GENERAL REPRESENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF FLANDERS

IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

EMBASSY OF BELGIUM
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First new year’s speech for diplomatic corps
Flanders Representative - South Africa 248

First new year’s speech for diplomatic corps

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Minister-president Jambon invited the diplomatic corps to toast together to 2020. The New Year's reception took place in the Errera House on 28 January.

In his first speech for the diplomatic corps, Minister-president Jambon thanked his predecessor Geert Bourgeois for handing over a Flanders in top condition. But that does not imply that the new Government of Flanders is resting on one’s laurels.

“The ambition is great. But so is our strength of will. Flanders must become an undisputed point of reference in Europe in the new roaring twenties. We are setting our sights high in every area of society, but in a way that allows everyone to take part. Regardless of origin, beliefs, orientation or limitations. This is the narrative I am eager to put into practice over the years ahead, together with all the Flemish people.”

The Minister-president is aware of the international challenges such as climate, flaring trade conflicts and faltering multilateralism. And of course brexit. But these should not temper the Flemish ambition: "Flanders is ready to meet these foreign challenges head on. We have the right instruments, people and means to succeed. … The new Government of Flanders is committed to making continued efforts in respect of an ambitious, high-impact and coherent international Flemish policy. To this end, we will further develop the Flemish diplomatic corps, expand the Flemish representation abroad and bolster Flanders’ position within the international and European institutions.”
Finally, the Minister-president called on those present to work together.

“Which is why I would like to take this opportunity to call on everybody in attendance here today. Flanders is looking to build alliances with other federated states, Member States, partnerships and top-performing regions to jointly influence European decision-making. Together we are strong and can make our voices heard within the European project.”
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