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Belgium to Host German-speaking Countries’ Summit

Belgium is hosting the 19th informal summit of the heads of state of German-speaking countries, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland, on Monday and Tuesday.

While the summit initially included countries where German was the primary language, Belgium and Luxembourg were invited to join in 2014. Next to Dutch and French, German is the third official language in Belgium, with around 77,000 native speakers.

Belgium, which will host the summit for the second time since 2014, has organised for the event to take place in Brussels and Eupen, the capital of the German-speaking community of the country, the Royal Palace announced in a press release.

Invited by Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, five heads of state – along with their partners – will attend the summit: Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Swiss President Alain Berset.

On Monday, a working meeting on space will be held at Laeken Castle, attended by astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA).

On Tuesday, the leaders will travel to German-speaking East Belgium, where they will visit Kabelwerk Eupen AG, a family-owned cable, plastic and foam company, while their partners will visit a food manufacturer in Raeren, on the German border. A working meeting on circular economy will follow the visits.

It is “a great honour and a special sign of esteem for the German-speaking Community and its citizens that King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are once again inviting their guests to East Belgium,” said Oliver Paasch, Minister-President of the German-speaking Community, Belga reported.

It will enable “them to discover the special advantages, innovative creativity and warm hospitality of our region and its people,” Paasch added.

“We look forward to welcoming [German President] to Belgium. An exciting programme awaits him!”Martin Kotthaus, the German Ambassador to Belgium, said on X Friday.

Source: Euractiv