The Belgian attacks come after more than a decade of Islamist-inspired suicide bombings, bomb attacks and shootings in Madrid, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Toulouse. As a result, questions are being asked over the strength of Europe's defenses against radicalization, terrorist networks and the apparent ease of movement of suspects throughout the continent.
Freedom of movement and travel within the continent is viewed as a basic freedom for European citizens - and there could be widespread protests if they were rolled back. Likewise, a right to privacy and freedom from surveillance is cherished too and there has been resistance to any moves to allow intelligence agencies more access to private communications.
Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, the Belgian Ambassador to the U.K. Guy Trouveroy said there was a danger of losing freedoms in the so-called "global war on terror."
"Let's see how the balance will be made there. But I would say that in Belgium at least it is up to our Prime Minister, our politicians, to present options (over how to tackle terrorism) but I would say that to transform our countries into police states, I am not sure that would be the right response. Also because if (we do that) then we start antagonizing communities again," he said.
"You have to realize that it's not always to protect every single place where human beings assemble and do you want to change your society to such an extent that you make your life much more difficult," he said. "By doing so, you're handing over a fantastic victory to these terrorists."