The Belgian government proposed a law on Friday which will invalidate passports and identity cards of people authorities believe plan to go and fight for militant Islamist organisations in the Middle East.
The measure, which has to be approved by parliament, is a response to Belgium’s position as the source of many foreigners fighting in Syria and Iraq.
Some 300 mostly young men are estimated to have left the country of 11 million inhabitants over the past few years to fight for organisations such as Islamic State, one of the largest per capita contributors in western Europe.
“The new law allows us to make leaving Belgian territory with the intention of engaging in terrorist acts a criminal offence,” Justice Minister Koen Geens said.
Authorities could invalidate identity cards or refuse to issue passports to somebody suspected of wanting to leave for Syria or Iraq to fight, he added.
Similar provisions also exist in other European countries such as Britain and Denmark.