In Ouren, in the municipality of Burg-Reuland in the German-speaking community, a unique operation is taking place: agents control the border posts. This hamlet is in fact on the border between Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. More precisely, the delimitation between the countries is located in the watercourse which crosses it. Objective of this operation: refresh the terminals, repaint them and sometimes, move them.
These markers were placed in 1922 to materialize the border. Stones that must be maintained: “If there is vegetation around, we make it visible. We give it a brush stroke and we give a brush stroke, which is used to show the direction of the border, the number of the terminal and indicate on which side Belgium or Germany is located“, details Thomas Foulon, surveyor for the measurement and photogrammetry center of SFP Finances.
An important operation for tourists in particular, “just for the fun aspect of seeing if you are in Belgium, Germany or Luxembourg. There is a historical reason too: it is to see the locations as the country was demarcated at the end of the First World War.“
Terminals … which sometimes the terminals
For either reason, it is possible that a bollard leaves its original position. “Here, probably due to flooding or the wear and tear of time, the stream has eroded the banks and as these markers are set along the banks, over time they can slide into the stream.“, explains Alain Bertrand, advisor at the Center for Measurements and Photogrammetry. They must then be taken out and repositioned in their place.
A mission of the FPS Finances
This may seem surprising, but it is members of the FPS Finance who carry out the operations. “It dates from the Napoleonic era: the cadastre is part of the SPF finances», Explains Florence Angelici, spokesperson for the SPF Finances. “We are here as surveyors, technicians, to determine the precise location of the terminal. We are not diplomats, so we are not discussing the border.“
The employees of the FPS Finance have not finished the task. For the border between Belgium and Germany, they must control 1150 terminals.