Talk Weds. 18th May at 7pm  "Intelligence and security in Belgium: a historical perspective"

It is our great pleasure to invite you to a topical speaker-meeting on security and intelligence in Belgium in these days of increased threats.

Kenneth Lasoen read International Security and Intelligence at Pembroke College and researches intelligence and security at Ghent University and the Belgian Intelligence Studies Centre. He recently published “185 Years of Belgian Security Service” in the Journal of Intelligence History and has received coverage in the national press as a security expert. He will address members on Belgian intelligence. In light of recent events, much has been said about the country’s scattered security landscape and the trouble the police and security services have to work together. Belgium has a long intelligence history, having in fact the oldest security service in continuous existence. Since the installation of a standing review committee to oversee Belgium’s two intelligence services, one of the most important aspects of intelligence work the committee was to watch over, has been the coordination of and cooperation between the services. This talk offers historical insight into the development of the Belgian intelligence services and will look at how coordination and cooperation have been governed, in addition to the general performance of the services in working with each other and other partners in various fields of national security. Drawing conclusions from these 20 years of trial and error interaction, some suggestions are made towards ensuring higher degrees of coordination and effectiveness within the fold of the new National Security Council that was installed in 2015, by providing for a leadership function.

The talk will take place on Wednesday 18 May from 18:30h at the brasserie Aux Armes de Bruxelles, 13 Rue des Bouchers, 1000 Brussels (near Central Station and the Grand Place – ample parking is also available at Ecuyer).

Proceedings will follow the usual pattern of drinks, talk and discussion at 19.00h followed by an optional dinner at 20.30 for those who would like to stay on.

Attendance at the talk is free for subscribed members of the Society and one guest, €5 per head for others.

Those staying on for dinner will be served the Menu Brasserie for €25, consisting of a main course and a dessert in traditional Belgian style. Choices are between Norwegian salmon with pommes duchesse or Waterzooi (a Ghent chicken and vegetable stew with steamed potatoes) for main, and Vanilla ice cream with raspberry coulis or Callebaut chocolate mousse for dessert.

Numbers for dinner and their choice will need to be known by 16 May at the latest.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at this event.