Germany

State Visit from the Kingdom of Belgium

President Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Elke Büdenbender received the Belgian royal couple, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde

December 05th, 2023
Editorial, News from Berlin
20231205 State Visit from the Kingdom of Belgium.jpg

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Elke Büdenbender received the Belgian royal couple, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, for a state visit to Germany from 5 to 7 December.

As founding members of the European Union and strong allies within NATO, Germany and Belgium enjoy close, friendly relations. Particularly in light of the current global challenges, this good neighbourliness and reliable partnership are especially important. The first state visit by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde to Germany is a tribute to the two countries’ multifaceted ties – from economic cooperation and joint work on the energy transition to cultural exchange.

The Federal President and Elke Büdenbender welcomed the Belgian royal couple to Berlin with military honours outside Schloss Bellevue on the afternoon of 5 December. A state banquet will be held in honour of the King and Queen in the evening.

On 6 December, the Federal President and King Philippe will visit the German company 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, which belongs to the Belgian Elia Group, for a luncheon with managing directors from the energy industry. Meanwhile, Elke Büdenbender and Queen Mathilde will visit the company’s Reserve Control Centre, which is responsible for the stability of the power grid and intervenes whenever the grid is disrupted. They will then meet representatives from the worlds of business, civil society, and science and research to discuss sustainable development. In the evening, the Belgian Embassy will host a concert and reception at Funkhaus Berlin.

On 7 December, Federal President Steinmeier and Elke Büdenbender will accompany their guests to Dresden. They will visit the microchip and semiconductor manufacturer X-FAB, which has its headquarters in Tessenderlo, Belgium, and cooperates with the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS and the Belgian research centre imec. They will then attend a joint luncheon hosted at Blockhaus by the Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, followed by a walk across the Augustusbrücke bridge and a tour of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery). The state visit will end with a tour of the Frauenkirche and a visit to the historical Christmas market at the Neumarkt.

The Belgian royal couple’s last official visit to Berlin was in November 2018. The last state visit was carried out by King Albert II and Queen Paola in March 2011. Federal President Steinmeier and Elke Büdenbender last visited Belgium for the meeting of the Heads of State of German-speaking countries in September 2023.

Overview of the programme

Tuesday, 5 December

Welcoming of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians with military honours

Thereafter

Signing of the visitors’ book

Thereafter

Talks with the King of the Belgians

7.30 p.m., Schloss Bellevue

State banquet in honour of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, hosted by the Federal President and Elke Büdenbender, with speeches by the Heads of State

Wednesday, 6 December

12.45 p.m., 50Hertz Transmission GmbH

Luncheon with managing directors from the energy industry

7.00 p.m., Funkhaus Berlin

Concert and reception hosted by the King and Queen of the Belgians

Thursday, 7 December

10.30 a.m., Dresden

Visit to the microchip and semiconductor manufacturer X-FAB

Noon, Blockhaus

Luncheon hosted by the Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer

Thereafter

Walk across the Augustusbrücke bridge

2.00 p.m.

Visit to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery)

Thereafter

Visit to the Frauenkirche

Thereafter

Visit to the historical Christmas market at the Frauenkirche

Elke Büdenbender and Queen Mathilde

Wednesday, 6 December, 12.45 p.m., Berlin, 50Hertz Transmission GmbH

Tour of the Reserve Control Centre and discussion of sustainable development

References:

News from Berlin