The impossible harmonization of parking in Brussels

2023-08-05 01:00:24

The Brussels Region has imposed a price increase for parking throughout its territory. But the City of Brussels has decided to go it alone.

The City of Brussels does not respect the parking rates set by the Brussels Region. It was a municipal councilor from Ixelles, Geoffroy Kensier (Les Engagés), who raised the hare. While questioning the Ixellois college on the increase in parking prices and consistency with neighboring localities, it emerged that only the City had not adapted the amounts.

For example, the first half hour of parking costs only 50 cents while the Region imposes a rate of 90 cents. “The City of Brussels does not play the game and therefore remains more attractive. This creates a situation of discrimination vis-à-vis other municipalities and residents“, deplores the humanist local elected official.

As a reminder, the parking ordinance of 6 July 2022 and the decree of 11 November 2022 relating to regulated parking zones and derogation cards led to an increase in prices for the entire Brussels Region. The objective was to harmonize the rules and reduce the influence of parking on public space by promoting the transfer to off-street parking.


While article 14 of the decree provides that it comes into force on the first day of the 6th month following its publication, i.e. May 1, several municipalities are still not in order. According to an inventory by Parking.Brussels, the 11 municipalities that have delegated parking competence to the agency are in the green. Among the eight non-delegating municipalities, some like Saint-Gilles and Uccle are compliant, others like the two Woluwe are in the process of being so. In Etterbeek, the amount of the red zone is not in conformity and in Saint-Josse it is the price of the resident card which remains too low (5 euros).

The City of Brussels, which obviously assumes not to walk in the nails, recalls that its new parking regulations, adopted a year ago, would be the most ambitious in the Region with in particular the Pentagon and the Heysel in the gray zone and all roads now regulatedincluding in Haren and Neder-over-Heembeek.

“The idea is not to robotically pass the ordinance as quickly after the latest version of the parking bylaw is implemented.”

Bart Dhondt (Green)

Brussels Alderman for Mobility

“The idea is not to robotically pass the ordinance on so quickly after the implementation of the latest version of the parking regulations. The first step is to assess what measures have been taken, and only then , the college will be responsible for a possible adaptation”, indicates the spokesman of the alderman of Mobility Bart Dhondt (Groen).

Legal fragility

What means does the Region have to enforce its decree on parking rates? In the office of the Brussels Minister for Mobility, we are told that there are several possible levers. It is possible to turn to the regional Minister for Local Authorities Bernard Clerfayt (DéFi) who exercises administrative supervision over municipalities. Decisions taken by the colleges and communal councils can be annulled in the event of illegality.

The parking ordinance also allows the government, if it finds that a municipality is not correctly carrying out its control and collection missions or does not respect the rates in force, to instruct Parking.Brussels to carry out these missions at the site of this municipality. Clearly, the regional executive could force the municipalities to delegate parking to the agency. However, this is not on the agenda, specifies the cabinet of Elke Van den Brandt (Groen).

Finally, there is the question of legality. In the event of legal action, the regulation of the City of Brussels would undoubtedly be annulled. Due to the hierarchy of standards, a municipal regulation is supposed to respect a regional order. The City did not respond to our questions on this point. On the side of the Region, it is underlined, probably rightly, that the chances are low that an individual will go to court to have the non-compliance of the municipal regulations noted when the regional tariffs are higher.

If the difference in the amounts in question may seem derisory, this sequence ultimately demonstrates above all the great difficulty of harmonizing the parking policy. Even though the competence is managed by two people from the same party in the City and the Region. For the citizen, however, it makes no sense to be subject to different tariffs from one street to another. It is with a view to making the parking policy more homogeneous that the Parking.Brussels agency has been operating since 2014 and that a new ordinance was adopted in 2021.

The summary

  • The Brussels Region has imposed new parking prices in 2022.
  • The objective was to harmonize the parking policy, but some municipalities still do not follow.
  • This is the case of the City of Brussels, which does not intend to comply.
  • The Region could theoretically force municipalities that do not comply with regional regulations to delegate this competence to Parking.Brussels.

#impossible #harmonization #parking #Brussels

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.