Poles run for offices in Belgian local elections

Aerial view of Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Wim Robberechts/Photonews via Getty Images

About dozens of Poles who live in Belgium ran for offices in local elections in Brussels on Sunday.

Artur Orzechowski, the Polish ambassador to Belgium, urged Poles to vote in the election.

“I've spoken with several mayors of the districts of Brussels and municipalities around the city, and it turns out that, compared to previous elections, many more Poles have registered to take part in this year's elections,” said Mr Orzechowski.

Almost 150,000 Poles live in Belgium.

“Poles are also beginning to be noticed by political parties. There are many Polish names on the election lists in Brussels,” said Mr Orzechowski.

Polish candidates can also be found on the electoral lists in many other cities in Belgium.

Ewa Dolińska, a Polish candidate in the local election, said language barrier was a reason Poles refrained from taking part in politics.

“The Polish community consists mainly of people who came to Brussels after 2004 and they are the ones who do not speak French as well as the generation of immigrant families who were born in Belgium,” said Ms Dolińska.

Poland joined the European Union in 2004.