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Protest against digitalisation of public services
Almost 400 people from a number of Brussels civil society associations are raising concerns about Brussels’ move to digitalise its regional and municipal administrative services, saying the switch will cause not only less tech-savvy residents to be left behind, but also discrimination.
Brussels minister for digital transformation Bernard Clerfayt (DéFi) put forth a draft "Digital Brussels" ordinance a year ago.
A demonstration at the Place de l'Albertine this week saw opponents of the plan presenting a placard that read ‘STOP digital by default’.
Demonstrators were part of a platform of more than 200 associations who fear the complete digitisation of administrations could have a discriminatory effect.
“The text does not guarantee the maintenance or development of offline means of communication - physical counters, telephone lines and paper mail,” the organisers said.
“Ambitious legislation should preserve a humane city, in which everyone has access to these services.”
The demonstration was followed by a questioning of the municipal authorities of the City of Brussels, as well a call to the public to help draft an “alternative digital code, respectful of rights, health, the environment and future generations”.
The draft ordinance will be submitted to the Brussels parliament by the end of 2023.