THE European Parliament in Brussels is being clad with bomb proof glass amid warnings from insiders that inadequate security makes it a soft target for lone wolf jihadis, express.co.uk can reveal.
Eurocrats have ordered a major upgrade of the complex’s defences following a series of Islamist terror attacks across the continent, including in the Belgian capital.
Staff were sent an internal memo, seen by express.co.uk, announcing the major renovation which will see four buildings at the Espace Leopold fitted with reinforced glass.
Insiders at the parliament warned the complex could be an easy target for lone wolf jihadis, giving examples of lax security and design weaknesses with the buildings.
The main parliament building, which is made almost entirely of glass, is packed with around 6,000 staff looking after the workings of the assembly every day.
An insider said: “You could easily drive a vehicle right up to the building, and we know how ISIS use car bombs.
“The security at the parliament seems pretty lax at times.”
The source added they had once swapped photo passes with another member of staff to test the security, and both had simply been waved inside.
In contrast, Britain’s Parliament is surrounded by a ring of steel including armed officers, anti-vehicle bollards and round-the-clock surveillance.
And now, after the Brussels airport bombings earlier this year, eurocrats finally seem to be addressing the apparent deficiencies in the security surrounding Europe’s seat of power.
In an email to staff, the Directorate-General for Security and Safety at the site said: “Work will be undertaken to reinforce the external glass frontage of Parliament’s central buildings in Brussels.
“This work will be carried out in a phased manner.
“Members and staff are kindly informed that the offices with external windows will be unavailable for one/two hours while the protective films are applied.”
The work began on Monday (29th) and is expected to last for around three weeks.
The futuristic EU Parliament building was completed in 1995 and underwent a major renovation in 2008.
And UKIP MEP Mike Hookem, who has an office in the complex, said the designers should have foreseen the potential threat given Europe’s long history of fighting against terrorism.
He said: “This is another example of the total lack of planning by the EU. Obviously any glass fronted building which is a potential target for terrorists should have all measures taken to protect the people who work here and visitors.
“An explosion here has the potential to cause many deaths and casualties.
“The Houses of Parliament have been protected for years.
“It is worrying no one thought back in 2008 when this building was being improved that they should take measures against terrorism, but it was only when tragedy happened on their doorsteps they realised their folly and the melting pot of tensions which has been growing in Brussels and across Europe.
“So now the taxpayer must fork out again for people who have passed legislation like open borders which have made them less safe. It’s a double whammy.”
An EU Parliament spokesman refused to divulge how much the bombproofing is costing, but the EU parliament has a budget of 18.5 million euros to cover security and surveillance of its buildings in 2017.
He said: “The European Parliament’s security measures are based on indications given by and taken in close cooperation with the security services of the countries where the Parliament is located.”
Brussels has also been forced to establish a contingency fund to pay for repairs in the event of a terrorist attack after its risk cover was “revoked” by insurance companies.