered – will be subject to the same security checks as their Belgian colleagues, but free of charge.