February 20, 2019

A Millennium of Innovation

By H.E. Mr. Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony, Germany. Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe and one of its engines is Saxony. Situated between Berlin and Prague, Frankfurt and Cracow, the Free State of Saxony looks back upon more than ten centuries of a rich and diverse history. It is a history of pioneering spirits, daring entrepreneurship and great achievement. Once a country full of woods and wilderness, Saxony at the beginning of the 21st century is an innovation leader among European regions. Having been elected to the office of Saxon Prime Minister in December…

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Switzerland’s European Policy

By H.E. Mr. Roberto Balzaretti, Swiss State Secretary. Switzerland shares borders with four EU member countries. My country has strong language, cultural and demographic affinitieswith the EU. And the European Union is Switzerland’s most important political and economic partner. Almost 1.4 million citizens from an EU or an EFTA (European Free Trade Association) country live in Switzerland. That is about 17% of our estimated population of 8.4 million. In addition, about 320,000 people from neighbouring EU countries commute to Switzerland every day. Our country is a linchpin of the North-South communication and transportation axis. As a matter of fact, with its…

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Why Georgia Should Be on Your Mind; Ambassador Natalie Sabanadze’s Georgia Highlights.

By H.E. Ms.  Natalie Sabanadze, Ambassador of Georgia to the EU.  Dear reader of Diplomatic World, welcome to Georgia – a country where “a guest is a gift sent from God”. In this globalised world, where distance is not an obstacle and attractive destinations compete for your attention, you may wonder why Georgia should be the place of your choice. A small country sandwiched between Russia and Turkey was, for the most part of the 20th century, hidden away from the inquisitive gaze of a Western traveler as part of the Soviet Union. We have never chosen to be part…

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Bulgaria at the helm of the EU

                            By H.E. Ms. Maya Dobreva, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Bulgaria took over the EU Presidency on 1 January 2018. Bulgaria may be a young EU member state (last year it celebrated its 10th anniversary of EU membership) but is one of the oldest states in Europe – more than 13 centuries old. Rich with its ancient history, strong with its traditions and historic experience Bulgaria is willing to reaffirm its position in the EU and…

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Tunisia: creating new perspectives.

By H.E. Mr. Elyes Ghariani, Ambassador of Tunisia to the Kingdom of the  Netherlands. Since 2011, Tunisia is going through a radically transformative moment of its History. The Jasmine revolution has resulted in huge changes and led to the irreversible move towards the implementation of a fully-fledged secular democratic system in the country. Over the last years, Tunisia has faced a multitude of political challenges and disparities but hopefully, succeeded in overcoming these difficulties thanks to the positive commitment of all the constituency of the Tunisian Society in engaging in franc talks and dialogue and finding compromise and common ground…

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2017, a special year for India – Netherlands relations

By H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The year 2017 marked 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to recognize independent India in 1947. Since then the Netherlands has been a fellow traveler encouraging us along the path of development. 2017 was a special year for India – Netherlands relations also because Foreign Minister Bert Koenders visited India in May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Netherlands in June 2017. Investments from the Netherlands into India went up around US$ 2…

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From the Past to the Future – Poland on 100 Anniversary of Regaining its Independence

By H.E. Mr. Marcin Czepelak, Ambassador of Poland in The Netherlands. There is a painting hanging on the wall in the reception lounge of the Polish Embassy in the Hague. The painting (author unknown) is dated at 1597 and shows the Binnenhof and Lange Viverberg from de Plaats in the Hague. Among others, we can see a figure of Paweł Działyński, most likely first Polish envoy to the Union of Utrecht, which will later turn into the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Poland and the Netherlands had a very good relation then. Initially, they were based on trade since Poland was…

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The Slovak Republic 25 years After

By H.E. Roman Buzek, Ambassador of Slovakia in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On the 1st of January 2018, it has been already 25 years since the amicable, well-negotiated and smooth dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic brought into existence two successor democratic states: the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Many doubted whether the separation of two countries was going to be successful. Many feared the separation would bring yet another bloody conflict in the heart of Europe. But these fears proved groundless as the split was truly peaceful and friendly. Just like two siblings who grew…

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Priorities and challenges of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council

Main priorities and challenges of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. By H.E.  Rumen Alexandrov, Ambassador of Bulgaria in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Taking over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU is both a privilege challenge and responsibility for us. Bulgaria joined the EU 11 years ago and today it has the chance to shape the EU’s policies in key areas. For us, the Presidency is also a chance to show our partners a different side of Bulgaria:  A country in which the cohesion funds are bringing about visible change and contributing…

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Connecting Past and Now, Japan and the Netherlands

By H.E. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. When I assumed my post as Ambassador of Japan in the Netherlands about two years ago, I was of course familiar with the shared history of our countries which has been over 400 years relationship, but living here has truly made me realise how deeply entwined the connection between Japan and the Netherlands is. In February 2017, I had a chance to visit the place that was the key to the beginnings of this relationship: Dejima, a once fan-shaped artificial island, which as a served trading post…

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