Belgian State Visit to Denmark March 2017
By H.E. Louise Bang Jespersen, Ambassador of Denmark to the Kingdom of Belgium.
Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde paid their first State Visit to Denmark from 28-30 of March 2017. The royal couple was accompanied by an impressive Belgian delegation of ministers, academics and companies from different sectors, including sustainable solutions, logistics and health.
Our countries already share a warm and constructive relationship and have a strong cooperation on many issues. We also share a common commitment to the green transition and a mutual interest in developing our societies and finding smart solutions using the newest technology for the challenges ahead.
His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen witnessed first-hand how the Green Transition plays out in Denmark. On a boat trip throughout the harbor of Copenhagen together with HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary they could see not only the impressive wind turbines at a distance but also the vibrant and sustainable development around the harbor. In fact, the water in the harbor is so clean today that you can enjoy a swim in the harbor when weather permits.
Denmark has a strong and a long-standing tradition of taking a holistic approach to urban development, where the concern for the environment, the individuals and businesses go hand in hand. Creating a green and sustainable society is one of the key goals for Denmark. More than 20 per cent of Denmark’s energy already comes from renewable energy, and the goal is to become independent of fossil fuels by 2050. Much of the renewable energy comes from wind turbines, where Denmark is a world leader when it comes to developing new technology.
The royal couple and the delegation also had the opportunity to witness Danish cycling culture at first hand when moving around in the city. Copenhagen is world famous for its biking culture and the Danes are well known for their love of cycling. Copenhagen alone has around 400 km of cycle paths, and more than 40 per cent of the capital’s population commute to work by bicycle, come rain or snow.
Finding the smart solutions to the challenges towards a sustainable society, using the latest digital technology, was also a main theme for the The Danish-Belgian Business Forum with the participation of around two hundred representatives of Danish and Belgium business. It was a unique opportunity for business from both countries to meet and exchange on different sectorial tracks.
Furthermore, the state visit included a visit to the UN City and an academic roundtable focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The strong representation from different universities in the delegation showed the keen interest in even closer relations between Belgium and Denmark also in the field of research and academia.
Several cultural elements marked the stay, including the opening of a Belgian Film Festival and culminating in a concert performed by the National Orchestra of Belgium in the Royal Danish Library, known as the Black Diamond designed by the Danish architectural firm, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. By filling the beautiful rooms of the Black Diamond created by Danish architects with the wonderful music performed by Belgian musicians, this concert was a perfect symbolization of the visit as a whole; the very successful state visit has beyond any doubt brought our two countries closer together and showed the potential for further co-operation and exchanges in the future.
On the state visit:
Danish Royal House: http://kongehuset.dk/
Belgian Monarchy: https://www.
Royal Danish Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (HE Ambassador Louise Bang Jespersen): http://belgien.um.
Blauw Bloed television: http://www.eo.nl/