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Geopolitical risks

Entrance hall of the European Parliament in Brussels
Geopolitical risks arise when international relations between countries change and possibly lead to tensions. Such risks can be intentional or non-intentional and can have an impact on our country.

The Belgian National Risk Assessment identifies four major geopolitical risks for Belgium:


Stay informed. This way you can recognise any malicious actions and report them to the authorities. To do so, you can visit the following sites:


  • Protect yourself when you go abroad. Check out the tips from VSSE and the FPS Foreign Affairs
  • Know that false information is spread deliberately on the Internet.
    • Always check official government channels or recognised media outlets to make sure the information is reliable.
    • Be careful what you share online. Not sure about the author of a message? Do not share it.
  • Protect your computer and personal data. To do so, check out the tips on the 'cybercrime' page.


  • There are no specific recommendations.

Impact and probability

Hybrid threats. Impact: low impact. Probability: very likely.Espionage in Belgian vital infrastructure by another State. Impact: low impact. Probability: very likely. Crude oil/fuel shortage. Impact: high impact. Probability: very unlikely.Social consequences of (transit) migration. Impact: very low impact. Probability: very likely.In 2018, the National Crisis Center coordinated a large-scale risk assessment for Belgium for the period 2018-2023. Several experts assessed various risks based on their probability and their impact on people, society, the environment and the economy.

For the risk of 'hybrid threats', the analysis is:

  • Impact: low impact
  • Probability: very likely 

For the risk of 'espionage in Belgian vital infrastructure by another State', the analysis is:

  • Impact: low impact
  • Probability: very likely

For the risk of 'crude oil/fuel shortage', the analysis is:

  • Impact: high impact
  • Probability: very unlikely 

For the risk of 'social consequences of (transit) migration', the analysis is:

  • Impact: very low impact
  • Probability: very likely

Read more about this analysis and what these charts mean here. 

What does the government do?

The Belgian intelligence and security services deal with geopolitical risks, each within their own domain. In addition, various interdepartmental collaborations exist to make our society more resilient to these risks and to actively combat them.

An example of such interdepartmental cooperation is a platform on hybrid threats, where experts can exchange information and work together to study the problem in all its complexity and tackle it in an efficient and coordinated way.