State Visit to the Netherlands23/12/2016

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited the Netherlands for three days, accompanied by political, economic, academic and cultural delegations. Regions and Delegations played an active role in producing the schedule for the visit, a busy one with more than twenty engagements in seven different towns and cities.

The Minister-President of Wallonia, Paul Magnette, attended sessions with the Dutch Parliament and Government. He also attended several engagements, especially the visit to the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, for the Innovation & Digitisation Forum on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven and the opening of Sligro's "Inspiration Lab" in Veghel.

Culture was on the programme, with the "La Maison Vague" theatre production at the De Brakke Grond Flemish Cultural Centre in Amsterdam. It was a bilingual co-production between the Le Corridor (Liège) and the LOD Muziektheater theatres (Ghent). Queen Mathilde also visited the exhibition of the Belgian painter, Pierre Alechinsky, at the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen.

Academically, several events were held during the State visit. The academic luncheon was the opportunity for Belgian and Dutch Rectors to meet and informally exchange on chances of cooperating more closely. A meeting also took place between the Secretary General of the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) [National Fund for Scientific Research] and the Chairman of the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) [Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research], his Dutch counterpart. The organisations in charge of quality control in higher education in French-speaking Belgium, AEQES and CoQER, presented the work they do at an event at the registered office of the Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie (NVAO) [Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders] in The Hague.

The Dutch and Belgian Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed an agreement confirming the change to the border between the two countries at Vise. Thus, the border will follow the current bed of the River Meuse, which was diverted in 1961. The new Lanaye lock will now be completely on the Belgian side.