Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure BE-2020-24/970 – Updated – measures in Belgium
|Country||Belgium , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 08 June 2020 – 30 September 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
|Author||Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||13 July 2020 (updated 14 October 2021)|
On 6 June 2020, the Council of Ministers approved a draft royal decree to reduce the VAT rate applicable to certain restaurant and catering services.
Despite the designation 'restaurant services', this also concerns the provision of non-food drinks (if accompanied by a sufficient number of relevant additional services) in all possible on-trade outlets (cafés, taverns,...).
This measure will apply to all permanent or temporary establishments providing restaurant or catering service.
As a result of this Royal Decree, from the 8th of June 2020 until the 31st of December 2020 a reduced value added tax rate of 6% will apply to restaurant and catering services, excluding the supply of beers with an actual alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 0.5% as well as other beverages with an actual alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 1.2% by volume.
There will be no exceptions other than the alcoholic beverages mentioned above. This means that dishes with products that are even priced at 21% (caviar, crawfish, lobsters, crabs, oysters, ...) are also subject to the 6% VAT rate.
The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.
|06 August 2021||
On 21 April 2021, the Federal Government announced a new support package for the worst affected sectors, which includes the following measures:
There is no registration of the uptake of the measure, given the general nature of the measure, it can be estimated that the majority of the sector can make use of it.
|Does not apply to workers||
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Employers' associations like Horeca Vlaanderen have been negotiating lobbying heavily with the competent ministers to achieve additional support measures for the HORECA sector.
As is to be expected, sectoral employers' organisations are clear proponents of these types of support measures. They have stated publicly that a reduction in VAT in particular is needed to increase the income of HORECA establishments and have defended this measure with the competent ministers.
This case is sector-specific (only private sector)
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities||I55 Accommodation|
|I56 Food and beverage service activities|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2020), Temporary tax reduction in the HORECA sector, measure BE-2020-24/970 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BE-2020-24_970.html
30 January 2023
Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.Article
12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
5 July 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.