Netherlands to reduce Belgium border checks

Royal Military Police (Photo: Koninklijke Marechaussee/Facebook)Royal Military Police (Photo: Koninklijke Marechaussee/Facebook)

The Netherlands is reducing border checks between the Netherlands and Belgium to 12 hours a day, instead of 24 hours a day, a spokesperson for the Koninklijke Marechaussee said to RTL Nieuws on Friday.

The Koninklijke Marechaussee is a policing force that works as a branch of the military. They are responsible for, among other things, security at airports and border controls.

The 24 hour a day border checks were implemented by the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security following the terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22nd. They caused massive traffic jams between the Netherlands and Belgium, but as far as is known, no arrests were made. While the checks are now being reduced, other measures including the speed limit will stay in force.

The extra border checks received criticism from across the border, according to RTL Nieuws. The Belgian police stated that "no terrorist is stupid enough to join the traffic jam". And the mayor of border village Maasmechelen called them not very meaningful, "but perhaps the Netherlands wants to create a sense of security".