Diplomatic World nummer 54

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<strong>54</strong><br />





Ambassador of the<br />

Russian Federation<br />



President of<br />


H.E. RÜDIGER<br />


Ambassador of<br />

Germany<br />

H.E. DR.<br />


Ambassador<br />

Taipei<br />

Respresentative<br />

Office<br />

H.I.H. THE HEIR,<br />





YONA<br />


Architect<br />

Thinker<br />

Philosopher<br />

DR. TALIA<br />

GOLAN<br />

SHEBA<br />

Pancreatic<br />

Cancer Center<br />

DR. NOËL<br />

K. TSHIANI<br />


Autumn 2017 www.diplomatic-world.com Quarterly edition<br />

P409937 - v.u. Barbara Dietrich, Beiaardlaan 25b, 1850 Grimbergen, Afgiftekantoor Mechelen X<br />


VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz<br />


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2<br />


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• Senzati Quilted Diamond Stitched Headlining<br />

throughout the entire vehicle<br />

• A, B, C & D Pillars trimmed in matching Suede<br />

• Soundproofing & Insulation Package<br />

• Extended Mercedes Floor Tracks for Increased<br />

Legroom (Tested & Certified)<br />

• New Mercedes Insulated Floor Carpet<br />

• Passenger Cabin Luxury Leather Edged Rug Set<br />

• Senzati Illuminating Stainless Steel Kick Plates<br />

• Senzati Exterior Badge Set<br />

• 6 Seat Senzati Re-Trim in Quilted Diamond<br />

Stitched Leather (4 in the Passenger Cabin)<br />

• Optional 7 Seat Senzati Re-trim in Quilted<br />

Diamond Stitched Leather Senzati Headrest Logos<br />

• Long Centre Console with Padded Lifting Armrest<br />

• Large Integrated fridge under Armrest<br />

• Large Retractable Tables in Centre Console with<br />

Leather Inserts<br />

• Crystal Glasses Cabinet with 4 Crystal Glasses<br />

• Four Cup Holders in Centre Console<br />

• 4G Roof Mounted Domed Antennae with On-board<br />

Multi-user Wi-Fi (own SIM required)<br />

• Dash & Side Furniture Fascia Treatment in Black<br />

Birdseye Maple Hi-Build Lacquer Finish<br />

• Senzati Double Glazed Panoramic Roof<br />

• Senzati Quilted Diamond Stitched Headlining<br />

throughout the entire vehicle<br />

• A, B, C & D Pillars trimmed in matching Suede<br />

• Soundproofing & Insulation Package<br />

• Extended Mercedes Floor Tracks for Increased<br />

Legroom (Tested & Certified)<br />

• New Mercedes Insulated Floor Carpet<br />

• Passenger Cabin Luxury Leather Edged Rug Set<br />

• Senzati Illuminating Stainless Steel Kick Plates<br />

• Senzati Exterior Badge Set<br />

• 6 Seat Senzati Re-Trim in Quilted Diamond<br />

Stitched Leather (4 in the Passenger Cabin)<br />

• Optional 7 Seat Senzati Re-trim in Quilted<br />

Diamond Stitched Leather Senzati Headrest Logos<br />

• Long Centre Console with Padded Lifting Armrest<br />

• Large Integrated fridge under Armrest<br />

• Large Retractable Tables in Centre Console with<br />

Leather Inserts<br />

• Crystal Glasses Cabinet with 4 Crystal Glasses<br />

• Four Cup Holders in Centre Console<br />

• 4G Roof Mounted Domed Antennae with On-board<br />

Multi-user Wi-Fi (own SIM required)<br />

• Dash & Side Furniture Fascia Treatment in Black<br />

Birdseye Maple Hi-Build Lacquer Finish<br />

• Entire Passenger Cabin Side Furniture Re-trim<br />

• Entire Driver’s Compartment Re-trim including<br />

Dashboard & Door Cards<br />

• Senzati Double Glazed Panoramic Roof<br />

• Senzati Quilted Diamond Stitched Headlining<br />

throughout the entire vehicle<br />

• A, B, C & D Pillars trimmed in matching Suede<br />

• Soundproofing & Insulation Package<br />

• Extended Mercedes Floor Tracks for Increased<br />

Legroom (Tested & Certified)<br />

• New Mercedes Insulated Floor Carpet<br />

• Passenger Cabin Luxury Leather Edged Rug Set<br />

• Senzati Illuminating Stainless Steel Kick Plates<br />

• Senzati Exterior Badge Set<br />

• 6 Seat Senzati Re-Trim in Quilted Diamond<br />

Stitched Leather (4 in the Passenger Cabin)<br />

• 7 Seat Option Not Available with Jet Spec<br />

• Long Centre Console with Padded Lifting Armrest<br />

• Large Integrated fridge under Armrest<br />

• Large Retractable Tables in Centre Console with<br />

Leather Inserts<br />

• Crystal Glasses Cabinet with 4 Crystal Glasses<br />

• Four Cup Holders in Centre Console<br />

• 4G Roof Mounted Domed Antennae with On-board<br />

Multi-user Wi-Fi (own SIM required)<br />

• Dash & Side Furniture Fascia Treatment in Black<br />

Birdseye Maple Hi-Build Lacquer Finish<br />

• Entire Passenger Cabin Side Furniture Re-trim<br />

• Entire Driver’s Compartment Re-trim including<br />

Dashboard & Door Cards<br />

• Driver’s Partition with Electric Sliding LED TV & 4<br />

AMG Umbrellas<br />

• Hi Fidelity 9 Speaker Audio Install in Passenger<br />

Compartment with CD/DVD Player<br />

• Large Touch Screen Control for DVD/DAB/FM/CD/<br />


• Apple TV 4<br />

• Driver to Passenger Intercom<br />

• 3 Additional USB Ports & HDMI Interface<br />

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extended Floor Tracks.<br />






Address: Beiaardlaan 25<br />

1850 Grimbergen I Belgium<br />

T +32 2 770 03 06<br />

www.diplomatic-world.com<br />


Barbara Dietrich<br />

barbara.dietrich@diplomatic-world.com<br />


ir. Marc Kintaert<br />

CEO<br />

Barbara Dietrich<br />


Bruno Devos I Phillippe Billet I Marc Kintaert<br />

Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann I Els Merckx<br />

Barbara Dietrich I Brita Achberger I Stefanie De Jonge<br />

Sylvie Van Cutsem I Lorenz Kintaert I Lejton Vokshi<br />

Liberta Vokshi I Maarten Vermeir I Nicolas Styfhals<br />


redaction@diplomatic-world.com<br />


Stockmans I Bruno Devos I Wouter Van der Wangen<br />


Stockmans I www.stockmans.be<br />


Stockmans at Antilope De Bie Printing<br />


redaction@diplomatic-world.com<br />

T +32 2 770 03 06<br />

ISBN 2995-3655<br />

The texts were written in English or Dutch and translated in the other<br />

language. Some expressions can change by the translation. To safeguard the<br />

language and tone of all authors, the author’s initial choice of spelling has<br />

been maintained as much as possible. The editorial staff has done its utmost<br />

to identify and mention sources and beneficiaries of the text and images used.<br />

The publisher has made every effort to secure permission to reproduce the<br />

listed material, illustrations and photographs. We apologize for any inadvert<br />

errors or omissions. Parties who nevertheless believe they can claim specific<br />

legal rights are invited to contact the publisher.<br />

Opinions in this magazine belong to the writers and are not necessarily<br />

endorsed by <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>.<br />

All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored<br />

in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,<br />

mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written<br />

permission of the artist and publisher.<br />

©2017 <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> Magazine<br />


We need to ‘step outside’ to see the true motions and connections<br />

of events, evolutions, and cultural standards shaping our world<br />

and referential framework.<br />

Do we realize that Apfelstrudel — the Austrian national dish<br />

— came originally from Arabia? Do we truly recognize that<br />

Edelweiss — the Swiss national symbol — originates from<br />

Mongolia? In the end the world has always been a global village:<br />

only the time needed to travel our human space has now truly<br />

changed. Connectedly, everything used to evolve slowly; this<br />

pace has now accelerated and humans are currently moving<br />

at such high speed that they risk losing themselves. Therefore<br />

retrospection is today of key importance. It is today, more than<br />

ever, time to take a deep breath again and to feel the thrill of our<br />

fragile but creative lives flowing through us and giving real sense<br />

to our existence.<br />

Let us take again more time for ourselves, let us take the time<br />

and learn to truly see again. Mankind needs such mental space<br />

and peace because creativity is impossible if restricted by<br />

boundaries. Let us see again that there will always be a way,<br />

when there is a will. We need to learn again to be interested in<br />

one another and in the needs of the others.<br />

We need this now because we cannot let problems agglomerate:<br />

we need to face them and be adequately creative to see the<br />

solutions within each unique setting. We need to implement<br />

such solutions: this is equally valid in business, in politics and in<br />

diplomacy; this is valid for our interpersonal relationships and<br />

for the entire world.<br />

Our world must find its balance again. We have to be there for<br />

each other.<br />

Barbara Dietrich<br />

barbara.dietrich@diplomatic-world.com<br />


INDEX DIPLOMATIC WORLD <strong>54</strong><br />

6<br />

GERMAN<br />


H.E. RÜDIGER<br />


34<br />















14<br />


36<br />

18<br />


H.I.H. THE HEIR,<br />











74<br />

72<br />



Founder and<br />

Chairman of<br />

Geopolitical<br />

Intelligence<br />

Services ag, Vaduz<br />


H.I.H. THE HEIR,<br />





22<br />





42<br />







Julia Prettl<br />

76<br />

24<br />


MOSCOW<br />



Sophia Kishkovsky<br />







44<br />


80<br />


Dieter Brockmeyer<br />





AND KURT<br />


28<br />



52<br />

THE NEW<br />

BMW 5 SERIES<br />

TOURING:<br />



82<br />

4<br />





70<br />


86<br />








AUTUMN 2017<br />



The university setting yielded immediate high credibility and<br />

A<br />

trust,<br />

FEMALE<br />

even without active<br />

advertisement, SPACE mainly because of the neutrality of the learning TRANSDISCIPLINARY<br />

platform and its primary<br />

objective of TIME learning about Arabic and European culture in the native ECO-SYSTEM tongue, but also because<br />

of the monitoring POWERSby academics of the content, didactic methods FOR and EUROPE learning outcomes. The<br />

success of<br />

Karl-Heinz<br />

the school’s<br />

Adler<br />

success is illustrated by the student numbers:<br />

Eva<br />

2016-2017,<br />

A. Kaili<br />

164 students<br />

(83 boys and 81 girls) from different origins (see pie chart) and in 2017-2018, 250 students (133<br />

boys and 117 girls), although whereby the number should have been had to be limited to 200<br />

due to insufficient financial constraintsresources.<br />

Krista & Grety<br />

90 124 144<br />

Vandevelde<br />

TALES<br />


Emmi Pennanen<br />

94<br />

THE<br />


BOCHUM<br />

128<br />

JAGUAR<br />


ASSE:<br />


Also, parent’s’ testimonials are indicateing that there is a high demand for Arabic language<br />

courses independent of religion (see enclosure 1). A question One of them coming from a<br />


Moroccan AT mother HOME caught was catching my attention, “Can you teach some basic religion in your<br />


class, just WITH something ART about good moralities?”. I asked Sami about this and he replied it. Sami<br />


Azar: “Of course,<br />

Reydan<br />

religion<br />

Weiss<br />

and Islam can be discussed in the school,<br />

THE<br />

as these<br />

CASE<br />

are<br />

OF NATO<br />

it is part of our<br />

cultural heritage and today’s daily life, but the courses themselves should be are strictly neutral<br />

and independent of religious beliefs”.<br />

96<br />


130<br />

150<br />





Bruno Devos<br />

98<br />

Quality Assurance is a unique selling point proposition of our Arabic language courses and we’re<br />

developing a Quality Assurance handbook is under construction. VUB developed the curriculum<br />


in collaboration with experts in Arabic linguistics. Sami Azar: “One of the teachers, an Iraqi<br />

PROJECT:<br />

refugee, has a PhD in Arabic literature. Also, A the FRAMEWORK other teachers are highly qualified refugees<br />

from Iraq and Syria. Grammar, vocabulary, and FOR spelling, EUROPE as well as speaking and writing the<br />

language fluently, are important but also playful learning, such as Arabic songs and games, isare<br />

Maarten Vermeir<br />

part of the curriculum.” For example, we’re now developing some 156 cCourse books that are under<br />

construction, they will be illustrated withby cartoons.<br />





112<br />

Zeno X Gallery<br />

132<br />

CANCER<br />

160<br />










& NICO DOCKX<br />

120<br />

SHEBA<br />



140<br />





164<br />


DE WILDE’S<br />

122<br />


170<br />

BOXING<br />


YOUR LIFE!<br />






THE 2017 ELECTIONS<br />


The third of October 1990 marks the day of the restoration<br />

of German national unity, the end of the 40 year divide of<br />

Germany. It is a day of celebration for Germany, a day that<br />

we can be proud of.<br />

Not only can we be proud that reunification was achieved,<br />

but we Germans can be especially proud of how unity was<br />

achieved: Through patience, peacefully, and with a clear<br />

compass of values and an unconditional affirmation to the<br />

unity of Europe. Through this unity, central corner stones<br />

of German politics have been set that guide Germans to<br />

this day.<br />

These corner stones are built upon what the bloody 20th<br />

century has taught us. It seems useful to be reminded<br />

of it now, at a point in time when central teachings and<br />

lessons are being carelessly thrown overboard, consciously<br />

disregarded, or are just seemingly passing out of mind.<br />

To what ends do we need patience and persistence today?<br />

Hotheadedness and sabre-rattling are dangerous. For this<br />

reason we are settling on Dialogue and Diplomacy also in<br />

the case of North Korea. As has been proven, martialist<br />

behaviour, does not lead us forward, but brings with it<br />

threats of escalation not to be underestimated. During the<br />

Cold War, we have always, though faced with established<br />

oppositions, sought agreement to solutions through<br />

6<br />

Bruno Devos, H.E. Rudiger Lüdeking and Barbara Dietrich

The floodlit Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with a few fleeting shadows of anonymous Berliners<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

patience and persistence. The stakes are too high. Not in<br />

the least during the current commemoration of the different<br />

battlefields of Flanders, which happened a 100 years ago<br />

and that should clarify how important and valuable peace<br />

is.<br />

When we bank on patience, this does not mean passive<br />

waiting, but active, and prudent, inexhaustible effort for<br />

political solutions in coherence with our central values.<br />

We must maintain a sharp eye for the realities, and the<br />

short-term posibilities, but also seize the opportunities that<br />

present themselves. This way, with patience and persistence,<br />

the negotiation of the separation of Germany and Europe<br />

was successful.<br />

In this respect we should not look to the future with fear<br />

and despondency, of which the unification is proof and<br />

encouragement. For we have many reasons to be confident.<br />

At this point, I would also wish to address another, to<br />

me, very important issue: If these days we mourn the<br />

third battle of Flanders, we should not merely mourn the<br />

hundred-thousand fallen; rather we must be aware that<br />

we have an obligation toward the dead. An obligation to<br />

do all in our power to hinder wars. This awareness moved<br />

politicians at the end of <strong>World</strong> War II to anticipate and<br />

focus on a unified Europe. Europe is — and this is often<br />

forgotten — first and foremost a political project that<br />

has provided us 70 years of peace and prosperity on our<br />

continent. Therefore, it is only consequential that the<br />

unification of the two German states was unshakeably<br />

imbedded in the European unification process.<br />

It pains me when current actors in Europe are betting<br />

on the populist-national agenda. This is, in my opinion,<br />

forgetting history and ignoring the lessons learned from the<br />

20th century. This is valid independently from — and this<br />

seems obvious to me — the fact that only a strong unified<br />

Europe can master the current challenges, defend and<br />

advocate its central values of peace, democracy and rule of<br />

law.<br />

The base corner stones just presented, will continue to be<br />

guidelines for Germany’s foreign policy. Germany remains a<br />

dependable and reliable partner. Together with our friends<br />

we want to consolidate and deepen Europe’s unity. Belgium<br />

is taking an important role, as we do share a vision for<br />

Europe’s future.<br />


People crossing the road at Alexanderplatz, Berlin<br />

8<br />

It is also appropriate here to reminisce of what the<br />

German re-unification has taught us. For successful coexistence<br />

in Germany community cohesion and solidarity<br />

is imperative. This is only achievable on a basis of a<br />

communal understanding of the valid core values and<br />

rules, a distinct community spirit and an orientation<br />

toward the common good. Leaving or excluding oneself<br />

from our free-democratic constitutional order is therefore<br />

just as permissible and intolerable as upsetting the social<br />

peace, for example, through missing equal opportunity<br />

and excessive broadening of the gap between rich and<br />

poor.<br />

I am certain that based upon our historical experience as<br />

German citizens — and also our experience of unification —<br />

the awareness and responsibility, and commonalities of the<br />

democrats at the Bundestag will not change.<br />

Today, the day of German unification, is occasion for<br />

courage, optimism and confidence. Even in difficult<br />

times we accept our challenges and will master them, in<br />

partnership with our friends in Europe.<br />


Germany has elected. The free and fair elections were<br />

proof of a matured democracy and a functioning<br />

parliamentarianism. Another positive factor is that, after a<br />

drop in voter turnout at the previous Bundestag elections,<br />

the turnout rate has increased significantly this time,<br />

amounting up to 76,2%.<br />

The outcome of the elections is now the subject of many<br />

discussions and analyses. Whatever the position is, it<br />

will only emphasize the importance of these elections.

© Shutterstock<br />

The importance has been heavily underestimated in<br />

the last weeks before the elections by many observers,<br />

who suspected that everything would remain how it<br />

was. Although the CDU/CSU has yet again secured<br />

a mandate to form the new government, it is already<br />

predictable that, in the days and weeks to come, difficult<br />

discussions and negotiations in regards to the formation<br />

of the new government will arise. This can in turn have<br />

further consequences for central themes of the political<br />

strategies.<br />

The result of the “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD)<br />

party was at the centre of many reactions, both in Germany<br />

and in Belgium, along with other European states. During<br />

the election campaigns, this party has provoked with<br />

xenophobic, racist and extreme right statements. With an<br />

end result of 12,6%, the party scored better than many had<br />

predicted. Even so, no wrong conclusions should be drawn<br />

from this. The voters of AfD aren’t all right-wing extremists:<br />

the analyses of the elections clearly show that many people<br />

voted for AfD merely out of protest. This vote of protest<br />

might have seemed an option for many, since according to<br />

polls prior to the elections it was generally assumed that<br />

nothing would fundamentally change.<br />

However, the protest should be taken seriously. The<br />

concerns of a number of citizens — even though they<br />

are a minority — cannot simply be ignored or classified<br />

as irrelevant. That is what characterizes a democracy; it<br />

doesn’t only exist out of the dominance of a majority over<br />

a minority, but it also guarantees respect for the interests<br />

of minorities in the framework of a democratic decisionmaking<br />

process. A stable and democratic society has to<br />

make sure it doesn’t fall apart and that the general social<br />


Hamburg, harbour view (HafenCity) with St Michael’s Church and Elbe Philharmonic Hall<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

10<br />

consensus remains guaranteed. That way, the growth of the<br />

gap between poor and rich serves no one’s interest.<br />

Furthermore, even if 12,6% voted for AfD, an overwhelming<br />

majority of 87,4% of the voters chose differently. In my<br />

opinion, we shouldn’t unnecessarily dramatize the outcome<br />

of the results of the elections. There is no reason for<br />

alarmism or exaggerated fear. I look forward to the future<br />

with confidence, regardless of the challenges that come<br />

with the results of the elections. Based on the historical<br />

experiences and the scepticism about extremism and<br />

fanaticism, I am confident that this situation is without<br />

prejudice to the sense of responsibility and agreement<br />

regarding a social consensus the Bundestag has. Now it<br />

is up to AfD to prove that they can respect the general<br />

consensus and a constructive parliamentary cooperation,<br />

despite the substantial differences.<br />

A stable and efficient government has to be formed based<br />

on the results of the elections in the next few days and<br />

weeks. This is a great responsibility with which the elected<br />

officials and parties of the newly chosen parliament will<br />

be confronted. It is, after all, all about facing and tackling<br />

difficult challenges.<br />

Not only Germany is facing these challenges, the rest of<br />

Europe and the international community have to tackle<br />

them as well. That’s why it’s about contributing to the<br />

consolidation of safety and peace, given the hostile rhetoric<br />

currently present on the world stage. As a result, the<br />

safeguarding of continuity in the German foreign policy,<br />

which counts on dialogue and cooperation, occupies<br />

an important place. And because the member states of<br />

the European Union can only have a joint influence in<br />

a globalized world with many challenges, the efforts to<br />

guarantee a favourable future for the European Union<br />

should be resolutely continued in the coming months. To<br />

achieve this, the confidence in the European Union as a<br />

political project that has guaranteed peace and freedom for<br />

its citizens for over 70 years should be strengthened, and<br />

the advantages it has for all citizens must be made visible.<br />

In addition, the new federal government will have to take<br />

on important tasks in the framework of internal affairs,<br />

which — and this cannot conceal the currently favourable<br />

economic situation in Germany — are also related to<br />

fundamental issues, such as the sustainable cohesion of our<br />

societies.<br />

By Rüdiger Lüdeking, Ambassador of the Federal Republic<br />

of Germany to the Kingdom of Belgium.

Armin Linke<br />

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />

The photograph I initially had in my mind for this project depicts Aerogel, an ultralight nanoporous material in which the liquid element is<br />

replaced with gas. It is an extremely low-density substance and is used in space exploration. It is fascinating to bring such a translucent,<br />

almost invisible substance into the medium of photography which incorporates the opposite of invisibility and immateriality. Since it was not<br />

possible to transfer a photograph into a stencil, I tried to transfer the content into something graphic and I came up with the sentence<br />

“All That is Solid Melts Into Air” which is a quote from Karl Marx. Somehow, this work for the stencil project is like an additional layer:<br />

first the substance, second the photograph of the substance, third the abstraction, the paraphrase of the photograph.<br />




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Diplomacy means art, skill and practice of<br />

conducting negotiations between nations and<br />

regions, in handling affairs in a sensitive and<br />

tactful way without arousing hostility. Throughout<br />

history this definition and practice of diplomacy<br />

has proven its success. The geopolitical challenges<br />

that lie ahead of diplomats demand a return to<br />

this original definition. How would you advise the<br />

corps diplomatique to look actively for a dialogue,<br />

a creative form of diplomacy and the returning<br />

to the act of compromises which could lead to<br />

breakthrough results and the making of diplomatic<br />

winners on a global level?<br />

I am convinced that there is no alternative to reviving the<br />

culture of dialogue in this highly complicated period in the<br />

international relations, marked by uncertainty and turmoil.<br />

Of course, the global landscape has never been static, but<br />

the transformations it now undergoes come at increasingly<br />

high pace. We have to deal simultaneously with various<br />

threats including terrorism and extremism, crises in various<br />

regions, financial and economic instability, proliferation<br />

of weapons of mass destruction, illegal migration,<br />

transnational crime, mass poverty and disease, climate<br />

change, to name but a few.<br />

Our world has become interdependent to the extent that an<br />

event in any region can resonate in any other. The price of<br />

wrong or shortsighted decisions is rising accordingly. The<br />

fact is that durable solutions to today’s conflicts cannot be<br />

found through the use of military force, but only by political<br />

and diplomatic means. No state or a group of states, no<br />

matter how powerful, can aspire to settle international<br />

problems single-handedly.<br />

14<br />

Barbara Dietrich and H.E. Alexander Tokovinin

Capital morning at the Kremlin<br />

It is widely accepted that a polycentric picture of the<br />

world has become a reality. That means that effective<br />

global architecture can be constructed not by imposing<br />

somebody’s will on others, but on the basis of full respect<br />

for the sovereignty of states, by forging consensus between<br />

the centers of economic power and political influence.<br />

Such vision, of course, does not eliminate competition, but<br />

tends to arrange it in the framework of rules that are jointly<br />

worked out and universally applied. The cornerstone of the<br />

international system should be respect for international law<br />

and the centrality of the United Nations, the recognition of<br />

political pluralism and freedom of choice.<br />

Diplomacy, of course, leans on tradition. But at the same<br />

time it constantly transforms with the changing reality. Today<br />

the goal of diplomatic negotiations should not and cannot<br />

be viewed, as was the case during the preceding centuries,<br />

as forming coalitions in preparation for the next war. Such<br />

a vision would be a recipe for global catastrophe. What is<br />

needed today is common work to confront real challenges and<br />

not imaginary ones, like the mythical Russian military threat.<br />

Russia is not preparing to attack anyone. We are not looking<br />

for adversaries, we need friends.<br />

In other words, the multilateral approach is key to solving<br />

international problems. Over the last years it has been proven<br />

over and over again. When the desire to work together in<br />

good will prevailed, solutions to complex problems were<br />

usually found. One can cite the Joint Comprehensive Plan<br />

of Action on Iran or the Paris climate agreement. This is, in<br />

our view, the path to follow on the situation on the Korean<br />

peninsula and elsewhere. Working out compromise has never<br />

been easy, it often takes a lot of effort and long hours, days,<br />

weeks and months of tedious talks, but the result is always<br />

worth it as it reflects the positions of international actors<br />

concerned and their commitment to uphold the deal.<br />

I would like to quote Minister of Foreign Affairs<br />

Sergey Lavrov : ‘As you know, it takes two to<br />

tango, but it seems to me that our [USA] partners<br />

keep performing individual breakdance. Russia<br />

does not seek any quarrel. Russia has always been<br />

friendly to the American people, and is open to<br />

constructive cooperation where it meets Russian<br />

interests. Generally, we will continue to promote<br />

a positive agenda, mutually respectful approaches.<br />

We will seek and find compromises.’ Wise words<br />

that remind us that being empathic towards our<br />

partners in dialogue is essential. We need to show<br />

true interest in each other, and try to understand<br />

and focus on our joint diplomatic agendas. Brussels<br />

could be the meeting platform to connect and put<br />

this thesis into practice. Which strategic points of<br />

interest do we share and could become the start of<br />

a shared diplomatic vision?<br />


Yekaterinburg-City with Buildings of Regional Government and Parliament, Hotel Hyatt, Drama Theatre, Iset Tower, Yeltsin Center, Demidov Plaza,<br />

President Center<br />

16<br />

Once again, Russia has always promoted sovereignty and<br />

mutual respect. Our country has gone its part of the way<br />

to eliminate the legacy of the Cold War and to strengthen<br />

confidence and mutual understanding in the Euro-Atlantic<br />

region and in the world. It is not our fault that instead<br />

of bringing to life the principle of equal and indivisible<br />

security across the OSCE area, NATO chose the path<br />

of eastward expansion, proceeding its policies from the<br />

principle “he that is not with us is against us”. George<br />

Kennan, who at the start of the Cold War masterminded the<br />

policy of containment of the Soviet Union, in 1998 called<br />

NATO expansion a tragic mistake. Nevertheless, Russia is<br />

prepared for constructive work with all those who are ready<br />

to cooperate in good will and on the basis of equality.<br />

As you look at the map, it is easy to see that EU and<br />

Russia are two major actors on the European continent<br />

and, accordingly, relationship between them is crucial for<br />

its future. However, it is astonishing that there is no clear<br />

strategic vision of how these relations should develop, while<br />

it is evident that to ensure sustainable development we<br />

should combine our potentials. President Vladimir Putin<br />

proposed a concept of great Eurasian partnership open to<br />

both Asian and European States and aimed at formation of<br />

common economic and humanitarian space on the basis of<br />

indivisible security.<br />

Belgian diplomacy is known for its moderation, common<br />

sense and desire to assist building compromise. Perhaps<br />

this talent of negotiation is partly rooted in the historic<br />

experience of this country which lies on the junction of<br />

Romanic and Germanic cultures.<br />

We appreciate the call by Prime Minister Charles Michel<br />

and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign and<br />

European Affairs Didier Reynders to restart high level<br />

substantial dialogue between the European Union and<br />

Russia. If we really want to meet the challenges facing<br />

us on the European continent, this is the only way. The<br />

constructive atmosphere of Foreign Minister Sergey<br />

Lavrov’s visit to Brussels last July attests to the fact that<br />

Russia and Belgium can work together to bolster positive<br />

trends in international relations.<br />

And of course, Brussels is a meeting point and a platform<br />

for discussion on various levels, both in political and<br />

academic formats. One of the recent examples is a<br />

conference on the role of BRICS in the world held jointly<br />

by the embassies of the five countries and the Egmont<br />

Institute. We are looking forward to working on new<br />

projects promoting better mutual understanding and<br />

shedding light on ways to improve the situation on the<br />

European continent.

Reading about the mission of the Hermitage<br />

Museum in Amsterdam, its focus points are the<br />

aims to use art and history to inspire, enrich<br />

and above all offer opportunity for reflection.<br />

With its diverse exhibition and supplementary<br />

programming, the Hermitage Amsterdam presents<br />

the world heritage of one of the greatest museums<br />

— the State Hermitage in St Petersburg — to Dutch<br />

and international visitors, taking inspiration<br />

from the historical ties between Amsterdam and<br />

St Petersburg and between the House of Orange-<br />

Nassau and the Romanovs. Taking the Hermitage<br />

Amsterdam as a strong case, how could Cultural<br />

Diplomacy become an instrumental tool to improve<br />

international relations between Russia, USA,<br />

China and Europe?<br />

I do believe that culture is at the core of relations between<br />

nations and is perhaps more important for building lasting<br />

and stable cooperation than political or economic ties.<br />

Cultural and civilizational diversity is a feature of the world<br />

of today which was only highlighted by the process of<br />

globalization. Harmony in international relations cannot be<br />

achieved by trying to make a single set of cultural traditions<br />

and values applicable everywhere. What is needed is<br />

partnership of civilizations, based on respect for other<br />

cultures and ways of life. Therefore, it is essential to have<br />

better understanding of the cultural matrix of other nations.<br />

I believe it is not necessary to dwell on the European roots of<br />

the Russian culture. No Russian child is raised without being<br />

acquainted with the heritage of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart<br />

and Hugo. Everyone in Russia is familiar with “L’oiseau<br />

bleu” by Maurice Maeterlinck. Similarly, one cannot imagine<br />

an educated person in any European country not knowing<br />

the works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov or Tchaikovsky,<br />

Rakhmaninov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.<br />

Today, in the age of globalization, people multiply direct<br />

contacts, and that is markedly different from the period<br />

of the Cold War. I have noticed that today anti-Russian<br />

information campaigns in the media have much less<br />

influence on the minds of people because they can form their<br />

own judgment. And they understand that erasing division<br />

lines, not building new walls, meets their best interest.<br />

The Grand Cascade, Peterhof Palace, Russia<br />

recently performed with his Mariinskiy Orchestra in the<br />

magnificent St Bavo’s Cathedral in the framework of the<br />

Ghent festival? Over the last year there have been multiple<br />

manifestations of Russian culture here, including recitals of<br />

classical music, ballets, operas and art exhibitions.<br />

In 2017 we have been celebrating 300th anniversary of the<br />

visit of Peter the Great to Belgian cities. And I am grateful<br />

to the authorities and the Belgian public for the wellorganized<br />

colourful events in Antwerp and Brussels as well<br />

as in Liège, where a new statue of the first Russian emperor<br />

was installed.<br />

In the months and years to come we are planning many<br />

cultural exchanges of high quality which I am sure will<br />

generate a lot of interest both in Belgium and Russia.<br />

Some of them will be designed to commemorate the 165th<br />

Anniversary of our diplomatic relations next year. That will<br />

give us an opportunity to turn back to our rich heritage,<br />

remembering such historic facts as the impressive role<br />

of the Belgian companies in the development of Russian<br />

economy before the <strong>World</strong> War I or the common struggle<br />

of our citizens for the freedom of their countries. I am<br />

convinced that all that provides solid ground for our future<br />

cooperation.<br />

I was gratified to see a lot of interest in Belgium for Russian<br />

culture, and I see one of my priorities as Ambassador<br />

to encourage our cultural ties. Indeed, who can better<br />

represent the Russian identity than Valery Gergiev who<br />

Famous beautiful marble quarry Ruskeala, Karelia, Russia<br />






How do you compare the governmental and<br />

administrative institutions of Russia and the<br />

EU, knowing, as you do, that the EU has the<br />

European Parliament, the European Council, the<br />

European Commission, and the European Court of<br />

Justice? Could you explain how governmental and<br />

administrative institutions in Russia work ?<br />

The European Union is an association of sovereign<br />

states with diverse governmental structures. It includes<br />

monarchies and republics, as well as federal and highly<br />

centralized states. Russia, by contrast, is an integrated<br />

republic with a federated structure. Thus to compare<br />

the institutional systems of the European Union and the<br />

Russian Federation side by side would be rather difficult to<br />

do. About 18% of the population of the Russian Federation<br />

lives in the non-Russian republics, the borders of which are<br />

formed around the largest ethnic populations that reside in<br />

a given region.<br />

The other citizens of the Russian Federation live in<br />

administrative districts whose borders follow the contours<br />

of the land, or reflect the economic lives of the population,<br />

and so on.<br />

institutional practices. Today, Russia is a presidential<br />

republic. And for the present moment in its history, that is<br />

the best system for it.<br />

Of course, it is not an ideal system. But at least in today’s<br />

Russia, unlike during the period of the Communist<br />

totalitarian regime, one can at least discuss openly both the<br />

advantages and disadvantages of the present government, as<br />

well as possible alternatives to it.<br />

Article 13 of the Constitution prohibits the establishment<br />

of an official ideology in the state and guarantees freedom<br />

of expression and thought. This constitutional provision<br />

is a vitally important factor in maintaining the delicate<br />

balance between civil order and freedom of thought in our<br />

country.<br />

The Imperial House does not involve itself in politics and<br />

is open to dialogue with all our countrymen, regardless of<br />

their political views. Nor do we take sides in any political<br />

conflicts. If any public figures or governmental officials<br />

Despite this internal federal structure, all citizens of the<br />

Russian Federation are entirely equal no matter where they<br />

live, and none of the Russian Federation’s constituent parts<br />

have the right to secede from the Federation.<br />

The legal system in Russia is based on common democratic<br />

principles that are shared by the majority of the nations of<br />

the world today. But even with these shared principles, the<br />

legal system of each nation nonetheless expresses its own<br />

national characteristics.<br />

18<br />

Russia is obviously a large, complex, multi-ethnic country;<br />

thus in every aspect of its system of state and administrative<br />

institutions, including its legal system, there needs to<br />

be a strong central authority to unify and standardize

were inclined to see their opponents<br />

as “enemies of the people,” we<br />

would certainly want to remind<br />

them that unanimity of thought<br />

truly doesn’t exist anywhere anyway,<br />

and that the so-called opponents of<br />

the government are not all foreign<br />

agents or irresponsible demagogues,<br />

but are mostly honest people who<br />

simply see their country’s future<br />

differently. And we would also want<br />

to remind the opposition who might<br />

be inclined to see all government<br />

power as tyrannical, that this is a<br />

deeply damaging and unnuanced<br />

approach that is unconstructive and<br />

unrealistic.<br />

The institutional system in Russia<br />

today is, certainly, not without its<br />

problems. But it works. And the<br />

kind and scale of the problems in<br />

Russia are absolutely comparable<br />

to those in any country with a<br />

democratic and republican form of<br />

government. So when some start<br />

to criticize my country, I always<br />

answer: “Yes, we have our flaws, and<br />

we — the citizens of Russia — we<br />

know what they are because we’ve<br />

H.I.H. the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia<br />

learned about them ‘the hard way.’<br />

But we see that other countries all<br />

too often apply a double standard to us. You have your<br />

The Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Russia<br />

own internal problems, and believe me: they are no less and Belarus, as its name implies, is focused primarily on<br />

serious than ours. And as for international affairs, no<br />

the development of economic relations between Russia<br />

country is blameless in that arena. So when it comes to and Belarus, which has joined with Russia in an economic<br />

internal affairs, let’s agree to mind what’s going on in our union, and Belgium and Luxembourg.<br />

own country, and in international affairs, let’s agree to<br />

resolve issues not sitting in judgment over others, but in a At the same time, given the globalized economy we all live<br />

constructive dialogue among equals.”<br />

in today, we are naturally also open to working together<br />

with all countries that have economic and trade relations<br />

As Chairman of the Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber with Russia, Belarus, Belgium and Luxembourg.<br />

of Commerce in Russia, how do you collaborate<br />

and build bridges with different chambers of<br />

As for the future development of global markets, many<br />

commerce in the USA, China, India, and the EU, experts believe — and we have no reason to doubt them —<br />

and also with countries in Latin America, Africa that the coming decades will see a strengthening and<br />

and the Middle East? Which regions should you expansion of markets of India, China, and the countries of<br />

prioritize in the coming years from a geo-economic Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific rim.<br />

point of view?<br />


I believe in the economic potential of the Russian economy<br />

— not only because I love my country, but because I can<br />

objectively analyze the historical path of Russia. Russia<br />

has more than once risen from the ashes, like a phoenix,<br />

after what would have seemed to have been unrecoverable<br />

destruction and ruin. It seemed that way, for example, after<br />

the Mongol conquest in the 13th century, after the Time<br />

of Troubles ended at the turn of the 17th century, after<br />

Napoleon’s invasion in 1812, and after the Second <strong>World</strong> War.<br />

I have to admit, of course, that not all the trend lines today<br />

look positive. I speak with Russian economists of various<br />

stripes — liberals, leftists, conservatives. They all agree that<br />

the Russian economy needs serious, fundamental reforms,<br />

further investments in industry, and a transition away from<br />

energy production and export to high tech, and so on.<br />

But most important, we must all understand that, neither in<br />

Russia nor in any country in the word today, can economic<br />

strength be built upon conditions that produce stark income<br />

inequality, social stratification, or the impoverishment of<br />

a large percentage of the population. The priority of all<br />

economic policies must be to raise the standard of living<br />

of everyone, to increase wages, and to make it possible for<br />

everyone to make the most of their knowledge, skills, and<br />

ambition to realize their full potential.<br />

H.I.H. the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia<br />

No government or state structure can satisfy all the needs<br />

of humanity. But those who manage the economy, both at<br />

the state and private levels, can and must provide those<br />

things that make for a stable, “sufficient” life.<br />

In Russian there is this word “dostatok”, which is close<br />

in meaning to the words “property”, or “economic wellbeing”.<br />

It’s very difficult to translate. “Dostatok” doesn’t<br />

only mean “property”, nor necessarily “prosperity”,<br />

“abundance”, or “wellbeing” (as many English, French, and<br />

other dictionaries often render it), but rather “that which is<br />

sufficient” — dostatochno: or, perhaps better, “that which is<br />

enough to get along”, enough for a person to live a full and<br />

meaningful life.<br />

And those nations that make the economic welfare of all<br />

their citizens a priority will be the ones that will in the end<br />

win the global economic competition.<br />

How can we improve the diplomatic and trade<br />

relations between Russia and the EU, knowing that<br />

business partnerships have already been established<br />

and are enjoying success based on the promise of longterm<br />

relationships? These economic opportunities<br />

could be even better exploited if the diplomatic<br />

situation between the EU and Russia were to improve.<br />

Politics and economics are interrelated. But one can’t let<br />

politics influence economics to the point of absurdity.<br />

Economic sanctions are a double-edged sword. The sanctions<br />

that have been introduced against Russia have not only hurt<br />

Russia, they have hurt the nations that have imposed them.<br />

At the same time, these same sanctions have stimulated the<br />

revival of industries that had previously suffered from the<br />

importing of cheap goods from abroad.<br />

20<br />

Using sanctions to punish this or that country or to<br />

destabilize its internal affairs rarely succeeds. It did not work<br />

with Iran, nor has it been much better with North Korea.

To use sanctions for this purpose against a country as vast and<br />

wealthy as Russia is utterly pointless.<br />

If I consider economic sanctions in the abstract as a means<br />

for achieving political goals, and not about the specific case of<br />

the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, then I might<br />

agree that they serve a useful symbolic purpose. One might<br />

declare a boycott, say, on the importation of rice from China,<br />

sprats (canned fish) from Latvia, wine from Georgia, caviar<br />

from Russia, bacon from Ukraine, or malachite from Congo …<br />

That is, you can definitely “put a dent” in the economy of your<br />

geo-political adversary and demonstrate to the entire world<br />

your dissatisfaction with some aspect of their politics. But to<br />

introduce an entire regime of sanctions and seriously think<br />

that this will prod them to do what you want them to do is,<br />

I repeat, utterly foolish.<br />

Many in Europe are looking forward to diplomats finally<br />

working out a pathway for the restoration of mutual economic<br />

relations and mutual understanding between Europe and<br />

Russia, which will in turn lead to the quick restoration of<br />

economic relations at previous levels, if not, indeed, at still<br />

more expanded levels.<br />

But if and when that day comes, European businessmen will<br />

need to be prepared to prevent a repetition of what happened<br />

in Russia in the 1990s, when the unstable economic situation<br />

encouraged their forebears to take advantage of the economic<br />

turmoil and to carve out for themselves whole markets in<br />

Russia. Russia today must defend its economic interests, and<br />

work to assure that the restoration of economic relations<br />

between Russia and Europe be based not only on economic<br />

opportunism, but on mutually beneficial trade agreements.<br />

As concerns cultural diplomacy: on June 22 of<br />

this year you were present at the unveiling of a<br />

new statue of Peter the Great in Liège, Belgium,<br />

which commemorates the visit of Peter the Great in<br />

Belgium 300 years ago. For two centuries cultural<br />

diplomacy and cultural exchange were integral parts<br />

of the vision of the Russian leaders. As a result, there<br />

has been a constant exchange between our cultures,<br />

which has worked both to inspire and create new<br />

interactions between our peoples. As a descendant<br />

of the Russian Imperial House, how do you perceive<br />

cultural diplomacy as a form of “soft power,” and<br />

how could you transform it into an active tool to<br />

help re-establish Russian and European political and<br />

economic partnerships?<br />

H.I.H. the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia and<br />

Barbara Dietrich<br />

The Imperial House of Russia remains convinced of the utility<br />

of the monarchical system of government, and I believe that<br />

it has a place in the future. But at this historical stage, we<br />

understand perfectly well that the necessary conditions are<br />

not yet in place for a restoration of the monarchy in Russia.<br />

But that doesn’t prevent us heeding the mission to which God<br />

has called us, of doing everything we can to be useful to our<br />

country today. Our main and unchanging purpose was and<br />

remains to preserve the continuity of our country’s History —<br />

the connections that link today’s Russia with its centurieslong<br />

history, a country that, from its very foundation more<br />

than 1000 years ago, had been a hereditary monarchy.<br />

This mission involves not only our efforts to restore and<br />

revive traditions in Russia itself, but also, as you correctly<br />

noted, to engage in cultural diplomacy on an international<br />

level. We strive to use the positive legacy that our Imperial<br />

ancestors left in other countries, as well as our family ties<br />

with European royal dynasties, to bear witness before the<br />

entire world that Russia is a great nation, that it has many<br />

illustrious pages in its history, and that we need focus not on<br />

the sorrowful, bloody, and terrible moments in that history,<br />

but on the bright and beautiful moments that fill the pages<br />

of our history, and on the many examples of collaboration,<br />

mutual assistance, and nobility.<br />

If we do so, most of the current international conflicts can be<br />

resolved without making the same mistakes twice: by taking<br />

all the experience of the past into account, both the positive<br />

and the negative, but stressing always the positive.<br />






His Imperial Highness the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand<br />

Duke George of Russia was born on March 13, 1981 (new<br />

style) in Madrid, on the eve of the 100th Anniversary of<br />

the martyrdom (on March 1/14, 1881) of his great-greatgrandfather,<br />

Emperor Alexander II the Tsar-Liberator. He<br />

is the son of H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and<br />

H.I.H. Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich.<br />

The Grand Duke was baptized before the miracle-working<br />

Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, in the Orthodox<br />

Church in Madrid. Present at the baptism were King Juan<br />

Carlos I and Queen Sophia of Spain, and King Simeon II<br />

and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria. His godfather was King<br />

Constantine II of Greece.<br />

The early childhood of the Tsesarevich was<br />

spent in St.-Briac, France, and then in Paris.<br />

Up until 1999, the Heir and his mother lived<br />

principally in Madrid, where he completed<br />

college. From the time of his early childhood,<br />

the Grand Duke was educated in the spirit of<br />

the Orthodox Faith and in the full awareness of<br />

his royal duties to his homeland.<br />

The Tsesarevich plays a variety of sports and is an excellent<br />

marksman. Besides Russian, in which he always received<br />

excellent grades, the Grand Duke speaks English, French,<br />

and Spanish. He knows, and participates in, the order of<br />

services of the Orthodox Church.<br />

On April 9, 1997, during a pilgrimage of the Imperial<br />

Family to the Holy Land, the Heir, Tsesarevich, and<br />

Grand Duke George of Russia, pursuant to the Russian<br />

Fundamental Laws, took his dynastic oath to the<br />

Fatherland and to his august mother. The ceremony took<br />

place in Jerusalem, in the Throne Room of the Patriarch’s<br />

residence, where the oath of His Imperial Highness<br />

was witnessed by the faithful guardian of the purity of<br />

Orthodoxy, Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem.<br />

The Tsesarevich first visited Russia in April<br />

1992, when the entire Imperial Family attended<br />

the funeral of Grand Duke Wladimir III. Since<br />

then he has been many times to Russia, always<br />

showing a lively interest in all aspects of the life<br />

of the people.<br />

Russia’s ancient Orthodox churches, and<br />

what he considers their uniquely prayerful<br />

atmosphere, have made an indelible impression<br />

on the Grand Duke. He also takes special<br />

interest and great pleasure in visiting military<br />

bases and in meeting and conversing with<br />

soldiers, sailors and officers of the Russian<br />

army and navy.<br />


The Patriarch gave his blessing to the Grand Duke and<br />

offered his prayers that the Grand Duke will defend the<br />

Orthodox Faith, serve Russia and her people, and inviolably<br />

preserve the laws of the Russian Imperial House.<br />

Imperial House a wonderful example of respect for work.<br />

He scorned no form of employment and he was interested<br />

in everything. One can and should do what one does best<br />

and what benefits others, without regrets or stigma.<br />

After completing his studies at Oxford University, and<br />

wanting to study the processes that were determining the<br />

future course of Europe, His Imperial Highness began<br />

working for the European Parliament, and then moved<br />

to the position of assistant to the vice-president of the<br />

European Commission and Commissioner for Transport<br />

and Energy, Loyola de Palacio, in Brussels. Later he<br />

continued working for the European Commission in<br />

Luxembourg, in the European Commission for Atomic<br />

Energy and Security. During these years, the Grand Duke<br />

visited Russia several times on business.<br />

In 2006, he made his first official visit to Russia. He<br />

came to Russia at the request of his mother, the Head of<br />

the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria of<br />

Russia, to congratulate His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksei II<br />

of Moscow and All Russia, on the 45th anniversary of his<br />

ordination to the episcopacy. During that visit, the Grand<br />

Duke also met with the First Deputy Chairmen of the<br />

Duma, Oleg Morozov and Liubov Sliskaia, as well as with<br />

the chairs of several Duma committees and other Duma<br />

deputies.<br />

During another visit to Russia in November 2008, the<br />

Grand Duke accepted a job offer from the management of<br />

Norilsk Nickel; and in December, the Grand Duke assumed<br />

the position of special advisor to the company’s Director,<br />

V. I. Strzhalkovskii. In this new position, His Imperial<br />

Highness represented the interests of Norilsk Nickel — one<br />

of Russia’s largest companies — in the European Union.<br />

In addition, Grand Duke George of Russia took a seat<br />

on the Board of the Nickel Institute. After having gained<br />

significant experience advancing the interests of Russian<br />

industry, and his employment contract with Norilsk Nickel<br />

having expired, Grand Duke George of Russia formed<br />

his own public relations consulting firm — Romanoff &<br />

Partners — in Brussels. The agency represents Russian and<br />

East European companies in the European Union.<br />

Grand Duke George of Russia is entirely convinced that<br />

for him there is no obstacle to exploring a variety of<br />

professions and business activities. “My ancestor, Peter the<br />

Great,” he stated, “bequeathed to future generations of the<br />

Being a member of the Imperial house does not grant one<br />

privileges. It rather imposes great responsibilities — that<br />

neither your ancestors nor descendants should ever be<br />

ashamed of you, and that the dynasty’s good name should<br />

never be tarnished.”<br />

In addition to his business ventures, Grand Duke George<br />

of Russia of course regularly performs his duties as Heir to<br />

the Head of the Russian Imperial House. Regularly visiting<br />

(with his mother and by himself) the Russian Federation<br />

and other countries that were once part of the former<br />

Russian Empire, the Tsesarevich works to strengthen the<br />

friendship between the peoples of these countries, and to<br />

contribute to a range of charitable and cultural projects.<br />

In 2013 — the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanoff —<br />

the Grand Duke established in London the Russian<br />

Imperial Foundation for Cancer Research.<br />

Concerning his vision of the role of the Imperial House in<br />

the modern world, His Imperial Highness has said, “Our<br />

main responsibility is to preserve the continuity in our<br />

history. Compared with this mission, even our role in<br />

government pales in significance.<br />

“Our ancestors never sought after power, even at the time<br />

of the foundation of the dynasty. When emissaries from the<br />

Assembly of the Land came in 1613 to Mikhail Fedorovich<br />

to announce that he was the heir to the throne, he was filled<br />

with terror at the very thought of it and for a long time<br />

refused it.<br />

“Power is a duty — a very weighty duty. If it is required of<br />

us, we will do our duty without hesitation. We are prepared<br />

to respond to a summons from the people of Russia, should<br />

they want someday to restore the monarchy. But we do not<br />

seek power, nor do we make any claims to it — neither to<br />

any sort of political rights nor properties.<br />

“To maintain a living connection to modern Russia and to<br />

its thousand-year-long history — that is our duty and our<br />

eternal right, regardless of what form of government may be<br />

in power.”<br />







24<br />

A year ago, it looked like the seventh Moscow Bienniale<br />

of Contemporary Art was dead in the water, with no<br />

management, curator or venue. So it was a small miracle<br />

when the main exhibition,CloudsForests, opened at the<br />

New Tretyakov Gallery, the modern art branch of Russia’s<br />

main national art museum, on 19 September (until 18<br />

January 2018). It is one of several biennials running across<br />

Russia this autumn.<br />

The Japanese curator Yuko Hasegawa has brought a trio of<br />

big names to the Moscow show — Olafur Eliasson, Matthew<br />

Barney and Björk — as part of the concept of “creative<br />

tribes” that overcome the divisions of nation states. The<br />

biennial has been greeted with mixed reviews as an event<br />

with little international impact. However, the Moscow<br />

premiere of Björk Digital, the Icelandic singer’s immersive<br />

virtual-reality installation, does fit with the Tretyakov’s<br />

agenda of attracting young Russians — on a recent Saturday<br />

evening, the average age of visitors to the museum appeared<br />

to be under 20.<br />

Although the biennial is also meant as a platform for<br />

Russian contemporary artists, the entrance is dominated<br />

by a monumental sculpture by Dashi Namdakov, an<br />

established sculptor known for commissions by Russia’s<br />

Kremlin and business elite. “Guardian of Baikal” pays<br />

homage to the Buryat artist’s nomad and shaman heritage<br />

and his connection to the world’s largest freshwater<br />

lake in Siberia. The 7.5-metre-high bronze was meant to<br />

be installed on Lake Baikal’s Olkhon Island during the<br />

biennial, with a smaller plaster copy at the New Tretyakov<br />

that visitors could view with virtual-reality (VR) goggles as<br />

a high-tech complement. Environmental concerns scuttled<br />

the Baikal version, but biennial visitors can still don a VR<br />

headset for a slightly dizzying and rather breathtaking<br />

journey to the lake.<br />

Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of St Petersburg’s<br />

State Hermitage Museum, was a guest speaker on<br />

30 September to discuss the interaction between classical<br />

and contemporary art. The Hermitage hosted Manifesta,<br />

the roving European contemporary art biennial in 2014,<br />

and recently exhibited works by the Belgian artist Jan Fabre<br />

among Flemish Old Masters in the Winter Palace. But<br />

Piotrovsky’s most striking revelation was that the Hermitage<br />

had not been planning to mark the 100th anniversary of<br />

the Russian Revolution — even though the Winter Palace,<br />

former residence of the czars — was a central player.<br />

“Our Dutch colleagues at the Hermitage Amsterdam asked<br />

us, ‘What will we be doing for October?’ We said, ‘Nothing<br />

much’,” Piotrovsky said. “They said, ‘Are you crazy? The<br />

whole world is waiting. Something needs to be done’.”<br />

The Hermitage is, of course, marking the event, with two<br />

exhibitions: The Winter Palace and the Hermitage in 1917<br />

(26 October-4 February 2018) and The Press and the<br />

Revolution: Publications 1917-1922 from the Hermitage<br />

Collections (26 October-14 January 2018).<br />

<br />

BETA<br />

Sophia Kishkovsky<br />

theartnewspaper.com<br />



supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian<br />

Federation and the Agency for Cultural Affairs,<br />

Government of Japan<br />

19 September 2017 – 18 January 2018<br />

New Tretyakov Gallery<br />

(The State Tretyakov Gallery, 10, Krymsky Val, Moscow)<br />

Curator – Yuko Hasegawa (Japan)<br />

Curatorial assistant – Seiha Kurosawa (Japan)<br />


Dashi Namdakov’s Guardian of Baikal (2017) Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art<br />

© The Art Newspaper<br />



Yekaterinburg has become one of Russia’s centres of contemporary art, bolstered by its Constructivist heritage, which<br />

helps draw international participants to the biennial (until 12 November). This year’s main project, which has as its<br />

curator João Ribas, the deputy director and senior curator of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, is<br />

titled New Literacy and examines how the “fourth industrial revolution” of information and communication technology<br />

is changing society. uralbiennale.ru/en<br />


The biennial of Russia’s Pacific gateway has come back after a four-year hiatus, and given its location on Russia’s<br />

eastern seaboard, not surprisingly with a view to the East (until 20 October). Xiang Liping, a former curator and<br />

co-ordinator of the Shanghai Biennale, is curator of the main project, Port Morphology: Rules of the Game.<br />


Simon Mraz, Austria’s cultural attaché and the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow, has spent two years<br />

developing plans to mark the Revolution. His exhibition, Mir: the Village and the <strong>World</strong> forms the centrepiece of the<br />

Krasnoyarsk Museum Biennale, Russia’s longest-running contemporary art biennal — this is the 12th edition — (until<br />

28 February 2018). “Mir”, in this case, refers to an arcane understanding of the word, which usually means peace, as<br />

a name for the Russian village community. kunstaspekte.art/event/12th-krasnoyarsk-biennale-2018?hl=en<br />



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The Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce<br />

for Russia and Belarus (CCBLR) has been helping<br />

companies develop their business in Russia and<br />

Belarus since 1974. Arkady Arianoff (Director<br />

CCBLR Belgium and President CCBLR Moscow)<br />

and Kurt Demeyere (Vice-President CCBLR<br />

Belgium and tax lawyer with the Brussels office<br />

of Benelux law firm NautaDutilh) share their<br />

thoughts on and insight into doing business today<br />

in the Russian Federation.<br />

Arkady Arianoff: The purpose of CCBLR is to<br />

bring Belgian and Luxembourg and Russian-Belarus<br />

business partners together. We are a non-governmental<br />

organisation, free to express our views and independent<br />

of political and other influences. In Belgium, we have<br />

over 100 members and around 10 honorary members<br />

who support the CCBLR’s long-term vision. We regularly<br />

organise conferences, trade missions and other cultural<br />

and economic activities. Our biggest assets are our<br />

experience, the fact the we speak Russian, and our longstanding<br />

relationships based on mutual trust with both<br />

Belarussian/Russian and Belgian/Luxembourg officials and<br />

businesspeople.<br />

28<br />

Our best memory from the past few years is without<br />

hesitation the Belgian economic mission to Moscow and<br />

St. Petersburg in April 2011, on which occasion more<br />

than 400 Belgian businesspeople travelled to Russia in<br />

order to enhance their knowledge of the country and<br />

strengthen their ties. During the mission, several highvalue<br />

contracts between Belgian and Russian companies<br />

were signed. While due to the changed political and<br />

economic climate, participation in business missions<br />

has significantly declined in the past three years, we still<br />

see a lot of interest, in particular for the Russian regions<br />

which are increasingly profiling themselves to foreign<br />

investors. CCBLR was the first organisation in Belgium to<br />

Arkady Arianoff and Kurt Demeyere<br />

give a floor to the Russian regions to present themselves.<br />

Belgians sometimes forget that Russia is a federation, with<br />

economic decision-making power at the regional level.<br />

In the past 10 years, CCBLR has organised missions to<br />

more than 20 Russian regions in order to discover business<br />

opportunities.<br />

Recent examples include our September 2017 mission to<br />

Vologda and Tcherepovets (which focused on machinery<br />

and metallurgy), our October 2017 mission to Lipetsk<br />

(with a focus on iron and machinery), and our other 2017

CCBLR group picture from our Energy conferences.<br />

missions to Tatarstan and Kaliningrad. We are also proud to<br />

be a regional partner of Roscongress, organiser of the Saint-<br />

Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Eastern<br />

Economic Forum, the Sochi Economic Investment Forum<br />

and Russian Energy Week.<br />

Last but not least, we have organised several events relating<br />

to the Eurasian Economic Union. The next event will take<br />

place on 15 November. Last year, 330 people attended,<br />

including diplomats from 7 countries.<br />

Arkady Arianoff, you are well known by all Belgian<br />

and Luxembourg companies that wish to do<br />

business in Russia. Have you been recognised for<br />

your efforts?<br />

Arkady Arianoff: At a ceremony attended by more than 400<br />

people on 21 March 2017, to mark the fourth anniversary<br />

of the CCBLR Moscow and 300 years from the visit<br />

by Russian Emperor Peter the Great to Belgium, I was<br />

awarded lifelong honorary membership in the Chamber of<br />

Commerce & Industry of the Russian Federation and the<br />

Order of St. Stanislas for services rendered to the Russian<br />

Federation. In 2015, I received an important distinction<br />

for international cooperation from Russian Foreign Affairs<br />

Minister Sergey Lavrov.<br />

Since I started at CCBLR in September 2003, I have<br />

acquired extensive experience on doing business in the<br />

Russian Federation. Since 1993 I have been involved in<br />

the creation of Russian companies for Belgian investors<br />

in Russia. In my opinion, our most important strength<br />

is our network. Thanks to the fact that I speak Russian<br />

and to my many business relations, I have been able to<br />

introduce entrepreneurs in various sectors to the Russian<br />

authorities.<br />

Although Kurt Demeyere had travelled many times<br />

to the Russian Federation, it was only in 2008 that<br />

the Russian Federation became his most important<br />

centre of interests.<br />

Kurt Demeyere: In 2008, I was already an experienced<br />

tax lawyer with the Brussels office of NautaDutilh, an<br />

international full-service law firm with over 400 lawyers<br />

in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the United<br />

Kingdom and the United States. The origins of NautaDutilh<br />

in the Netherlands date back to 1724; in fact, the firm<br />

assisted the City of New Amsterdam (later New York)<br />

with the issuance of bonds to build the first municipal<br />

infrastructure. Our Brussels office is somewhat younger; it<br />

was founded in 1994 and now numbers around 65 lawyers.<br />

I decided to take a semester off to study Russian law and<br />


language at the Lomonossov Moscow State University. When I<br />

returned to Belgium, I joined the board of directors of CCBLR,<br />

where I now serve as a vice-president. As NautaDutilh works<br />

a lot with Russian clients, we decided to establish a Benelux<br />

Russian Desk in order to better serve both our Russian clients<br />

and Benelux clients who wish to do business with the Russian<br />

Federation and former CIS countries.<br />

Our assignments vary, depending on the country. In<br />

Belgium, most questions relate to joint venture agreements,<br />

legal proceedings and specific issues relating to doing<br />

business in the Russian Federation. In Luxembourg, our<br />

Russian clients include both companies and individuals.<br />

Indeed, many Russians have acquired Luxembourg<br />

nationality or have established residency in Luxembourg,<br />

as Luxembourg — like Belgium — is well known for its<br />

favourable tax treatment of IP income. In fact, several of<br />

our Russian clients manage their IP rights in Luxembourg.<br />

In the Netherlands, we mostly work for holding companies<br />

and international groups. We also have a strong arbitration<br />

and finance practice, in which capacity we work for top<br />

Russian companies in all sectors but mainly oil and gas,<br />

IT and FMCG.<br />

As a tax lawyer, can you tell us in a few words<br />

something about the Russian tax system?<br />

Kurt Demeyere: I don’t want to go into detail about<br />

the particularities of the Russian tax system. The most<br />

important thing for foreign investors to keep in mind is<br />

that Russia has established special economic zones with<br />

particular tax regimes (providing for a full exemption from<br />

income tax, VAT and customs duties). In order to attract<br />

foreign business to Russia (mainly technology, machinery,<br />

chemistry and life sciences companies), the “one-stop<br />

shop principle” has been introduced. CCBLR Brussels and<br />

CCBLR Moscow are available to provide assistance. It may<br />

also be useful to know that the personal income tax rate for<br />

Russian residents is 13%.<br />

Since 2008, I have had the pleasure of addressing audiences<br />

at more than 30 legal conferences in the Russian Federation<br />

and Belgium. An event that I particularly enjoy is the<br />

30<br />

Arkady Arianoff receives Chamber of Commerce award 2017

Arkady Arianoff (President of the Board of Directors CCBLR Moscow and Director CCBLR)<br />

Oleg Prozorov (General Director CCBLR Moscow)<br />

Kurt Demeyere (Vice President CCBLR and Senior Associate NautaDutilh Brussels)<br />

annual International Conference on Tax Case Law of the<br />

Russian Constitutional Court, organised by the Russian tax<br />

journal Nalogoved and Russian law firm Pepeliaev Group.<br />

Next April, I will speak at this conference for the 10th time.<br />

Each time, I learn a lot about Russian tax law and have<br />

interesting conversations with participants.<br />

These gatherings are crucial as they enhance my knowledge<br />

of Russian tax law and legal practice. I have noticed an<br />

increase in the quality of the presentations, discussions and<br />

questions raised by both panel speakers and members of<br />

the public. These conferences bring together people from<br />

diverse backgrounds who would otherwise not hear each<br />

other’s opinions: university professors, lawyers, judges,<br />

in-house counsel, etc. While most Russians working with<br />

international companies can speak English, it is a real asset<br />

to be able to converse with them in their mother tongue.<br />

Finally, I would like to stress the importance of the<br />

Eurasian Economic Union, an economic and customs union<br />

founded in 2015 between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the<br />

Russian Federation, which entered into force on 1 January<br />

2015. In the meantime, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have also<br />

joined. This union can be a genuine instrument to boost<br />

business.<br />

Arkady Arianoff: The January conference about the<br />

Eurasian Economic Union was indeed a huge success. Our<br />

New Year cocktails always attract a lot of people, bringing<br />

together anyone and everyone interested in the Russian<br />

economy and Russian culture. We are pleased by the<br />

attendance, despite recent negative coverage of Russia in<br />

the international press.<br />

What are the sectors where you see the greatest<br />

interest on the part of the Russian Federation?<br />

Kurt Demeyere: The most important sector is still energy.<br />

On 29 May 2017, NautaDutilh hosted the CCBLR<br />

General Assembly. On this occasion, more than 50 people<br />

attended a roundtable and panel discussion on the Year<br />

of Ecology and Environmental Awareness in the Russian<br />

Federation (moderated by me). The discussion focused<br />

on both efforts being made (especially with respect to<br />

technological innovation) and what Western European and<br />

Russian companies can do to contribute to energy efficiency<br />


and the creation of an environmentally friendly business<br />

environment. We were lucky to be able to attract top<br />

speakers, including Mr Christian Cleutinx, former Director-<br />

General of the Euratom Supply Agency and Senior Fellow<br />

at the Clingendael Institute, and high-level representatives<br />

from Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI), ENGIE,<br />

Eurochem, Fluxys and Gazprom.<br />

32<br />

Other important sectors are life sciences and agriculture,<br />

in which we see heightened interest on the part of both<br />

our Russian and Belgian contacts and clients.<br />

E-commerce is another important sector in the Russian<br />

economy. Our Dutch colleagues worked on the joint<br />

venture between Uber Technologies Inc. and Yandex,<br />

which involved the consolidation of ridesharing, food<br />

delivery and related logistics businesses in Russia,<br />

Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus and Georgia in a new<br />

company. In addition, Uber has agreed to invest<br />

USD 225 million and Yandex USD 100 million in the<br />

new company, which is valued at USD 3.725 billion on<br />

a post-money basis.<br />

Arkady Arianoff: I would like to stress the importance of<br />

Belgian ports. CCBLR has helped to further successful<br />

cooperation between Russian and Belgian ports. In<br />

September 2012, we invited the Russian deputy transport<br />

minister to visit the ports of Antwerp, Ghent and Ostend,<br />

along with a delegation of 42 people representing the most<br />

important Russian ports and Rosmorport. We have also<br />

organised an economic mission for the ports of Brussels<br />

and Zeebrugge, which resulted in the conclusion of several<br />

large contracts.<br />

What message do you wish to send at the end of<br />

this interview?<br />

Kurt Demeyere: This is not the place to talk about politics.<br />

However, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate<br />

how eager my Belgian and Russian friends and colleagues<br />

are to continue to work together and build a common<br />

future. Unfortunately, people today on both sides are using<br />

too many slogans. This new reality is my greatest concern.<br />

My main goal as CCBLR vice-president is to continue to<br />

convey the message of cooperation and contribute to an<br />

objective, open dialogue. I am convinced that our Russian<br />

partners feel the same.<br />

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention an<br />

important upcoming event. Mr Daniel Stevens, the first<br />

vice-president of CCBLR, is planning to organise an<br />

CCBLR Moscow conference, March 2017<br />

exhibition in 2018-19 at the State Historical Museum on<br />

Red Square about Belgian-Russian relationship including<br />

the Belgian investment in imperial Russia. At the turn of<br />

the twentieth century, Belgium was the largest investor<br />

in Russia, with much greater interests than France,<br />

the German Empire or the United Kingdom. Belgian<br />

investments covered a wide range of industries, including<br />

metallurgy, glass production, railways and tramways,<br />

chemistry and machinery.<br />

Arkady Arianoff: We trust that, in the coming year,<br />

business and cultural ties between the Russian Federation<br />

and Belgium and Luxembourg will continue to improve.<br />

Our business contacts on both sides tell me that the<br />

sanctions currently in place harm the business and future<br />

development of Belgian and Luxembourg companies in<br />

Russia, and vice versa. In my opinion, we should give the<br />

Russian Federation the place it deserves by granting it the<br />

status of privileged economic partner of the European<br />

Union. The business world pleads in favour of genuine<br />

efforts by all the parties to overcome the present difficulties<br />

and normalize the economic relations.<br />

Finally, please don’t forget that we’re available to assist you<br />

24/7 via our Brussels and Moscow hotlines!

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34<br />

Over a span of several years, Russia has taken significant steps<br />

to modernise its regulation of domestic and international<br />

dispute resolution including through amending its arbitration<br />

related legislation and enacting a law on mediation. The goal<br />

is to develop the Russian dispute resolution landscape and<br />

enhance trust in the Russian dispute resolution system.<br />

Arbitration in Russia has been subject to a significant overhaul<br />

with the amendments to the legislation coming into force<br />

on 1 September 2016. Criticised by some, 1 the Russian<br />

arbitration reform has been characterised by others as ‘a huge<br />

step forward making Russia more attractive and huge benefit<br />

for legal market’. 2 The reform aims to stop the practice of<br />

private arbitral institutions established by one of the parties<br />

or affiliated companies, improve the quality of arbitration and<br />

return disputes to Russia. One of the major changes relates to<br />

arbitral institutions that are required to obtain by 1 November<br />

2017 a license from the Russian government to continue their<br />

activity in Russia. It is expected that due to this requirement<br />

the number of arbitral institutions with the seat in Russia will<br />

decrease, while the quality of arbitration will improve.<br />

Another major change introduced by the reform puts an end<br />

to the uncertainty surrounding the issue of arbitrability of<br />

corporate disputes. As a general rule, corporate disputes<br />

become arbitrable, subject to certain exceptions specified<br />

in the amended legislation. Most corporate disputes are to<br />

be arbitrated under specialized corporate arbitration rules<br />

adopted by the eligible arbitral institutions.<br />

As for mediation, although this mechanism has been<br />

developing in Russia since 2004-2005, 3 its legal basis was<br />

established in 2011 when a Federal Law on Alternative Dispute<br />

Resolution Procedure Involving a Mediator (Mediation Procedure)<br />

(No. 193-FZ of 27 July 2010) came into force. Russia became<br />

one of the few countries in the world that has officially<br />

recognized ‘specialist in the field of mediation (mediator)’ as a<br />

profession and introduced respective professional standards. 4<br />

The Center for Promotion of Mediation and Alternative<br />

Dispute Resolution is the first center for Russian-speaking<br />

specialists in the world certified as Qualifying Assessment<br />

Program by the International Mediation Institute (IMI).<br />

Through this certification, the global professional standards<br />

and reliable information about qualified mediators have<br />

become available in Russia.<br />

In the course of the last decade, numerous events have been<br />

organised to popularize and promote mediation and arbitration<br />

as well as foster their development for efficient domestic,<br />

regional and international dispute resolution in Russia. Among<br />

the recently conducted events is the Global Pound Conference<br />

(GPC) that took place in Moscow on 21 June 2017. The GPC<br />

Series 2016-17 is an IMI project that convenes all stakeholders<br />

in dispute resolution at conferences around the world and<br />

aims to generate actionable data on what dispute resolution<br />

users actually need and want, both locally and globally. Other<br />

educational activities include moot courts like the Russian<br />

language Rozenberg moot court on international commercial<br />

arbitration that the Russian Foreign Trade Academy will<br />

organise for the fifth time in 2018. Bringing students up to<br />

speed with the latest legislative developments, the Arbitration<br />

Center at the Institute of Modern Arbitration will conduct<br />

in December 2017 for the first time the Russian language<br />

Mozolina moot court on arbitration of corporate disputes.<br />

Hopefully the legislative changes and educational events<br />

bear fruit and contribute to building a more predictable,<br />

professional and efficient framework for high quality dispute<br />

resolution, thereby, opening a new era for dispute resolution<br />

in Russia.<br />

<br />

Dr. Dilyara Nigmatullina<br />

<br />

Arbitration and Mediation Consultant<br />

1 See e.g., Diana Filatova, The Russian arbitration reform: further<br />

difficulties? (5 May 2017) at http://www.ciarb.org/news/ciarb-news/<br />

news-detail/features/2017/05/05/the-russian-arbitration-reform-furtherdifficulties;<br />

Nata Ghibradze & Alexander Dolgorukow, The Russian<br />

Arbitration Reform – a Road to More Certainty? (25 October 2016) at<br />

http://kluwerarbitrationblog.com/2016/10/25/the-russian-arbitrationreform-a-road-to-more-certainty/.<br />

2 Mr. Steven Finizio, Partner at Wilmer Hale, speaking at the ICC<br />

National Committee conference ‘Russia as a Place for Dispute<br />

Resolution’ on 7 December 2016.<br />

3 European Parliament, Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Legal<br />

Affairs, Note on Mediation in the Neighbouring Countries: The Case of<br />

Russia (2011), at p. 4.<br />

4 Order of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Russia of 15<br />

December 2014 N 1041h registered with the Ministry of Justice of<br />

Russia on 29 December 2014 under N 3<strong>54</strong>78.

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After many years dedicated to the consolidation<br />

of the Uzbek nation-state under the presidency of<br />

Islam Karimov since its independence in 1991, a<br />

new direction is taken by the new Uzbek president<br />

Shavkat Mirziyoyev to accelerate reforms at the<br />

national level, but also to foster cooperation at the<br />

international level.<br />

36<br />

Uzbekistan is now focusing particularly on Central<br />

Asian cooperation. The new Uzbek president has visited<br />

Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgzstan since his<br />

election in December 2016. Direct flights from Tashkent to<br />

Dushanbe in the neighbouring Tajikistan were also resumed,<br />

as a start to work on mutual trust.<br />

The Uzbek government is at the same time looking<br />

for support and collaboration from all of its partners<br />

including states, international organizations, and NGO’s.<br />

The stakes are high, since this initiative, if successful,<br />

could not only bring regional stability, but also become<br />

a new geopolitical laboratory for Eurasian stability and<br />

peace. A new doctrine could be experimented with<br />

during the development of this new process of regional<br />

rapprochement in the context of a growing multicentric<br />

and interdependent world. It would gradually promote<br />

synergy between the different actors through overlapping<br />

institutional circles (Olympic circles of security) on the<br />

Eurasian continent and at global level to balance different<br />

interests, contain conflicts, promote cooperation, and<br />

achieve security, prosperity and peace.<br />

An International Conference on Security and Sustainable<br />

Development in Central Asia under the auspices of the<br />

United Nations “Central Asia: Shared Past and Common<br />

Future, Cooperation for Sustainable Development and<br />

Mutual Prosperity”, will be organised on the 9th and 10th<br />

of November 2017 to add some flesh to this new approach<br />

and raise awareness among the international community to<br />

its great geopolitical stakes.<br />

This high profile conference is a direct consequence of the<br />

great ambition of the precedent government who welcomed<br />

high level meetings of international organizations. The<br />

Uzbek government hosted an anniversary session of the<br />

SCO Heads of States Council in Tashkent on 23-24 June 2016<br />

as the presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization<br />

(SCO) was held by Uzbekistan for 2015-2016, and hosted<br />

the 43rd session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation<br />

(OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers, on 18-19 October<br />

2016 in Tashkent, under the motto “Education and<br />

Enlightenment — Path to the Peace and Creativity”.<br />

The idea is to achieve more stability and improve security<br />

in the Central Asian region through regional cooperation in<br />

order to take full advantage of the potential of this region.<br />

Security has to be understood as being a very wide concept<br />

that includes hard security, but also economy, energy,<br />

environmental issues, demography, technology, culture and<br />

identity. The main objective is to transform Central Asia<br />

into a geopolitical hub.<br />

A non-exhaustive list of thematic concerns that are on the<br />

agenda in the context of Central Asian cooperation includes<br />

the following:<br />

The issue of unresolved borders is central and needs to be<br />

addressed between Central Asian states in order to progress<br />

to a more cooperative agenda. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan’s<br />

joint inter-governmental commission met in Dushanbe<br />

in May 2017 to discuss the country’s unresolved borders.<br />

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s two-day visit to Kyrgyzstan

concluded in September 2017 with the countries agreeing<br />

on the delineation of about 80% of their common border.<br />

Central Asian states also need to contribute in a more<br />

coherent and collective manner to maintain stability in<br />

Central Asia, in order to prevent a spill-over from external<br />

security threats, mainly from Afghanistan and project<br />

stability in neighbouring regions.<br />

would contribute to regional economic security, but also<br />

future prosperity, reinforcing at the same time prospects for<br />

stability. The Central Asian states have a crucial interest in<br />

being included in the “One Belt and One Road initiative”<br />

launched by China in 2013, since they are landlocked<br />

countries and would benefit from continental wide transport<br />

networks. To take advantage of these plans, Central Asian<br />

states need to unify their interests and positions.<br />

They also have to contain regional geopolitical rivalries<br />

since they face the same problems like international<br />

terrorism, religious extremism, transnational organized<br />

crime and drug trafficking. They therefore need to bolster<br />

initiatives such as the UN Regional Centre for Preventive<br />

Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) created in 2007.<br />

An objective of the Uzbek government and its Central Asian<br />

partners is also to transform its territory into a geopolitical<br />

hub for Eurasian transport, energy and commercial corridors<br />

(map: Uzbekistan — Central Asia: Geopolitical Hub). This<br />

In order to solve the region’s water and energy problems,<br />

Central Asian states also need better cooperation to sign<br />

the conventions on the use of water resources in the Amu<br />

Darya and Syr Darya river basins, and pursue cooperation<br />

regarding the issue of the Aral sea.<br />

What is ultimately needed in the longer term is a “Central<br />

Asian Regional Partnership Treaty”, which is including<br />

the elements and aspects of security, commerce, energy,<br />

environment, scientific research and cultural exchanges to<br />


38<br />

consolidate the new regional cooperation process. In the<br />

short term, there is dire need for a permanent forum for<br />

discussing these vital issues of Central Asia and would<br />

be representing a prerequisite step to the progress and<br />

development of the region.<br />

To ensure these plans are realised and successful, the<br />

Uzbek government and its regional partners need the<br />

support of international organizations. They will have<br />

to convince them to move from the current competition<br />

between great powers behind the different international<br />

organizations into a cooperative agenda based on a balance<br />

of the different sets of local interests. To achieve future<br />

stability and reduce geopolitical rivalries at Eurasian<br />

and global scale in a multipolar world, it is necessary to<br />

manage and contain the centrifugal forces in the world<br />

with a security architecture fully adapted to this new<br />

emerging multipolar world. A new doctrine of multilateral<br />

cooperation has to be initiated.<br />



The success of Central Asian cooperation is equally<br />

important for the geopolitical interests of Europe. A quick<br />

look at the map (Alliances and Major Zones of Instability in<br />

a Multicentric <strong>World</strong>) illustrating the alliances in the <strong>World</strong><br />

and the major conflicts and potential instability zones<br />

reveals and underlines the striking realities of today’s world.<br />

First of all, the two major stability zones amid a world<br />

drifting towards instability, conflicts and growing<br />

uncertainty are the Euro-Atlantic space covered by NATO<br />

and the Eurasian area covered by the Shanghai Cooperation<br />

organization (SCO). On the margins of these two groupings,<br />

conflicts and security threats can endanger these “Islands<br />

of peace”. The danger of terrorism is already more and<br />

more present in these two zones and it is therefore a crucial<br />

objective to contain these fast growing internal security<br />

threats coming from the crisis zones.

The Shanghai Cooperation organization (SCO) is covering<br />

the major part of the Eurasian landmass, and therefore, the<br />

future of the organization is crucial to world stability.<br />

Uzbekistan occupies a very pivotal geographical position in<br />

the middle of Central Asia and Eurasia. Central Asia, and<br />

Uzbekistan in particular, plays a crucial role in maintaining<br />

stability on the Eurasian landmass for different reasons:<br />

Uzbekistan possesses the largest population in Central Asia.<br />

Uzbekistan is also a geopolitical lock to prevent instability<br />

from Afghanistan and Middle East to spread to the whole<br />

of Central Asia, and therefore to Russia and China. This<br />

is also of decisive importance for Europe: if there is no<br />

peace and stability on the Eastern part of Eurasia, there<br />

is no chance to have peace and stability on the Western<br />

part because of the growing interdependences in energy,<br />

commerce, migrations flows, terrorism and criminal activity<br />

(including drug trafficking). The success of the Uzbek<br />

national model as a stability provider is equally important.<br />



There are missing links in the security architecture of the<br />

European, Eurasian and Central Asian spaces that needs<br />

to be fixed in order to avoid a further fragmentation of the<br />

European continent between Euro-Atlantic and Euro-Asian<br />

alliances.<br />



Synergy is needed between the various actors to achieve<br />

geopolitical stability on the Eurasian continent. On a longer<br />

term basis, a new Eurasian geopolitical architecture based<br />

on a new doctrine of overlapping circles of international<br />

organizations would be a major factor for developing and<br />

improving Eurasian security (diagram: Overlapping Circles<br />

of <strong>World</strong> stability and Peace). The diagram illustrates the<br />


need for a new European security treaty with a Eurasian<br />

reach, and a new “Central Asian Partnership and<br />

cooperation treaty” situated in the context of an emerging<br />

global multipolarity.<br />

We also have to assume that an enlargement of Euro-<br />

Atlantic institutions (NATO-EU-OSCE) to the whole<br />

of the Eurasian continent is impossible. Firstly, the<br />

individual EU and NATO member states disagree on<br />

further enlargement. Secondly, it would be impossible for<br />

these Euro-Atlantic institutions to manage the geopolitical<br />

diversity of the Eurasian continent. This new security<br />

architecture is based on the “geographical tightening”<br />

principle in the context of NATO’s and EU’s overstretched<br />

capacities. Geographical proximity would be a central<br />

criterion to build regional alliances in order to foster<br />

stability and prevent any further Eurasian fragmentation.<br />

The role of Uzbekistan and its Central Asian partners is<br />

therefore very important for the making of possible new<br />

and successful emerging security architecture. The Uzbek<br />

presidency of SCO has insisted in the recent past on<br />

further enhancing the status of the SCO as an influential<br />

international structure and expanding its cooperation<br />

with key international organizations. This is fully in-line<br />

with the Uzbek foreign policy doctrine. The Uzbek foreign<br />

policy based on a multivectorial doctrine is concerned with<br />

maintaining balance in all directions. Uzbekistan is willing<br />

to prove it is contributing to stability and to the reduction<br />

of rivalry between the great powers. Uzbekistan is a member<br />

of SCO, is a partner of the NATO Partnership for Peace,<br />

a major actor of the EU Central Asia strategy, a member<br />

of OSCE, CIS and OIC. Uzbekistan therefore has a strong<br />

interest, like its Central Asian partners, in promoting<br />

cooperation and synergies between these organizations.<br />

40<br />

The idea is to stabilize the overlapping security spaces<br />

from Vancouver to Vladivostok (NATO and OSCE,<br />

USA-EU-Russia), Lisbon to Vladivostok (UE-Russia),<br />

St Petersburg to Peking (OCS), Minsk-Dushanbe (CSTO)<br />

and Central Asian space from around Ashgabat, Astana,<br />

Bishkek, Dushanbe, Tashkent and Dushanbe (new Central<br />

Asia platform).<br />

This netting of institutions resembles the “Olympic<br />

circles”. The described configuration would be adapted<br />

to the emerging multipolar world to maintain a balance<br />

between the different states, alliances and political<br />

and security institutions. This architecture is aimed at<br />

promoting synergies between interleaved organisations<br />

like NATO, EU, OSCE, SCO, CIS, OTSC, EEU, OIC and<br />

should lead to greater levels of stability. In-between spaces<br />

between these structures would be subject to common<br />

stabilization policies or “non-aggression agreements”.<br />

This new doctrine of “overlapping circles” supposes the<br />

acceptance by international actors of the emergence of<br />

a variety of international organizations whose objectives<br />

are contributing to Eurasian and world stability. The<br />

strengthening of the SCO should, for example, not be<br />

perceived in the West as a geopolitical rival, but a future<br />

partner to manage multipolarity. It is in the long-term<br />

interests of Euro-Atlantic structures, EU, OSCE and<br />

NATO, to be complemented by other international<br />

organizations like Shanghai Cooperation Organization<br />

(SCO), EEU, OTSC, CIS, OIC in order to stabilize the<br />

Eurasian continent.<br />


The Central Asian states are at a very early stage of this<br />

new cooperative and collaborative process, which represents<br />

a significant break from their recent past history of<br />

competition and conflict. This is the very reason they need<br />

support from their partners, since the stakes go far beyond<br />

the borders of Central Asia.<br />

It is time for the European nations to take advantage of<br />

the potentialities of the multipolar world. Western Europe<br />

and Central Asia therefore, have a common interest in<br />

deepening their links through bilateral and multilateral<br />

relations. Innovative thinking regarding a new geopolitical<br />

architecture at Eurasian and global level is a condition<br />

for enlarging their respective margin of manoeuvre and<br />

achieve a better balance of interests through Euro-Asiatic<br />

cooperation.<br />

In a multipolar world where tensions rise in many parts<br />

of the globe, success stories are important and should be<br />

strongly supported and encouraged by European countries.<br />

Dr Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann,<br />

Geopolitician, President of Eurocontinent

Karl Holmqvist<br />

Time To Put Your Foot Down<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Varanasi, India, 2017<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />

The “Time to put your foot down” text originally appeared on a sticker I made concurrent to the Utopia Station exhibition at the 50th Venice Biennial in 2003<br />

With these words came a picture of the sole of a shoe. It wasn’t clear however whether this was a left or a right shoe and also whether this phrase was meant<br />

as ironic or affirmative ... It introduced an element of ambiguity that no doubt is there for this installment when appearing as a stenciled text on the ground of<br />

the cities of Varanasi and Santa Marta ... Who is meant to put their foot down and where!? And, against what? … Could it be one thing only or several things?<br />

… Or, maybe everything haha …<br />





“The idea of HUMANITY and BROTHERHOOD is<br />

a gift from the Slavs to the entire world civilization.”<br />

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937)<br />

42<br />

SLAVONIC EUROPE (SE) is a European project aiming<br />

at establishing a Slavonic cultural movement at an<br />

international level. It started in autumn 2015 in Brussels<br />

and intends to give subsequently back to the world<br />

civilization what seems to have disappeared in our time:<br />

The contemporaneity of Mind and Emotion which are<br />

the basic pillars of what the Czech Slavonic philosopher,<br />

sociologist and politician Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, whose<br />

80th anniversary of death is commemorated this year,<br />

called Humanity and Brotherhood — mutual respect and<br />

mutual solidarity between human beings on Earth.<br />

These features represent one of the specific characteristics<br />

of the Slavs and the Slavonic culture all over the world.<br />

It is equally close to arts as it is to science and is the driving<br />

force of the SLAVONIC EUROPE movement.<br />

It breaks the first ground in Europe, the continent where<br />

the Slavs have their historico-cultural roots. The name of<br />

the movement covers both the spirit and the place of origin.<br />

At the same time its ambition is to reach out far beyond:<br />

the movement intends to establish an international network<br />

for cultural cooperation amongst Slavs on global level –<br />



Being addressed at around 360 million Slavs around the<br />

world, SLAVONIC EUROPE is — culturally and historically<br />

speaking — a unique initiative. On the European continent it<br />

covers 13 Slavonic nations with approximately 312 million<br />

inhabitants reaching all over Central and Eastern Europe:<br />

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia,<br />

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, FYR of Macedonia,<br />

Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.<br />

By highlighting this extraordinarily rich culture and the<br />

cultural identity of the Slavonic peoples this initiative<br />

constitutes in itself an autonomous value. In times of<br />

rising disintegration and apparent political and social<br />

decomposition within the European Union this project<br />

strives for making its contribution to strengthen European<br />

cohesiveness via the integration of the Slavs — the biggest<br />

ethnic and cultural group in Europe.<br />

Concretely, SLAVONIC EUROPE is focusing on three<br />

main objectives:<br />

1. REINFORCE the links between the 13 Slavonic<br />

countries on a cultural basis in Europe but as well<br />

with the many people of Slavonic origin living in<br />

other parts of the world<br />

2. MAKING the richness of the Slavonic culture<br />

MORE VISIBLE. Showing its abundance and<br />

diversity by visualizing the underlying common roots<br />

at the same time<br />

3. Contribute to the construction of a BRIDGE<br />

between East and West by means of communication<br />

and mediation in our difficult and troubled times.<br />

The SLAVONIC EUROPE movement has explicitly chosen<br />

a bottom-up approach that puts the European citizens again<br />

in the centre and revives by this the old Slavonic idea of<br />

HUMANITY and BROTHERHOOD. It is an alternative<br />

plan to the top-down approach of the Schuman Plan of<br />

the 1950es, focused on states and governments, that still<br />

applies in the European Union.<br />


SLAVONIC EUROPE will be based on one solid pillar<br />

that will form its basis of action and create multiple<br />

synergies: The SLAVONIC HOUSE. It will be the core and<br />

at the same time ‘the face’ of the SLAVONIC EUROPE<br />

movement, the central spot of its implementation open to<br />

all citizens. As the nucleus merging the different aspects of

To: David Chmelik david.chmelik@slavonic-europe.org<br />

oh ja natŸrlich.<br />

the project the SLAVONIC HOUSE will form the beating<br />

hearth of the SE movement. As the place where the three<br />

main objectives mentioned above will be implemented<br />

and where the project will unfold its varied activities the<br />

SLAVONIC HOUSE will provide a home to all Slavs — in<br />

a physical form in a fully integrated architectural structure<br />

in Brussels but also by means of virtual 3D visits on the SE<br />

website.<br />



This parent house will be established and developed in<br />

Brussels being the headquarters of the SE movement which<br />

will have its branches founded successively around the<br />

world: The SLAVONIC HOUSES all over the globe will<br />

form the backbone of the INTERNATIONAL NETWORK<br />


The map shows the scale and geostrategic dimension of<br />

the future International Network for Slavonic<br />

Cooperation.<br />


The idea of Slavonic identity and togetherness will only<br />

persist and be a legitimate one, if the Slavs have something<br />

new to give to the world — something which is enriching<br />

and contributes to the world’s progressive positive evolution<br />

towards HUMANITY and BROTHERHOOD. It is in this<br />

broad international context that SLAVONIC EUROPE as<br />

a worldwide cultural movement strives for giving home and<br />

shelter to all Slavs around the world — and adding to the<br />

inner driving force of a better and finer civilization over<br />

the globe.<br />


David CHMELIK is the founder and president of the<br />

SLAVONIC EUROPE Association.<br />

Born in 1968 in Kladno/Czechoslovakia, he studied<br />

classical (Latin & ancient Greek) and German philology<br />

and at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich,<br />

Germany and mathematical economics at the universities<br />

of Berlin (FU) and Bonn (RFWU), Germany.<br />

From 2005 to 2016 he served as a permanent official at<br />

the European Commission in the Directorate General of<br />

Budget being seconded in the framework of the Czech EU<br />

Presidency in 2008-2009 to the Vice Prime Minister of<br />

the Czech Republic.<br />

and around the world on cultural grounds and, at the<br />

same time, as a contribution to an alternative European<br />

unification attempt based on culture as the connecting<br />

power — a new Slavonic bottom-up approach to societal<br />

integration.<br />


Rond-point Schuman 2-4, Levels 5 & 6<br />

1040 Bruxelles, Belgium<br />

T +32 2 403 36 37, www.slavonic-europe.org<br />

Being founder and president of the Belgian-German<br />

Club in Brussels (BGC) in 2011 and of the European<br />

Club Prague (ECP) in 2012, David Chmelik initiated<br />

the SLAVONIC EUROPE movement in Brussels in<br />

autumn 2015 with the explicit objective of fostering<br />

and strengthening the Slavonic togetherness in Europe<br />






The Republic of China, the official name of Taiwan,<br />

has recently appointed a new Representative to<br />

the EU and Belgium — Ambassador Harry Tseng,<br />

an experienced and savvy diplomat with a strong<br />

academic background. Before assuming his post<br />

in Brussels, Ambassador Tseng served as Deputy<br />

Secretary General in President Tsai Ing-wen’s office,<br />

and as Deputy Secretary General in the National<br />

Security Council.<br />

We understand that President Tsai Ing-wen has<br />

brought a lot of changes to Taiwan since she took<br />

office in May last year. What are the major policy<br />

changes that have occurred domestically and<br />

internationally and what is the significance of these<br />

changes?<br />

President Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide election victory last<br />

year, winning 56% of votes in a three-way race and leading<br />

the runner-up by more than three million votes. In the<br />

meantime, Madame Tsai’s party, Democratic Progressive<br />

Party (DPP) gained 60 % of seats in the Legislature, while<br />

the main opposition party, the KMT, secured only 31 %.<br />

The people of Taiwan have clearly given President Tsai a<br />

strong mandate to conduct her policies both at home and<br />

abroad.<br />

By mentioning the changes on an international level, I<br />

take it that you are referring to Taiwan’s relations with<br />

mainland China, or the cross-Strait relations, as Beijing has<br />

suspended official dialogue with Taipei since President Tsai<br />

took office on May 20, 2016, insisting that she must first<br />

accept the so-called ‘1992 Consensus,’ which implies that<br />

Taiwan is part of Beijing’s ‘one China.’<br />

44<br />

Unlike her predecessor Dr. Ma Ying-jeou’s presidency<br />

(2008-2016), President Tsai has refused to accept the<br />

so-called ‘1992 Consensus’ due to that there is no written<br />

H.E. Dr. Harry H.J. Tseng, Ambassador of the Taipei Representative<br />

Office in the European Union and Belgium, receives Barbara Dietrich.

Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, Taiwan<br />

justification of the formula out of the meeting in 1992. The<br />

only thing we know for sure 25 years on is that there was<br />

indeed a gathering in 1992 in Hong Kong about the subject.<br />

President Tsai has never mentioned the ‘1992 Consensus’<br />

during her presidential campaign, let alone accepting<br />

it after taking presidency. Instead, she stated that the<br />

changing environments in the Asia-Pacific region over the<br />

past years have presented a ‘new situation’ that both sides<br />

of the Taiwan Strait need to jointly face. The two sides<br />

need to jointly respond to a ‘new answer sheet’ and jointly<br />

consider a ‘new model’ conducive to peaceful and stable<br />

cross-Strait interaction. Therefore, the two sides should sit<br />

down and talk about issues of common concern as soon as<br />

possible, without setting any precondition.<br />

This year, Taiwan was unable to participate in<br />

the <strong>World</strong> Health Assembly (WHA), because of<br />

China’s objection. How is President Tsai Ing-wen<br />

and her administration going to deal with such<br />

obstructions from the Beijing government in<br />

the future?<br />

In my opinion, it is very unfortunate that the WHO<br />

Secretariat, under the pressure from Beijing, refused<br />

to invite Taiwan as an observer to the WHA this year.<br />

From 2009 to 2016, as a non-WHO member, Taiwan<br />

had participated as an observer at the WHA, meeting<br />

representatives and experts from other countries to<br />

exchange best practices and share experiences on issues<br />

that concern the health of everyone in this global village.<br />

We all know that disease heeds no political borders. It<br />

is absurd that Taiwan, a country of 23.5 million people,<br />

with comprehensive and advanced medical and health<br />

system and claiming high-level scientific expertise, is being<br />

excluded.<br />

WHO is an ideal forum for Beijing to demonstrate its<br />

goodwill to people of Taiwan, yet unfortunately it is not<br />

the case. In addition to our absence from the WHA, we<br />

encountered obstacles in our efforts to participate in all<br />

technical meetings under the WHO framework. Take this<br />

current year for example, since the beginning of 2017 we<br />

have applied to participate in 18 technical meetings, and<br />

clearly due to the pressures from China, only 4 of our<br />

applications were approved.<br />

In Taiwan, we have an advanced and comprehensive<br />

national health system that we are very proud of. Promoting<br />

health is an issue we can make our due contributions. We<br />

will continue to call upon support from the international<br />

community and, at the same time, we are eager to share<br />


Oolong Tea garden at Alishan in Chiayi,Taiwan<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

global responsibilities and offer our experiences by joining<br />

international efforts in humanitarian aid and disease<br />

prevention, among many other things. We believe that as<br />

long as we walk in the path of virtues, we would not truly be<br />

left alone.<br />

However, China should also stop strangling Taiwan’s<br />

international space and forcing the marginalization of<br />

Taiwan in the international community. I believe the leaders<br />

on either side of the Taiwan Straits have the will and<br />

wisdom to address the difficulties.<br />

It is clear that Taiwan and China have different<br />

views on several topics. Do you think that the views<br />

of the two sides will evolve over the years?<br />

President Tsai has reiterated in her National Day address<br />

on 10th October that, in dealing with mainland China, our<br />

goodwill would not change, our promise to keep the status<br />

quo would not change, and that we would not revert to the<br />

old path of confrontation, yet we would surely not submit to<br />

external pressures.<br />

As I mentioned earlier, we hope that Beijing will soon<br />

resume bilateral dialogues with Taipei, and that both sides<br />

can together create a new model to handle cross-Strait<br />

relations. For decades now, the two sides have dealt with<br />

each other and managed their ties basing on an established<br />

model and guidelines. However, in view of new international<br />

situations, we should consider if there is a need to examine<br />

these old practices and mindsets.<br />

What is the content of President Tsai Ing-wen’s<br />

‘New Southbound Policy’?<br />

We call it the New Southbound Policy, because there was an<br />

‘old’ Southbound Policy under former President Lee Teng-hui<br />

around 20 years ago. There are different concerns and<br />

strategies involved in this new policy now, and it focuses<br />

more on people, rather than on markets.<br />

It’s a people-oriented policy, as over the past two decades,<br />

Taiwan has become home to many immigrants from<br />

Southeast Asia, a lot of whom are married to Taiwanese<br />

partners, and with a second generation speaking both<br />

parents’ mother tongues and growing up learning both<br />

parents’ cultures and traditions. These young people have<br />

helped form a natural bridge between Taiwan and several<br />

countries in Southeast Asia, and they could help us better<br />

understand and engage more with this emerging new<br />

market.<br />

46<br />

Taiwan is a ‘responsible stakeholder’ of the international<br />

community. We will not react in a way that could escalate<br />

tensions or damage the peace and stability in the region.<br />

Also, by providing scholarships and visa-waiver treatment,<br />

our government is trying to encourage more people from<br />

the Southeast Asian countries to come to Taiwan, creating

Beautiful landscape of sea level reflections and people’s silhouette in Gaomei wetlands, Taiwan<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

more and more people-to-people exchanges and dialogues.<br />

With the New Southbound Policy, we hope to develop closer<br />

and stronger relations with the region from the bottom-up,<br />

even though some of the beneficial effects of this policy may<br />

not be immediately visible, we believe we are moving in the<br />

right direction. In fact, we have been seeing enthusiastic<br />

responses from quite a few ASEAN countries. Industrial<br />

and business leaders from Taiwan and southeast Asia are<br />

beginning to reap the benefit of our New Southbound Policy.<br />

Mr. Ambassador, we know that you have been a<br />

career diplomat for most of your life, and this time<br />

you were appointed by President Tsai Ing-wen<br />

to take on the role as Taiwan’s Representative<br />

in the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg. What do<br />

you expect to achieve during your posting here?<br />

Furthermore, how would you like to see Taiwan’s<br />

relations with the EU grow?<br />

Before departing from Taipei in May, I had an audience<br />

with President Tsai to seek her instructions. She talked<br />

about promoting and strengthening trade and economic<br />

relations between Taiwan and the EU, attaching great<br />

importance to a bilateral investment agreement, or the BIA.<br />

The BIA will be important and beneficial for both Taiwan<br />

and the EU. In 2017, the accumulated European investment<br />

in Taiwan reached US$43 billion, making the EU the<br />

largest source of foreign investment in Taiwan, while the<br />

accumulated Taiwanese investment in the EU amounted<br />

to only US$6.7 billion. A BIA will not only motivate more<br />

Taiwanese business to come to invest in Europe, but will<br />

also provide better investment protection for European<br />

business in Taiwan. We hope to start a formal BIA<br />

negotiation with the EU as soon as possible.<br />

However, our relations with the EU are more than just<br />

an economic one. There are common concerns on<br />

security, cyber-security and defense issues. Look at the<br />

confrontations in East Asia, the reckless actions of North<br />

Korea not only threatens South Korea, Japan and the US, it<br />

threatens our civilization. In a world where cyber space has<br />

connected every player, the EU cannot stay outside of the<br />

crisis. If the situation in East Asia gets out of hand, there<br />

will also be serious repercussions for the EU. Therefore, the<br />

EU should pay more attention to, and try to engage more<br />

with the region, and play a more proactive role to encourage<br />

dialogues that help keep the regional peace and stability.<br />

What do I expect to achieve during my posting here?<br />

I want to make as many friends as possible, and I would like<br />

to share my knowledge about Taiwan with my European<br />

counterparts. I hope that more and more European people<br />

will get a better understanding of what’s happening in our<br />

part of the world, and vice versa, I would like to introduce<br />

Europe to more people in Taiwan. We are living in the same<br />

global village. Taiwan is a small country, but there are many<br />

things we can do to contribute, and to continue to be a<br />

worthy member of the international community.<br />




H.E. Dr. Harry H.J. Tseng, Ambassador of the Taipei Representative Office in the European Union and Belgium, hosted a reception at the Residence Palace in<br />

Brussels on 10 October, celebrating the 106th Anniversary of the Republic of China (Taiwan).<br />


season 2017 — 2018<br />

Le Duc d’Albe<br />

Gaetano Donizetti - Giorgio Battistelli<br />

from 17.11.17<br />

opera<br />

Falstaff<br />

Giuseppe Verdi<br />

from 13.12.17<br />

opera<br />

Ravel/Debussy<br />

Cherkaoui - Verbruggen<br />

from 21.12.17<br />

ballet<br />

Faust<br />

Jean-Christophe Maillot<br />

from 20.01.18<br />

ballet<br />

Pelléas et Mélisande<br />

Claude Debussy<br />

from 02.02.18<br />

opera<br />

Parsifal<br />

Richard Wagner<br />

from18.03.18<br />

opera<br />

Selon désir<br />

Foniadakis - Nijinski - Clug - Lock<br />

from 31.03.18<br />

ballet<br />

La clemenza di Tito<br />

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart<br />

from 06.05.18<br />

opera<br />

Memento Mori<br />

Cherkaoui - Shechter - Forsythe<br />

from 12.06.18<br />

ballet<br />

The Gambler<br />

Sergey Prokofiev<br />

from 13.06.18<br />

opera<br />

Kati Heck, Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp<br />

www.operaballet.be<br />


The Magnificent Tuscan Wines<br />

of Vini Franchetti<br />

In the previous edition of <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>, we covered the story of<br />

the exquisit Etna wines of Andrea Franchetti, one of Italy’s most fascinating,<br />

poetic and contrarian winemakers. We now invite you to take a closer look at his vinyards of<br />

Tenuta di Trinoro in Val’Orcia (Tuscany).<br />

50<br />

Andrea Franchetti is one of Italy’s most fascinating winemakers,<br />

bringing his intuitive and poetic worldview to the way he makes his<br />

wines. Located in a remote corner of southeastern Tuscany, Tenuta<br />

di Trinoro specializes in rich, age-worthy red wines made of<br />

Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.<br />

The 200-hectare estate sits in viticultural isolation in the Orcia<br />

Valley near Sarteano, where Tuscany meets Umbria and Lazio.<br />

Owner and winemaker Andrea Franchetti acquired the property<br />

in the 1980s. In the beginning of the 1990s he started planting<br />

his first vines. The most important thing he learned was the role<br />

of the terroir. He saw, in the rough woodland that would become<br />

Trinoro, clay-limestone and gravel soils reminiscent of those in<br />

Saint-Émilion. Only select parcels were suitable for vine-growing,<br />

amid a sea of blue clay, and those he cleared by hand and planted<br />

in the style of the Bordelais: high-density, meter-by-meter plantings,<br />

with cuttings brought over from some of the region’s great estates.<br />

Tight planting, high thinning, very low yields, extreme ripeness,<br />

and concentration of flavor characterize his winemaking style. The<br />

wines are highly perfumed and opulent, at once approachable<br />

and meant to be left to develop in the bottle over time. Placed<br />

under a mountain, Tenuta di Trinoro has a mosaic of soils. The<br />

vines, densely planted, are more than twenty years old and, with<br />

their extended root system, they have become able to render<br />

a distinct taste from every terrain of the estate. 22 hectares are<br />

under vine, planted between 450 and 600 meters on southwestern<br />

facing slopes. Cabernet franc and merlot dominate the plantings,<br />

with small parcels of cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot on the<br />

perimeter.<br />



Viticulture in almost all of Italy is considered a process where every<br />

year a natural bounty is offered because God loves the owner. A<br />

small percentage of wineries see the soil of their property as the<br />

holy key to a unique wine and spend the year doing everything they<br />

can think of to produce the best possible fruit from it.<br />

This year the Franchetti<br />

vinyards of Tenuta di Trinoro<br />

suddenly had frost in May<br />

for three nights. The wine<br />

maker lit wood fires every<br />

twenty meters in the plains;<br />

the thick low smoke freed the<br />

high pressure in the vines.<br />

Compared to all the burned

and bare valley bottom vineyards in Chianti the freeze was very<br />

minor, so the vineyards ended up as tall and green as any year.<br />

The freeze of the spring passed over a land that was already<br />

completely dried out, as from December through the beginning of<br />

August, it has not rained.<br />

‘It has been 45 degrees Celsius, and a copper light has been dancing<br />

in the distance above the clay earth. For the drought as well as for<br />

the freeze, the remedy comes at night. The leaves open their pores<br />

in the darkness. So for 60 days, fifteen people slept during the day<br />

in order to go spraying water on the foliage every night from two to<br />

seven in the morning when the pores are open and the plants can<br />

suck in the water.’<br />

“After this work, the entire estate shows its green vines against the<br />

stunning skies, fields encircled by dark trees and sparkling, golden<br />

light. I walk above it, thinking it looks like a little opera, something<br />

precarious, its setting about to collapse, the stage about to crumble<br />

into dust.” Andrea Franchetti says.<br />

Of all his wines, the flagship Tenuta di Trinoro provides the greatest<br />

insight into Andrea Franchetti’s approach to winemaking. The<br />

proprietary blend of cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon,<br />

and petit verdot grown on soils of limestone, alluvial plain, and<br />

clay changes each year based upon which grapes are the best from<br />

that vintage, wed not to any predetermined recipe, formula, or<br />

even flavor profile. This Super Tuscan wine showcases the distinct<br />

terroir and grapes from this remote estate at the furthest confines<br />

of viticulture in<br />

Tuscany. Franchetti’s<br />

distinct style is<br />

apparent throughout<br />

each wine and each<br />

vintage. Richness and<br />

structure, depth of<br />

flavor and complexity —<br />

these are the hallmarks<br />

of Andrea Franchetti’s<br />

wines.<br />




The Antwerp (Brasschaat) based wine store Boutique Barrique<br />

has the honor to distribute the wines of Vini Franchetti<br />

in Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. For more<br />

information you can contact Mr. Steven Hubrecht, owner of<br />

Boutique Barrique.<br />

Bethaniëlei 16, Brasschaat<br />

m. +32 476 27 57 32<br />

info@boutique-barrique.be<br />


www. boutique-barrique.be<br />




We want to create an environment in which the<br />

Congo can grow and develop and in which the<br />

Congolese can gain dignity and live better. By doing<br />

so, we want to create opportunities for everyone, not<br />

only the Congolese. I see opportunities for the rest<br />

of the humanity.<br />

We have to be flexible in order to deal with all<br />

the challenges and changes that lie ahead of us.<br />

How do you feel change will affect the Democratic<br />

Republic of the Congo?<br />

Exactly. Especially for a country like the Congo. Changes<br />

are inevitable, because despite the abundance of natural<br />

resources, the Congo is one of the poorest and least<br />

developed countries in the world today. When going to the<br />

Congo, you will find that the population is basically taken<br />

hostage in its own country. The poverty is very visible on<br />

the street; 85% of the active population is unemployed and<br />

there is no basic infrastructure. People living in Belgium<br />

or in other European countries sometimes don’t see the<br />

importance of some things, but when you live in the Congo,<br />

less than 10% of the population has access to drinking<br />

water, electricity and telecommunication services. With<br />

85% of the population being unemployed, the currency<br />

of the country is completely worthless, to the point that<br />

almost everyone is now using the American dollar instead<br />

of the Congolese franc. Because having Congolese francs,<br />

means having no stability.<br />

the moment. Something must be done and I don’t know<br />

what can be done immediately. I am preparing myself to<br />

participate in the elections via a normal procedure. We’re<br />

not even sure when those elections will take place or if<br />

there will be transparency. This is the situation of today.<br />

The question remains, how can we solve this?<br />

I suppose everything starts with new elections,<br />

as a first step? Do you have any idea what will be<br />

possible, regarding the elections?<br />

Yes. The constitution of the Congo is very clear: it says that<br />

the term of the president is 5 years and renewable one time.<br />

Mr. Kabila has exhausted his last second term in December<br />

of last year, because the elections were not organised on<br />

time. We had a dialogue between the opposition and the<br />

52<br />

What you have today could be worthless tomorrow and<br />

what you have tomorrow could be worthless in a week.<br />

So, as a means of protection, the Congolese people use<br />

the American dollar. The political situation is so tense,<br />

that insecurity is generalized throughout the country.<br />

Have you heard about the 80 mass graves that have been<br />

discovered in the centre of the Kasai Region where people<br />

were killed and put in those mass graves? Sometimes you<br />

start wondering why those security forces are even there.<br />

You don’t know if they are the killers or the one protecting<br />

the people from being assasinated. So, to make a long<br />

story short, the Congo is in a very difficult situation at<br />

Dr. Noel K. Tshiani Muadiamvita

Bruno Devos, Dr. Noël K. Tshiani Muadiamvita and Barbara Dietrich<br />

presidential majority, facilitated by the catholic bishop.<br />

An agreement was reached which guarantees a one year<br />

extension to the presidential majority to have a transition<br />

of power of one year, and to organize the new elections<br />

in a transparent manner. However, today, it is not clear<br />

we are actually going to have a new president on the 31st<br />

of December 2017. It is almost impossible to organize an<br />

election with the remaining time.<br />

So, the question is, how do we go from here? Again, we<br />

are calling upon the international community to work with<br />

the people of the Congo so we can have elections within<br />

the agreed time frame. However, if that is not the case,<br />

we will be willing to organize a transition after December<br />

31st. A transition means that those who are responsible for<br />

the political blockade, which has prevented the political<br />

elections to be organized, should step aside. This means<br />

that president Kabila and those who are supporting him<br />

and who have been involved in the delayment of the<br />

political process, should step aside so we can have a new<br />

team. We will have to determine who will be a part of this<br />

new team. This team will organize a new transition and,<br />

during the transition period, make sure the elections take<br />

place as soon as possible, without president Kabila and his<br />

people.<br />

Let’s suppose there is a planning and an official<br />

date for the elections. Do you think the elections<br />

will be democratic?<br />

Well, we know what has happened in the past. In the past,<br />

in 2011, elections took place and two men challenged<br />

each other; Mr. Tshisekedi, who passed away not long<br />

ago, and Mr. Kabila. The two got to the final round of<br />

the presidential election. Many people believed that<br />

Mr. Tshisekedi actually won the elections. It was quite<br />

strange; the closer we got to the last days of campaigning,<br />

Mr. Tshisekedi was prevented from having meetings in<br />

Kinshasa. In addition, the ending of the voting period was<br />

not respected everywhere. In some of the provinces, like the<br />

Katanga province, there were claims that not everyone had<br />

voted. They went to South Africa to print additional ballots,<br />

brought them back and allowed people to keep voting until<br />

after the official closing date. Then, it was proclaimed that<br />

president Kabila was the winner. Questions were raised<br />

about the democratic and transparent process.<br />

Based on that experience, I’m afraid that, if we go through<br />

the elections under the same conditions and with the same<br />

people, we might end up having the same results. So, again,<br />

I’m calling on the international community to use all the<br />

leverage they have to help the people of the Congo to have<br />


<strong>54</strong><br />

a transparent process. The place to start is determining<br />

the composition of the National Electoral Independent<br />

Committee, which organizes the elections. We believe that,<br />

today, the elections are not independently organized.<br />

They are affiliated with the presidential majority and<br />

they do things which do not seem to be very credible.<br />

For example, the number of registered voters in some<br />

of the provinces has grown considerably, which raises<br />

suspicions. In the Katanga province, for example, the<br />

number of registered voters this time has increased by 41%<br />

in comparison to 2011. Or, for example, in the Sankuru<br />

province, the number of registered voters in 2017 has<br />

increased by 280% in comparison to 2011. Where are those<br />

people coming from?<br />

In addition, and this is a key aspect, Kinshasa is considered<br />

to be the most populated city of the Congo. Suddenly,<br />

according to the new figures released by the CENI<br />

(Commission électorale nationale indépendante), the<br />

former Katanga province has more people registered than<br />

Kinshasa. We believe that the list of registered voters must<br />

be audited in order for us to trust the figures we have access<br />

to. The question is, can it be done in time? It must be done<br />

early enough, so it doesn’t delay the process even further.<br />

But then again, can we even go to the elections with a list of<br />

registered voters that raises suspicions? Those are the key<br />

issues we need to address.<br />

You will be an independent candidate. How do you<br />

feel about the other candidates?<br />

For the time being, I’m still working for an international<br />

organization and because of that I have not been involved<br />

in any political parties in the Congo. There are a lot of<br />

parties I am happy not to be associated with. Did you know<br />

that the Congo has around 700 political parties? There are<br />

just too many, and it becomes difficult to understand which<br />

party stands for which vision and what the differences<br />

between the parties are. So, as far as I’m concerned as a<br />

technocrat, I have taken the time to write my development<br />

vision for the country in my book The Force of Change. My<br />

development vision is called the Noël Tshiani’s Marshall Plan<br />

for the construction of the Congo, of which I will give you<br />

some more details.<br />

I started by writing the vision and I tried to mobilize the<br />

Congolese people, first to the people who followed the trails<br />

of the diaspora but then also in the Congo, who shared the<br />

same vision. And I believe we have reached a critical mass<br />

of people, not only Congolese intellectuals in the diaspora.<br />

We share the same vision and we believe that this vision<br />

can drastically transform the destiny of the country.<br />

I would like to invite the other competitors, members of<br />

the opposition, of whom I don’t know what their vision is,<br />

to put their development vision also on the table. In that<br />

way, we can discover if we have common ideas and we can<br />

choose the best possible candidate among us who could<br />

become the presidential candidate. We are not there yet, but<br />

for the time being, each of us is acting on our own, speaking<br />

to our own audience.<br />

You mentioned there are around 700 different<br />

political parties. What is the reason for this and<br />

what is the history behind it?<br />

In the past, the Congo was a one-party state under Mobutu.<br />

He had the so-called MPR movement, or the Mouvement<br />

Populaire de la Révolution. Whether you liked it or not,<br />

you were a member of that party. People rebelled against<br />

it and asked for a multi-party system. Mobutu agreed to<br />

this kind of system in 1990. The people didn’t want the<br />

number of parties to be limited to 3, as Mobutu wanted.<br />

The people disagreed and asked for a full multi-party system<br />

and democracy and wanted to be completely free of any<br />

restrictions. Mobutu gave in and let everyone who wanted<br />

to have their own party, have their own party. So, parties<br />

were created on multiple scale. There were some national<br />

parties of course with a national base, but at the same time,<br />

there were a lot of purely family-based parties. You could<br />

create a party with your wife, children, cousins, in-laws and<br />

go to the government to get registered and get permission.<br />

The number of parties started to multiply exponentially<br />

and quickly around 700 parties were created. I personally<br />

don’t know the differences in ideology between those<br />

parties, even the largest ones in the country. I think the<br />

high number of political parties in the country is a problem<br />

rather than a solution. We need to think about reorganizing<br />

the system after the elections.<br />

Let us go back to your independent vision, the Noël<br />

Tshiani’s Marshall Plan. Do you think it would<br />

be possible to come to an agreement with other<br />

parties?<br />

Yes, I do believe it is possible. As a matter of fact, I am<br />

involved in discussions with some of them now and they<br />

have heard me present my vision on television, in the<br />

newspapers, in my published book, etc. Everyone has access<br />

to the information and can read about it. Some of the<br />

parties and political leaders have called me. For example,

the late president Tshisekedi loved this vision. I met<br />

him, I gave him my book and I gave him a presentation<br />

of my vision and he told me: “This is what the country<br />

needs. At some point, it will become important for us<br />

to implement this vision, because it’s the best vision<br />

I have heard of since I started my political career”.<br />

It’s very unfortunate that he passed away. I still have<br />

excellent relations with some other parties including<br />

Mr. Tshisekedi’s former party. I believe that, today,<br />

some parties are willing to get together with us to find<br />

a common ground and to determine how we can work<br />

together as we approach the elections.<br />

From experience, we know that it’s usually<br />

about money and power.<br />

Exactly. It’s about money and power and everyone loves<br />

both. But at the same time, as far as I’m concerned,<br />

I have a big vision for the country. I would like to see<br />

the country work out its problems of today and the<br />

only way to do that is for us politicians to set aside our<br />

personal ambitions. Such as, the desire to become rich,<br />

the desire to have power. Instead, we have to think about<br />

the interests of the country and its population. With this<br />

vision, I’m trying to fundamentally transform the fate of<br />

the country and of the population by addressing the issues<br />

that the country is facing. What are these issues? Insecurity<br />

throughout the country, for example. We want to create a<br />

stable nation. Unemployment is an issue. 85% of the active<br />

population is unemployed. We want to create the conditions<br />

for a vibrant economy, which could create opportunities for<br />

everybody. The country is underdeveloped, which means<br />

that the basic infrastructure is not there. In a large country<br />

like the Congo, which has the size of Western Europe, you<br />

will find that the length of paved roads is only about 24.000<br />

kilometers long, which is very limited.<br />

You can not go from the West to the East or from the South<br />

to the North using the road system. You can not travel<br />

through the country using the railroad system, because it is<br />

obsolete or it doesn’t exist. You can not even use air travel<br />

easily, because the airports here are very dangerous since<br />

they are so outdated and the aircrafts are not very safe.<br />

We need to put the Congo back on track by developing a<br />

comprehensive agenda which addresses these issues one by<br />

one. Another issue is the environment for the private sector<br />

development; we cannot attract quality investment today,<br />

because the country is very bureaucratic, the justice system<br />

isn’t functioning, the state only exists by name, etc. There<br />

are many issues within the institutions themselves.<br />

Road and railway network to be built as part of the Noël Tshiani’s Marshall Plan<br />

for the construction of the Congo.<br />

The institutions are just not there. The country seems to<br />

be dependent on individuals, instead of being dependent<br />

on institutions. We need to build those institutions to<br />

strengthen the rule of law. In addition, how good are<br />

the natural resources of the country for us? Before and<br />

after independence, we are following the same model; we<br />

ship all our raw natural resources overseas, transferring<br />

all the jobs overseas and leaving the Congolese people<br />

unemployed. So, we need to change our vision, accelerate<br />

the industrialization of the country for local transformation<br />

of those local resources into finished goods within the<br />

country itself. By doing so, we will first create jobs for our<br />

own people. At the same time, we won’t do all of those<br />

things alone. We will work together with other countries<br />

and the international community and we will attract the<br />

best companies from Belgium, from France, from the U.S.<br />

to invest in the Congo. By doing so, we will not only create<br />

jobs for the Congolese, but also for the Belgians, for the<br />

French, for the Americans, for everybody.<br />

Is it possible in Congo today to make statements<br />

like: I have a dream? Will the person who says it be<br />

credible to the people? And could this person have<br />

the potential to implement it?<br />

Yes, indeed, I have a dream. My dream is very simple:<br />

I want to transform the Congo into a stable, prosperous and<br />

equitable country, able to create opportunities for everyone.<br />

And with everyone, I mean young and old, men and women,<br />


56<br />

Congolese and foreigners. The Congo has the potential to<br />

make this dream come true, because it is one of the richest<br />

countries in the world. There is so much wealth in the<br />

Congolese ground of which we are not taking advantage.<br />

The Congo has 1100 raw materials and precious metals,<br />

worth approximately 38.000 bn dollars. Today, we barely<br />

use 30 of these 1100 precious metals and raw materials.<br />

There is a lot of materials we could use to improve the<br />

living standards of the people living in the Congo today.<br />

The Congo has 125 million hectares of arable land, which is<br />

good for agriculture. Today, we barely use 5% of this land, so<br />

there is a huge potential to further develop our agriculture<br />

and by doing so, feed everyone in the country, in the rest of<br />

Africa and even export the food. The Congo has a potential<br />

of 135 million hectares of forests. The trees in our forests<br />

have a tremendous impact on the environment in Congo,<br />

and in the rest of the world. We barely use 1% of our forest<br />

land. We have hydroelectric potential, 100.000 megawatt of<br />

hydroelectric power. Today, we barely use 1700 megawatt<br />

and we don’t even have electricity in most of the country.<br />

If we would, for example, exploit the Grand Inga Dam, we<br />

would have enough electricity for the whole of the Congo<br />

and Africa, and we could even export electricity to Western<br />

Europe. The Congo has a potential water reserve of 53% with<br />

good water, which is a 15% share of the water in the world.<br />

My dream is to transform all those natural resources into<br />

wealth, which can benefit the people of the Congo along<br />

with the rest of humanity. It is feasible, if we have peace,<br />

stability and the right men in the right place. It is feasible<br />

if we work out a system with good governors and we start<br />

investing heavily in our human capital, meaning giving<br />

the people a proper education, maintaining their health<br />

and feeding them properly. Then, we must develop good<br />

relations not only with our fellow African countries, but<br />

also with the rest of the world.<br />

You have the potential to be the heart and<br />

the lungs of Africa.<br />

We don’t only have the potential to be the heart of Africa,<br />

we are the heart of Africa. The Congo lies in the centre of<br />

Africa, with an equal distance to North and South. If we<br />

can jump start the economy of the Congo, the rest of Africa<br />

will be jump started. We have the means to do that by<br />

creating a vibrant economy in the centre of Africa.<br />

One thing I want people to really understand about the<br />

implementation of the Noël Tshiani’s Marshall Plan for the<br />

Congo is that we are not only trying to solve the problem<br />

of the Congo. Of course, the wellbeing of the Congo and<br />

the Congolese is my primary responsibility, but we can’t do<br />

this alone. Every opportunity we create for the Congolese<br />

people, is an opportunity for the rest of the world.<br />

For example, we want to develop a road network, a highway<br />

network and a railroad network to link all the provinces in<br />

the country together. We don’t have the technology to do<br />

all of those things by ourselves. We will have to rely on our<br />

relations with private companies in Belgium, in France and<br />

in the United States. By trying to solve the problems of the<br />

Congo, we are at the same time solving part of the problems<br />

in the rest of the world.<br />

What will you do to solve that problem? If we try to<br />

implement this programme in the Congo, we will also call<br />

upon the Belgian government and the Belgian private sector<br />

to give us some workforces. By doing so, we are solving the<br />

unemployment problem both in the Congo and in Belgium.<br />

Same goes for France and for the United States. So, there is<br />

a way of working on the development from which everyone<br />

benefits.<br />

At an international level, which continents are<br />

most interested in collaborating? Do you have<br />

preferences in this regard or would you say that<br />

some partners are more committed than others?<br />

I have found that there is a great interest in collaborating<br />

with the Congo. The interest comes primarily from the<br />

historically traditional bilateral partners, like Belgium,<br />

France, the U.S. and Canada. But I found that there is also<br />

interest coming from new partners, like Asian countries<br />

such as China, Japan and South Korea. Also from other<br />

African countries and Latin American countries. In my<br />

opinion, the world has become a global village where<br />

people are interconnected. When choosing who to<br />

collaborate with, we are of course drawn to work with our<br />

historically traditional partners. At the same time, I will<br />

stress that there is a place for everyone, for Belgian, French,<br />

American, Canadian and Asian companies. We have to<br />

make sure that we don’t only do the right thing for the<br />

Congolese people, but also treat our partners with dignity<br />

and work transparently, so we can create an equal balance.<br />

Today, we have to fight a lot of wars. Sometimes,<br />

they are real wars. At the moment, the situation<br />

within and around the Congo’s borders is very<br />


Shack village by the Congo river, Democratic Republic of Congo. July 2015<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

Some of the tension within the Congo is related to the<br />

tension around the borders. I believe that one country<br />

cannot concentrate on developing if it is constantly at<br />

war with its neighbour. So, I want to put the past behind<br />

us and start a new relationship with the neighbouring<br />

countries. I would like to create an environment of trust<br />

and a working relationship with all nine neighbours. We<br />

have had our differences, and we are not going to heal<br />

them overnight. But I’m willing to work with every single<br />

country surrounding the Congo to create a security zone<br />

for all of us, so we all feel comfortable and our resources<br />

are not spent on fighting a war. Instead, our resources will<br />

be spent on common development. The Congo will have<br />

to develop, and so will the other countries.<br />

They will have to create opportunities for their people,<br />

just like we do. Then, we can all develop at the same time.<br />

In the context of the Marshall Plan I’m presenting, there<br />

is one component about building the major infrastructure<br />

within the country, like the road network and the railroad<br />

network. When looking at the map we have prepared<br />

for that, you’ll see that you cannot develop those road,<br />

highway and railroad networks to go from one place to<br />

another if they have to suddenly stop at the border. The<br />

networks have to continue in the surrounding countries.<br />

Thus, the impact of the implementation of the Marshall<br />

Plan in the Congo is going to be felt in all surrounding<br />

countries. We have to think about our bilateral relations,<br />

in terms of regional integration, so we are all growing and<br />

not pushing each other down to climb up. This results in<br />

tension between countries and wars in some cases. We<br />

have to work together.<br />

Do you think it is feasible to address all these<br />

issues with the future leading team in the Congo<br />

and the international community? And the<br />

population itself?<br />

I believe we don’t only need a critical mass of people,<br />

but we need to mobilize literally everybody. This is why<br />

I have been spending a lot of time with the diaspora in<br />

Belgium, France, the U.S., South Africa and Canada,<br />

and the people in the Congo. I will be going to places<br />

where there are a lot of Congolese to try to get them<br />

to understand that this vision isn’t mine alone. It’s the<br />

vision for the country. If we will implement it, it will<br />

transform the country for everyone and not only for me.<br />

So. it’s very important to mobilize both Congolese people<br />

in the diaspora and in the Congo. In addition to that, I<br />


58<br />

believe we have enough natural resources to implement<br />

this massive development strategy. For example, out of<br />

the 87 million Congolese, 8 million live in the diaspora.<br />

These people have had access to a better education, better<br />

expertise, employment in different industries and sectors<br />

of the economy.<br />

They are medical doctors, pharmacists, engineers,<br />

architects, and so on. They are basically our pool of<br />

expertise, waiting for the employment opportunities in<br />

the Congo. So, we are going to rely on mobilizing the<br />

diaspora, who are going to join the people living in the<br />

Congo. Inside the country, we have a very good pool of<br />

workforces. They will make a good team. If we cannot<br />

find the expertise in the internal group or diaspora of<br />

Congolese, we will not be ashamed to call upon the<br />

expertise of foreign countries. We want to make the<br />

Congo a melting pot, just like the United States, bringing<br />

together the best people and using them for development,<br />

by creating opportunities for the Congolese and<br />

foreigners.<br />

When looking at the past, this could be<br />

considered a naive vision.<br />

I will tell you the difference between the past decades<br />

and today. When the Congo became independent from<br />

Belgium, we had one person who was in the first year of<br />

college. Congolese people were not educated. We have<br />

also made tons of mistakes since our independence until<br />

today. The system we had, did not allow the Congolese<br />

to be trained and prepared to lead the country. Today,<br />

thanks to the bilateral relations between the Congo and<br />

foreign countries, people like me who come from the<br />

Congo could get a scholarship from the government to<br />

come and study in Belgium. I went to school in Liège,<br />

in Grenoble, in New York and in Harvard. I acquired<br />

enough knowledge and expertise to be able to think<br />

differently than people in past decades. Today, we have<br />

Congolese that are qualified, ready to be deployed for the<br />

development of the country.<br />

And I am not alone. There are around one million people<br />

like me. I know many people in the United States, in<br />

Canada, in South Africa, in Asia that are ready to be<br />

deployed for the development. We are going to correct<br />

the mistakes we made in the past as we move forward. We<br />

don’t want to look back at the past. It’s important for us<br />

to look to the future and we are ready to take the Congo<br />

to a higher level than the one we are at today.<br />

Also, it’s all planned out. I didn’t just randomly scribble<br />

down this idea in my bedroom. It’s based on practical<br />

experience. After my studies, I spent 35 years working in<br />

an international environment. I worked 10 years with firstclass<br />

commercial and investment banks in Europe. I spent<br />

25 years working on development at the <strong>World</strong> Bank. Mr.<br />

Abdou Diouf, former president of the Republic of Senegal,<br />

wrote a testimony in my book The Force of Change. He<br />

didn’t just write it out of the blue, he wrote this based<br />

on what we have done to develop his country together.<br />

Senegal is a better place today compared to what it used<br />

to be, partly due to my contribution to their economy.<br />

Mr. Abdou Diouf acknowledged that. If I could do it for<br />

a country like Senegal, why couldn’t I do it for my own<br />

country, the country that has invested so much in me?<br />

I want to give you another example, namely Cape Verde<br />

in the West of Africa. When I helped them design and<br />

implement a development strategy, the gross domestic<br />

product per capita was 170 dollars. Today, 20 years later,<br />

the gross domestic product per capita in Cape Verde is<br />

4500 dollars, which means it has been multiplied by 26 in<br />

20 years. The Congo has more national resources, a larger<br />

population and a bigger country. If I would realize the<br />

same thing as I did in Cape Verde, we will multiply the<br />

GDP per capita in 15 to 20 years by 30 to 50. This means<br />

that we are going to lift up the Congo from the group<br />

of the lower-income countries to the group of mediumincome<br />

countries in 15 years.<br />

I believe it is possible as well. I do, however, feel<br />

there is an incredible sense of urgency, especially<br />

in regards to the explosive internal situation.<br />

I suppose the time to start is now?<br />

Yes, the time to start is now. Someone asked me not<br />

long ago if I should wait for this plan to be implemented<br />

until after the elections, if I win them, or if I should<br />

start implementing them right now with the help and<br />

participation of all my compatriots. The answer is,<br />

because of the urgent need of the country, that we should<br />

start implementing it right now. This means that we will<br />

go through the transition implementing this Marshall<br />

Plan, and after we finish the transition when we have the<br />

democratic institution in place. I’m advocating to split<br />

it up, meaning that we should implement one portion of<br />

the plan today, and another portion of the plan after the<br />

elections. I think we have to identify the people who can<br />

do that during this transition, but also after the transition,<br />

because it is very urgent.

City Center of Kinshasa - the capital of DRC - circa September 2008. UNICEF mission against tetanus. <br />

© shutterstock<br />

Premier Michel recently included a paragraph in<br />

his speech in the United Nations about the Congo<br />

and wanted to address the critical situation.<br />

What is your opinion on the relationship with<br />

Belgium? Do you think we could do better? Of<br />

course there is a shared history between Belgium<br />

and the Congo, but I’m referring to the current<br />

relationship.<br />

I believe that we have a historical relationship that cannot<br />

be changed. In the Congo, we keep referring to the<br />

Belgians as our “uncles”, so it’s a bit of a family affair. I,<br />

for one, have the advantage of being born in the Congo<br />

and then having had an education in Belgium. I always<br />

feel very comfortable when I come here and I always try<br />

to find the time to go to Liège, which is my home province<br />

here in Belgium. Whenever I go to Liège and visit the<br />

university there, I feel at home. That being said, I have tons<br />

of good Belgian friends and colleagues who I work with<br />

here in Belgium from the ministry of foreign affairs, from<br />

the private sector, banking, etc. I feel very good about the<br />

relationship we have had in the past and I am confident<br />

that we can improve that relationship even further, which<br />

would benefit the people of the Congo and the Belgian<br />

people.<br />

That’s why I keep coming back to the implementation of<br />

this Marshall Plan. We are going to draw on that historical<br />

relationship with Belgium. On the map of the Congo, the<br />

basic infrastructure I’m advocating for is a network of<br />

roads, highways and railroads to link all the provinces of<br />

the country. The railroads don’t even exist yet.<br />

This is a massive reconstruction programme. In<br />

addition to that, we want to build around 400 modern<br />

cities throughout the country, which would need basic<br />

infrastructure, meaning: schools, hospitals, an airport,<br />

administrative offices, and so on. We will build a metro<br />

system in the main cities like Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.<br />

The Congolese don’t have the expertise to build this in<br />

the Congo. Belgium will be the first place where I will<br />

pass by to knock on the door. I will call upon the Belgians<br />

and remind them that we have a common history; if you<br />

help us, you are helping yourself too. So, come work with<br />

us, bring along the private sector and let’s improve the<br />

cooperation and the bilateral relationship. However, in<br />

that process, we have to realize that things have changed:<br />

we must be in the driver’s seat, because we have designed<br />

our development strategy and you are coming to help<br />

us to implement this strategy and talk to others in the<br />

international community to attract more attention to the<br />


Congolese plan and vision. At the same time, we keep our<br />

sovereignty and you keep yours, and we maintain our good<br />

relations.<br />

the rule of law and institutions so we are less dependent on<br />

individuals. The second pillar of the strategy is promoting<br />

good governance and the efficient use of public resources.<br />

60<br />

I know many Belgian people that are related to the<br />

Congo. They always keep going back, it’s like they<br />

have lost their hearts there. Most of these people<br />

also have a historical link with the Congo, and are<br />

now between 50 and 75 years old. I believe it would<br />

be good to use these people who still have the fire<br />

for the Congo in their hearts.<br />

Absolutely, I have also met many people like that. Their<br />

lives are linked to ours. I encourage them to work with us,<br />

so we can have a better Congo, opening doors to them and<br />

to everybody else. In addition to the people who have lost<br />

their hearts in the Congo, I will tell you about a different<br />

type of people I have met in Belgium: young Belgian people<br />

born in the Congo, and who have come back to work in<br />

the public administration and the private sector. It is their<br />

country too and I welcome them as I would welcome<br />

anybody else, from France, from other countries, who<br />

might have a connection with my country. They are good<br />

spokespersons, wherever they are. They will always defend<br />

the cause of the Congo, and they will always want the<br />

Congo to do better than it is doing today.<br />

I read about the different pillars you want to use in<br />

the Marshall Plan. Can you elaborate on that?<br />

When drafting this Marshall Plan, I was concerned about<br />

the current situation in the Congo. Even though we have<br />

all these natural resources I mentioned earlier, we are one<br />

of the poorest and least developed countries in the world.<br />

There is a disconnection between our wealth and our<br />

status today. I believe that, in order to resolve the issues<br />

of unemployment, create development, reduce poverty, we<br />

must have a very clear vision and a very clear strategy.<br />

I am not proposing any cosmetic reforms which would leave<br />

the problem unresolved. I am proposing a 15-year Marshall<br />

Plan, which can fundamentally transform the country in<br />

different sectors. The Marshall Plan is anchored in 10<br />

pillars. These are the following: first, we must promote<br />

peace, security, rule of law and put in place democratic and<br />

functioning institutions. How can we do that?<br />

We must reform the army, police and security services, so<br />

they are protecting the borders and the Congolese citizens<br />

instead of oppressing them. We will set up a major program<br />

to restructure this institution. Then, we will set in place<br />

The Congo, as I have said before, has tons of natural<br />

resources, but today, 85% of the mining revenues don’t go<br />

to the national budget. This means that they go to private<br />

pockets. This means that only 15% goes to the national<br />

budget. We must restructure this governance system so we<br />

can claim all those resources which are lost, and use them<br />

to increase the national budget and so finance development<br />

projects. By doing so, I have determined that we can<br />

increase the budget from 8 billion dollars today to about<br />

72 billion dollars within a foreseeable future of 5 to 6 years.<br />

These extra revenues and resources will be used to finance<br />

development projects. The third pillar of the strategy is<br />

to invest in the human capital, meaning in the Congolese<br />

youth, men and women. How can we do that?<br />

By restructuring the education system so we can train the<br />

people so we have workforces that are well educated and<br />

well trained. By revamping the health care system, we need<br />

to invest in modern hospitals, well-trained doctors and<br />

nurses, so that when we get ill, we don’t have to take the<br />

plane to get medical treatment in Belgium, but instead get<br />

it in our own country where the majority of our people<br />

live. Nowadays, when a public official gets ill, he takes the<br />

plane to Belgium to seek treatment. However, 99% of the<br />

population does not have access to the same facilities. This<br />

must be changed, so that we have a normal functioning<br />

system, accessible to everyone in the country. We need to<br />

have enough well-trained doctors and nurses, so we can<br />

respond to the needs of the population. I will also introduce<br />

something which does not yet exist today: a universal<br />

medical insurance system, meaning that everyone with<br />

access to this system gets a card and when they get ill, they<br />

can go to any doctor in the country with this card and get<br />

medical treatment.<br />

This system will partly be founded by means of contribution<br />

from the private sector, and will, in time, be financed by the<br />

national budget. Within the education system, I intend to<br />

do for the Congolese youth what the Congolese government<br />

has done for me. I became what I am today because of<br />

the scholarship I got from the government. It covered<br />

not only my primary and secondary education, but also<br />

my university until I received my PhD. I am going to give<br />

scholarships to the Congolese youth, so they have access to<br />


Zongo Waterfalls of the Congo River near Kinshasa.<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

Everyone in the Congo, until the age of 17, has to go from<br />

elementary school to high school, free of charge in case<br />

they don’t have the money to study.<br />

Food sufficiency will be realized by developing the<br />

agriculture, fishery and livestock. Then, we can start in the<br />

Congo to produce food for the Congolese and feed them<br />

so they are in good health like anyone else.<br />

The next pillar of the strategy is to put in place a good<br />

environment for the private sector for development,<br />

because I believe that the government cannot do it alone.<br />

We must create a good environment not only to attract the<br />

investment from overseas, but also from the Congolese<br />

diaspora and the Congolese from the Congo. We can<br />

do this by removing the obstacles for private sector<br />

development, making it easier for private companies to<br />

be created and developed within the Congo in a legal,<br />

transparent manner.<br />

is going to be stable and can guarantee the purchasing<br />

power of the population. At the same time, we are going to<br />

restructure the economy and the currency. The currency of<br />

the Congo today is worthless, because 95% of the economy<br />

uses the U.S. dollar. We will restructure the national<br />

currency so that it keeps its value and by doing so, we<br />

are going to raise the revenue and keep it in the country<br />

instead of transferring it overseas. It is also going to allow<br />

the central bank to conceive and implement a credible and<br />

independent monetary policy. We are also going to revamp<br />

the franchise system. Today, we have about 20 commercial<br />

banks in the country which are all owned by foreigners,<br />

such as Lebanese, Pakistani, and so on. I have nothing<br />

against them, but where are the Congolese in this story?<br />

I believe we need a system with Congolese shareholders<br />

and at the same time also banks owned by foreigners who<br />

might have partnerships with the Congolese. In that way,<br />

the franchise system we have would also address the needs<br />

of the local people and the international economy.<br />

The next pillar of the strategy is to put in place a national<br />

financial system, which will include the restructuring of the<br />

central bank, which should become an independent bank<br />

like the Bundesbank, which can conduct an independent<br />

monetary policy and generate a strong currency which<br />

We are going to establish institutions like the deposit<br />

insurance cooperation, which means that when people have<br />

deposits in the bank and the bank goes bankrupt, their<br />

deposits will be covered by an insurance company. These<br />

measures will promote the confidence in the franchise<br />


62<br />

system and in the banks. Also, we would provide securities<br />

to everybody. I would like to introduce what I call “the<br />

Kinshasa stock exchange”. What is the purpose of this?<br />

The current system allows foreign companies to hold all<br />

of the shares of some major Congolese companies. When<br />

they decide to sell, they sell, for example, to the Chinese.<br />

But how can someone like me, a Congolese shareholder,<br />

buy shares from the companies of my country? By having<br />

the stock exchange, those companies will be listed in the<br />

register of the Kinshasa stock exchange, which means that<br />

any Congolese who wants to become a shareholder can call<br />

his or her broker and buy the shares to participate in the<br />

national wealth. So, these are the reforms in the franchise<br />

system. The next pillar of the strategy is to develop labour<br />

intensive infrastructure, such as roads, highways, railroads,<br />

airports, national parks, schools, public hospitals and so<br />

on. We will build about 400 more cities throughout the<br />

country.<br />

By doing so, we will create jobs for the Congolese. This<br />

is a country where everything is still left to be done, so<br />

it doesn’t make sense that people are unemployed. We<br />

have to create opportunities for the Congolese people to<br />

participate, and if they don’t have the skills, we will bring<br />

people in from outside of the Congo. The next pillar is<br />

to accelerate industrialization. I already mentioned that<br />

this involves our natural resources. We want to create a<br />

system to attract foreign investment to mingle with the<br />

Congolese private sector and we will transform some of<br />

the raw materials into semi-finished and finished goods<br />

in the country itself. By doing so, we will create jobs for<br />

our people but also creating opportunities for those who<br />

are coming to help us. The next pillar is about human<br />

resources. Where will we find them? I already mentioned<br />

we will look for the human resources in the Congo itself, in<br />

the diaspora and if we can’t find the expertise, we will bring<br />

in the international experts and the international private<br />

sector to work with us. Finally, where will we find the<br />

finances for this programme? I have estimated the cost of<br />

this programme at 800 billion dollars over 15 years.<br />

Most of the money will come from fighting corruption,<br />

because the Congo generates revenues, but those revenues<br />

go into private pockets. The place to start is to fight<br />

corruption, to bring those revenues back and put them in<br />

the national budget. By doing so, we will reduce the need<br />

to borrow from outside the country. We will, however, keep<br />

working with the international community, the foreign<br />

investors, the bilateral and multilateral donors.<br />

Out of the total cost of 800 billion dollars, 600 billion dollars<br />

will come from the internally generated revenues, which<br />

would be an average budget of about 45.3 billion dollars per<br />

year. Then, about 3 billion dollars per year will come from<br />

bilateral and multilateral donors, which is the current level I<br />

want to maintain. The final portion will come from the direct<br />

foreign investors, about 75 billion dollars over 15 years. This<br />

means we will have an annual increase of about 3 to 5 billion<br />

dollars a year, because we are going to stabilize the country<br />

and we are going to create a good environment for the private<br />

sector, also from outside the country. So, the summary is:<br />

680 billion dollars coming from internal resources, 45 billion<br />

dollars from bilateral and multilateral donors and 75 billion<br />

dollars from direct foreign investment, making it a total of<br />

800 billion dollars over 15 years.<br />

If you compare that to the potential revenues of the<br />

country, it’s quite limited.<br />

Yes, in that way I’m being very conservative, because I don’t<br />

want to scare off the people. The Congo is going to take off<br />

in a bigger way, because once we have a stable institution<br />

and we have good leadership with a good vision, you will<br />

see that people will come knocking on the Congo’s door<br />

to come and invest. But, in general, we will raise more<br />

revenues; fiscal revenues, mining revenues, from different<br />

sources. The national budget of the Congo will increase<br />

tremendously. To give you an idea: Angola, a neighbouring<br />

country, had a budget of 66 billion dollars in 2015. South<br />

Africa has a budget of 125 billion dollars this year.<br />

It makes no sense that my country, the biggest in Africa<br />

with all the natural resources, has a budget of only 8 billion<br />

dollars. Something is wrong. We are going to restructure the<br />

functioning of the state, of the governance system to make<br />

sure that all the revenues go to the national budget and are<br />

used to develop the country.<br />

Can you be optimistic about the corruption in the<br />

country?<br />

Congolese are not corrupt by birth, nor is any other human<br />

being on this earth. The system has created an environment<br />

in which corruption can exist. The current system goes like<br />

this: if you have a job, you work all day from morning until<br />

evening, 30 days per month, 365 days per year. And at the<br />

end of each month, you get paid 50 dollars, but you’re living<br />

cost is, say, 1000 dollars.<br />

What choice do we have then but to be corrupt? Everyone<br />

knows that when you pay a person very little, you put them

Food market in the outskirts of Kinshasa. <br />

<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

Beautiful lake in Democratic Republic of Congo. <br />

© Shutterstock<br />

in a position where they need to find a way of surviving.<br />

I’m going to introduce change in the system which is<br />

going to discourage any kind of corruption. These changes<br />

are the following: I’m going to introduce the minimum<br />

wage system. This means that, when a person works, the<br />

minimum salary that anyone can be paid in any sector will<br />

be 1000 dollars a month, at the least.<br />

This takes into account the cost you have to pay for your<br />

rent, the mortgage, to send your children to school, to get<br />

good health care for your family, and even to save some<br />

money but still being able to live. This nice salary is not<br />

just a bonus. The idea is that, once you get paid well,<br />

you have to work hard for it. If you are caught stealing<br />

or being corrupt, you will be taken to court. We have to<br />

restructure the court system, so that justice is dispensed in<br />

a transparent manner and is the same for everyone.<br />

The people who stole or are corrupt, will be judged and<br />

when found guilty, will go to jail like everyone else. I, even<br />

as head of state, will not intervene to get them out, even if<br />

they are my close associates. Once these people get out of<br />

jail, their names will be published in the official magazine.<br />

They will be known throughout the country as corrupt<br />

people and they and their families will be ashamed of it.<br />

Another repercussion is that these people will never be<br />

able to work in public administration ever again. They also<br />

cannot participate in any events that are sponsored by the<br />

state. So, basically, after they get out of jail they will be<br />

outcasts and an example for all the other people.<br />

This way, they will know I’m serious about it. I’ve never<br />

been corrupt, and I’m going to change the country by<br />

showing everybody that I made it without being corrupt.<br />

We need to educate the people, pay them appropriate<br />

salaries and treat them properly. However, when someone<br />

makes a mistake, the judicial system needs to take care<br />

of him or her. I think that, over time, this will eliminate<br />

corruption in the Congo.<br />

How about gender equality in the Congo?<br />

53% of the Congolese population is female. Today, 30% of<br />

the positions in the public administration is reserved for<br />

women. I think that is problematic. I want to establish a<br />

system in which all men and women are treated equally.<br />

What would help is reserving equal treatment in terms of<br />

education and employment. However, if they are not up to<br />

the level, we need to provide them with additional training.<br />

Scholarships, leadership trainings, and so on. We want all<br />

men and women to be treated equally and to have access to<br />

the same opportunities in the country. Rwanda, for example,<br />

has done something spectacular: women in their parliament<br />

represent almost 60%! I want to give those opportunities to<br />

the Congolese women as well, not as a favor just because they<br />

are women, but because they are equal developing partners.<br />

Is this also accepted by the families?<br />

I think our people are more and more educated and see<br />

things differently than they did in the past. So, the more we<br />

educate our people, the more they become sensitive to the<br />

fate of everyone in the society and the more they will move<br />

away from the traditional values that suggest that women<br />

should remain in their kitchens instead of being at the<br />

discussion table. It doesn’t mean that a women can’t still<br />

go to the kitchen and help out when she’s working. Today,<br />

men and women perform the same kind of tasks at home.<br />

I believe it’s a matter of education and showing the people<br />

that we want the society to change.<br />


64<br />

Everything you have explained so far makes a lot of<br />

sense. What could be holding us back to make all<br />

of these changes?<br />

As I said, the past is the past. I said that back in 1960 the<br />

people were not prepared to lead the country. And I look<br />

at our four heads of state, for whom I have a great deal of<br />

respect, because they ran the country at different stages<br />

in history.<br />

None of our heads of state had a college education. The<br />

situation today is the consequence of the leadership of<br />

unprepared people. I salute their efforts to get us to where<br />

we are today, but things have changed. There are a lot of<br />

very well-educated Congolese who have a lot of experience<br />

and who have lived in civilized societies, who know how<br />

things are being done throughout the world. I think these<br />

Congolese should be encouraged to return in big numbers<br />

so they cannot only manage the country at top level, but<br />

also change the way the country functions so we can avoid<br />

to make the same mistakes of the past. Congo will never<br />

be the same again. So, the things I say today are logical,<br />

because I’ve had the chance to see how other societies<br />

are organized and are evolving. I would like to go back to<br />

contributing to make the Congo just as good as Europe, the<br />

United States, and so on, but at the same time keeping our<br />

traditional values alive.<br />

Because we don’t just want to mimic what is happening in<br />

other countries. The Western countries have their good<br />

sides, but also their bad sides. We have values which make<br />

us African, and Congolese. I want this to continue, but<br />

at the same time, I want to create a condition in which<br />

everyone can grow within the society and has access to<br />

different opportunities.<br />

Sometimes I find it hard to define the Belgian<br />

identity of today. This might have to do with the<br />

fact that Belgium is a very complex country with<br />

a lot of history. Do you think that the 87 million<br />

Congolese share an identity today?<br />

Of course. There is a very strong Congolese identity, in<br />

part thanks to president Mobutu who has put in a lot of<br />

time and energy to establish the Congolese national pride.<br />

The Congolese feel Congolese in the first place. When I<br />

meet Congolese people, I don’t even need to know where<br />

they are coming from. The fact that they’re Congolese is<br />

enough for me. I never ask where they are from. We are all<br />

first and foremost Congolese. So, the national identity is<br />

there. Having a shared national Congolese identity doesn’t<br />

mean that we all come from the same part of the Congo.<br />

We have tribes, we have provinces, we have ethnicities and<br />

we have 450 ethnic groups. These ethnic groups have their<br />

cultural differences and have a wealth of experience. I think<br />

that this is very positive and contributes to the diversity of<br />

the country. Look at the United States, everyone speaks the<br />

dialect of the state they come from.<br />

There are black Americans, white Americans, Irish<br />

Americans, and so on. But they feel American first. And I<br />

think that, in the Congo, whether you are Muluba, Bakongo,<br />

Mungala or Swahili, without even mentioning the other<br />

smaller groups, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. The<br />

most important thing is that we are all Congolese. The<br />

national identity is there, and we will put in a lot of effort<br />

to strengthen our national identity, so that the image of the<br />

Congo as a country can shine and flourish. In the Marshall<br />

Plan, we do want to promote the cultural identity and the<br />

image of the Congo. We want to make sure that everyone in<br />

the Congo stays the way they are to keep and promote their<br />

cultural identity, without impeding each other. Congolese<br />

music is a very good indicator of cultural identity.<br />

For example, when the Bajuga people sing, everyone knows<br />

they are from the Kasai province. It sounds very nice, all<br />

the Congolese people love it. I’ve been to some wedding<br />

celebrations in the Kivu province, and it’s great to see they<br />

have their own way of dancing, and so on. I would need a<br />

bit of time to learn how to dance with them.<br />

In other words, this is part of what the Congo is and we<br />

need to promote the diversity. We need to make sure that<br />

all ethnic groups are equal, and at the same time make<br />

sure that we keep seeing the bigger picture: we are all<br />

Congolese.<br />

It would be interesting to establish an organization<br />

promoting the Congolese cultural diversity abroad.<br />

There is, after all, a universal language of culture.<br />

Yes, that is very important. It is something that is already<br />

being done, and on which will be focused in the future.<br />

For example, the Congolese music is one of the best in the<br />

world. However, Congolese music is very diverse. People<br />

sing it in Lingala, in Swahili, and so on.<br />

The dances are also all different and can indicate where the<br />

dancers are coming from. We need to package and sell this<br />

cultural wealth on an international scale in order to build<br />

the Congolese image and identity.

Bonobo on a tree branch.<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

We must be present in shows. I brought along a singer to<br />

the conference I attended yesterday, Olivier Tshimanga.<br />

When he sings, people don’t ask where he’s from, they<br />

know he’s Congolese. We have to find a common ground to<br />

promote the image of the country, having the government<br />

assist our citizens in their own field, so the image of<br />

the Congo is improved and not only internally, but also<br />

internationally.<br />

In Brussels, The Royal Museum for Central Africa<br />

is a first-class centre for scientific research on<br />

Africa. Institutions like RMCA and Bozar are<br />

potential partners for you in the future.<br />

A lot of Congolese history is present in Belgium. I am<br />

more than willing to work with Belgium to try to put<br />

all these cultural aspects at the disposal of everyone in<br />

Belgium, the Congo and the international community.<br />

There are a lot of things which have disappeared from<br />

the Congo which have been brought over to Belgium,<br />

things the Congolese people don’t even know about. By<br />

improving the cultural relations between Belgium and the<br />

Congo, we can work together to give everyone access to<br />

this cultural and historical wealth.<br />

Would you like to add something else which we<br />

haven’t yet covered?<br />

A lot of people wonder if the outside world will support this<br />

massive reconstruction programme I have for the Congo,<br />

because it would take away a lot of things from those who<br />

are benefiting from the system today and give it back to<br />

the Congolese. I want to change that perception. We don’t<br />

try to fight against anyone’s interests. We want to create<br />

an environment in which the Congo can grow and develop<br />

and in which the Congolese can gain dignity and live better.<br />

By doing so, we want to create opportunities for everyone,<br />

not only the Congolese. I see the opportunities for the rest<br />

of the humanity. I see that the economies in the Western<br />

countries are stagnating, because they have developed so<br />

much and so fast.<br />

The growth today is very minimal. We still have a lot<br />

of growing potential, and you have the technology and<br />

expertise. I want to invite the international community,<br />

meaning governments and the private sector to realize<br />

what we want for the Congo. The bond between the Congo<br />

and the countries who have been historically working<br />

close with the Congo, like Belgium and France, can be<br />

strengthened this way. This would improve the lives of so<br />

many people, also in the rest of Africa. Because the plan<br />

goes beyond the Congolese borders. So, let’s work together<br />

in a constructive manner. I believe that, if we do so, we can<br />

stabilize not only the Congo, but the Great Lakes Region<br />

as well. The Congo together with its neighbours, counts<br />

280 million people. Together, we can stabilize the whole<br />

Great Lakes Region through development and the creation<br />

of opportunities for everyone, including the Europeans<br />

with whom, even though they live far, we want to maintain<br />

an excellent relationship.<br />


Kid carrying heavy wood near Kasangulu, outskirts of Kinshasa. <br />

© Shutterstock<br />

What would be the impact of the Marshall Plan<br />

on the environment? What would be the impact on<br />

forests, animals, and so on?<br />

I have had the opportunity to work for the <strong>World</strong> Bank<br />

around projects with a potential impact on the environment.<br />

I am very careful and sensitive to this topic. In the case of<br />

the Congo, I know that acceleration of industrialization<br />

can mess with the balance. Exploiting the forests, for<br />

example to develop the wood industry, could lead to great<br />

deforestation. Building the roads could also have an impact<br />

on the environment. Any project that will be carried out<br />

in the framework of this Marshall Plan, whether it’s a part<br />

of the industrialization programme or the infrastructure<br />

programme, will need to be evaluated through theoretical<br />

research well in advance, to determine the impact on the<br />

environment. Only projects that don’t have a negative<br />

impact on the environment will be approved and carried<br />

out. If it does have a negative impact, specialists will<br />

propose adjustments to the project in order to mitigate the<br />

impact on the environment. For example, if we are going to<br />

make chairs out of the wood gathered from the Equatorial<br />

forest in the Congo, we need to make sure that the cut down<br />

trees are replaced by 2 or 3 new trees.<br />

population is safe. I notice that in Brussels, for example,<br />

there are barely any trees. We can learn from the ones that<br />

have accelerated the industrialization before us, like the<br />

Belgians. The environment is definitely something we will<br />

protect.<br />

I didn’t work out this Marshall Plan overnight. It took a lot<br />

of time. The first article I published on this Marshall Plan<br />

was in 2003. Each year, I have been talking to different<br />

people, Congolese people, people from other nationalities,<br />

and people from different sectors. This programme has<br />

slowly matured and has reached a stage where it’s finished<br />

and ready to be used to rebuild the country.<br />

I am just sad to see that, from 1960 until today, the Congo<br />

has been led without a vision. It’s like building a house<br />

without having a plan about how to build the basement,<br />

the first floor, and so on. The advantage of this plan is that,<br />

at least, we would have a vision and a plan, even though<br />

it might not be perfect. The plan is designed by us and if<br />

all the Congolese work together on it, the outside world<br />

will have no choice but to accompany us. Even if we make<br />

mistakes, it’s still our plan.<br />

66<br />

The impact on the environment needs to be minimal,<br />

because an accelerated industrialization is worthless if<br />

everyone is dying because there is no more oxygen. So, we<br />

are very careful with that. We need to make sure that the<br />

<br />

Bruno Devos & Barbara Dietrich


PhD International Economist, Commercial<br />

Banker, Private Sector Development<br />

Specialist; Author, most recently, of<br />

A Marshall Plan for Reconstruction of<br />

the Democratic Republic of the Congo<br />


Dr. Noël K. Tshiani is a senior international official with<br />

three decades of experience at the <strong>World</strong> Bank, including<br />

as Head of Mission and Country Manager.<br />

He has worked globally, from Africa and Eastern Europe<br />

to the Caribbean and Asia. Dr. Tshiani previously served<br />

10 years with Citibank NA, Republic National Bank<br />

of New York; and JP Morgan Chase. As a <strong>World</strong> Bank<br />

expert, he co-chaired in 1997 the Monetary Reform<br />

Commission in Kinshasa, which devised the Congolese<br />

Franc to replace the Zaire currency. In this capacity, he<br />

insisted that the currency bear no effigy of a Head of<br />

State in office.<br />


Dr. Tshiani completed the New Managers Leadership<br />

Program at the Graduate Business School at Harvard<br />

University in Boston-Massachusetts, and holds a<br />

Doctorate in Economics with specialization in Banking<br />

and Finance from Université de Paris IX- Dauphine in<br />

France, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration<br />

(MBA) with concentration in Banking and Financial<br />

Markets from Adelphi University in New York, and a<br />

Master’s Degree in Economics from Université de Liège<br />

in Belgium.<br />


Dr. Tshiani is the author of five books:<br />

Hard times call for special remedies: A Marshall Plan for<br />

Reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo<br />

(Les Éditions du Panthéon, Paris, 2016);<br />

The Power of Change: Building a stable, prosperous and<br />

equitable country (Les Éditions du Panthéon, Paris, 2016);<br />

The battle for a credible national currency (De Boeck,<br />

Brussels, December 2012);<br />

Vision for a strong currency (L’Harmattan, Paris, 2008);<br />

Building credible central banks (Palgrave MacMillan,<br />

Hampshire-UK, 2009).<br />

VISION<br />

Dr. Tshiani’s vision appears throughout his work:<br />

• In 1997, after co-chairing the currency reform<br />

committee, Tshiani disagreed with the Head of State<br />

over the new senior management of the Central<br />

Bank of the Congo. He predicted that the Congolese<br />

currency would lose value over time due to lack of<br />

the independence from the political leadership and<br />

poor economic policy options. In 2017, his prediction<br />

materialized: one Congolese franc was valued at<br />

US$0.72 in 1998 and is now worthless. Consequently,<br />

dollarization accounts for 95 percent of the country’s<br />

money supply.<br />

• In 2003, Dr. Tshiani launched the idea that the DRC<br />

needed a Marshall Plan to address its structural<br />

problems. He published in 2003-2004 two articles in<br />

the Paris-based Jeune Afrique Magazine: “A Marshall<br />

plan for the DRC” and “Hard times call for special<br />

remedies.”<br />


Luca Vitone<br />

Eppur Si Muove<br />

Flag<br />

Varanasi, India, 2017<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />

68<br />

The wheel icon is taken from the flag of the Rom and Sinti populations as well as from the anarchic flag. It suggests the idea of libertarian nomadism,<br />

with no borders, which gives voice to our desire for roaming freely in every living space.

hear beauty, see beauty, hide everything else.<br />



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DIPOMATIC WORLD.indd 6 25/09/2017 16:56:21<br />





On the morning of 22 March 2016, Belgium was<br />

confronted with the deadliest acts of terrorism in<br />

its history. Two coordinated suicide bombings at<br />

Brussels Airport and Maalbeek metro station killed<br />

32 civilians and left hundreds injured.<br />

While the people of Belgium, Europe and the world<br />

were still trying to grasp what had happened, Eurojust’s<br />

National Member for Belgium attended an urgent national<br />

coordination meeting in Brussels to assist the Belgian Federal<br />

Prosecution Office with the cross-border dimension of the<br />

investigation and complex judicial cooperation matters.<br />

The investigation revealed a sophisticated terrorist network,<br />

with links to other Member States, the Paris attacks of 13<br />

November 2015 and other serious crimes and networks<br />

involving arms trafficking and forgery of documents. Once<br />

again it was confirmed that terrorists and perpetrators of<br />

serious organised crimes rarely stop at the borders of one<br />

country, and neither should prosecuting authorities. This is<br />

the raison d’être of Eurojust.<br />


be arrested and transferred to the issuing state. The European<br />

Investigation Order (EIO), introduced in 2017, will allow<br />

French judicial authorities who are tracking terrorists hidden<br />

in Belgium to ask their Belgian counterparts to interrogate<br />

witnesses or conduct house searches on their behalf. Eurojust<br />

stands ready to assist in the facilitation and speeding up the<br />

execution of EIOs.<br />

One of Eurojust’s core beliefs is that it takes a network to<br />

beat criminal and terrorist networks. Therefore, Eurojust<br />

works closely together with other agencies of the European<br />

Union and networks of judicial experts, for example in the<br />

field of terrorism or cybercrime. Eurojust has also established<br />

more than 40 judicial contact points all over the world and<br />

welcomed Liaison Prosecutors from Switzerland, Norway, the<br />

USA and soon Montenegro.<br />

Eurojust is the European Union’s judicial cooperation unit.<br />

Established in 2002, the organisation now covers a territory<br />

of 500 million citizens with 24 different official languages<br />

and 30 different legal regimes. In July 2017, Eurojust moved<br />

to its new, custom made and permanent premises in the<br />

International Zone of The Hague. Under its roof, Eurojust<br />

brings together 28 National Members. They are prosecutors,<br />

judges or police officers of equivalent competence seconded<br />

by each Member State.<br />

70<br />

Eurojust’s role is to promote and strengthen coordination and<br />

cooperation among national authorities in the fight against<br />

terrorism and serious cross-border crime, by supporting the<br />

Member States in their investigations and prosecutions. For<br />

instance, Eurojust is often called to facilitate and speed up<br />

the execution of European Arrest Warrants (EAW) within the<br />

EU, ensuring that a criminal suspect or sentenced person will<br />

Michèle Coninsx, President of Eurojust


To bring criminals to justice, there are two issues of<br />

importance: evidence and time. Evidence has to be<br />

concrete, obtained in full respect with the rule of law<br />

and shared in a timely way. Eurojust has several tools to<br />

ensure effective operational support. During coordination<br />

meetings, national authorities agree on a common<br />

prosecution strategy and plan simultaneous investigations<br />

and actions. Coordination meetings are a frequently used<br />

tool: on average, Eurojust organises one coordination<br />

meeting per working day. Since 2010, Eurojust also hosts<br />

coordination centres. They are a central hub for the realtime<br />

exchange of information as well as for coordinating the<br />

joint execution of judicial and law enforcement measures<br />

in different countries (including seizures, arrests, house<br />

searches and witness interviews). Finally, joint investigation<br />

teams (JITs) take operational cooperation to a whole new<br />

level. A JIT is comprised of judicial and police authorities,<br />

set up on the basis of an agreement between two or more<br />

Member States for a specific purpose and limited duration.<br />

The result is one team working for and on behalf of all<br />

concerned national authorities. Just last year, 148 JITs were<br />

supported by Eurojust.<br />

In addition to these operational activities, Eurojust also<br />

contributes to the European Union strategy on internal<br />

security and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. As<br />

a centre of judicial and legal expertise, Eurojust analyses<br />

specific criminal phenomena such as Foreign Terrorist<br />

Fighters and develops guidelines, for example on how to<br />

decide which Member State should prosecute.<br />


Eurojust’s competence covers a wide variety of serious<br />

organised crimes. For the period 2015-2020, terrorism,<br />

cybercrime and trafficking in human beings, including<br />

illegal immigrant smuggling, have been designated as<br />

priorities, in line with the European Agendas on Security<br />

and Migration.<br />

In 2016, Eurojust saw an almost five-fold increase in<br />

the number of requests from Member States to assist in<br />

terrorism cases compared to 2014 (from 14 to 67 cases)<br />

and this trend continues in 2017. Eurojust also plays<br />

an important role in making prosecutors aware of the<br />

challenges and best practice when it comes to bringing<br />

terrorists to justice. For instance, the Terrorism Convictions<br />

Eurojurst building<br />

Monitor provides an overview of terrorism-related<br />

convictions throughout the European Union, demonstrating<br />

what works and what doesn’t.<br />

As society comes to rely more and more on the Internet,<br />

the dangers posed by cybercrime have become very<br />

real threats. Large-scale attacks, such as the Wannacry<br />

ransomware attack of May 2017, are no longer limited<br />

to science fiction novels and Eurojust deals with a great<br />

number of cybercrime cases each year. Needless to say,<br />

prosecuting crimes taking place entirely in a digital world<br />

brings about a whole new set of challenges. How do you<br />

gather electronic evidence when it’s encrypted? And what<br />

framework do you need for cooperating with private parties<br />

such as Google or Facebook?<br />

The migration crisis, and in particular the efforts to<br />

dismantle the organised criminal groups behind smuggling<br />

and trafficking networks, represent another area where<br />

Eurojust’s support is crucial. One such case concerned the<br />

discovery of the bodies of 71 migrants inside an abandoned<br />

truck close to an Austrian motorway in August 2015. The<br />

investigations revealed links to Hungary, Germany and<br />

Bulgaria. Eurojust’s immediate support was requested<br />

in order to ensure an effective prosecution strategy<br />

and guarantee the smooth execution of procedures for<br />

transferring evidence from one Member State to another.<br />


In a complex world with increasing security threats, the<br />

European Union must stand together. The need for unity<br />

as Europeans — across institutions, states and peoples —<br />

has never been so urgent. Eurojust will continue to be the<br />

European Union’s leading partner in bringing criminals to<br />

justice and a key player in ensuring a more secure world.<br />






Kenneth Lasoen, Historian,<br />

Intelligence and Security Researcher<br />

at Ghent University<br />

The terror visited on European cities by supporters<br />

of the so-called Islamic State for the last three years<br />

has seen terrorists bringing the tactics of urbanized<br />

insurgency to Western cities, where they exploit the<br />

openness and mobility of everyday life to perpetrate<br />

attacks that subscribe to the idea of violence for the sake<br />

of violence. The crude and predatory surprise tactics<br />

they adopt randomly target innocent civilians and figures<br />

of state authority such as police officers, in an attempt<br />

to instill daily life with fear and worry and challenge the<br />

traditional state monopoly of violence.<br />

Kenneth Lasoen<br />

72<br />

Civilization is once again embroiled in a war of nerves<br />

with the forces of barbarism.<br />

France and Belgium have responded to the threat<br />

with military protection since the attacks by Daeshsympathizers<br />

of 2015 and 2016. After having deployed<br />

the Belgian Army in early 2015 to guard high-profile<br />

locations, of which there are many in Brussels, the<br />

government expanded the operation to include more soft<br />

targets in the public space because of the attacks of 22<br />

March 2016 on the national airport and the Maalbeek<br />

metro station in Brussels.<br />

The operation, codenamed VIGILANT GUARDIAN,<br />

is based on a protocol between the Belgian Defense<br />

Ministry and the Interior Ministry that provides for<br />

military assistance to the Federal Police in guarding<br />

sensitive targets. The objective is to prevent, deter and<br />

defeat terror threats or aggression and provide assistance<br />

to the police including consequence management,<br />

by guarding and protecting targets in order to buy<br />

time for the police to intervene. The soldiers have no<br />

authority to act as a police force, but are governed by<br />

rules of conduct and effective rules of engagement.<br />

They are an essential addition to law enforcement since<br />

Daesh seeks to unleash murderous foes with a combatant<br />

mentality on unsuspecting civilians. While the police is<br />

trained in conflict management and restraint towards<br />

disobedient civilians, the military on the other hand is<br />

trained in the escalating use of force against force by a<br />

hostile element. The heavily armed OVG shield platoon<br />

consists out of a mixed team of specialists who each have<br />

their specific role were an incident to occur.<br />

These team members have had extensive military and<br />

medical training since the requirements for homeland<br />

security stemming from this elevated threat level are also<br />

capabilities trained for and perfected during overseas<br />

operations. Battle-hardened Belgian Army infantry units<br />

are well prepared for a counterterrorism mission since<br />

they are also deployed in volatile areas abroad where they<br />

have to deal with insurgents all the time. The infantry<br />

platoons in the Belgian streets and public places are<br />

attuned to complex warfare in crisis situations.

Brussels Airport<br />

©Shutterstock<br />

They are well trained in basic force protection which<br />

can be extrapolated towards protecting civilians,<br />

and are specialists in searching for dangerous items,<br />

defusing explosives, and mobility, countermobility and<br />

survivability, with the invaluable assistance of canine<br />

units. Extensive medical training has them prepared for<br />

the worst, which was clearly demonstrated when the<br />

soldiers at the national airport saved lives on 22/3 with<br />

their first aid kits. While imbued with restraint they won’t<br />

take nonsense from anyone and are well within their<br />

brief to act forcefully in close range combat and even<br />

lethally if so required. As the sum of their parts, they are<br />

a formidable obstacle to any hostile and the best response<br />

to the strategic advantage of attack the terrorists have.<br />

However, this additional homeland defense requirement<br />

poses challenges for the army. A great deal of issues<br />

involving human and material resources, operational<br />

and organizational constraints, and sustainability,<br />

have risen with this counterterror mission. The sheer<br />

number of soldiers marshalled to comprise the teams<br />

of adequate numbers to protect the sensitive points<br />

on a 24-hour watch posed great challenges, as well as<br />

providing the logistics and a daily supply chain that is<br />

just as complex at home as it is doing so for an operation<br />

abroad. The risk of the drainage of human resources<br />

and valuable experience for which there is no substitute<br />

could seriously impact the effectiveness and credibility<br />

of the Belgian armed forces in terms of manpower and<br />

international commitments.<br />

But there are opportunities as well. Fighting terrorism<br />

abroad and at home are pieces of the same puzzle.<br />

The Belgian Army and police have been doing a lot of<br />

thinking about optimization and rationalization of the<br />

mission to cope with the challenges of defending the<br />

home territory for an indeterminate time with maximum<br />

efficiency and effect. There are many opportunities to<br />

come at a different, creative, approach to the homeland<br />

security mission, that puts the experience and techniques<br />

of the soldiers to maximum effect, and leaves the<br />

operational initiative for the most part with the defender.<br />

A more pragmatic defense plan would also allow a more<br />

efficient commitment of resources so that they and<br />

other means can be put to better use and with greater<br />

effect.<br />

With its caliphate on the verge of collapse, Daesh will<br />

continue to attempt having its last convulsions in the<br />

West. Mere vigilance by static protection will not suffice<br />

to safeguard daily life. The current threat and the threat<br />

of tomorrow require a re-engineering of security and<br />

intelligence with reinforced cooperation mechanisms<br />

at the regional and international levels. This is a new<br />

reality that means living with an asymmetric foe, one that<br />

must be stopped by homeland security as an intricate<br />

and specific phase of joint intelligence/police/military<br />

planning; but the planning should go beyond guardposting<br />

and put the soldiers where they want to be: the<br />

front line.<br />

Therefore, rather than addressing a particular threat by<br />

having permanent static protection, strategy should be<br />

recalibrated towards arming society against what the<br />

threat can do with comprehensive, layered defence, while<br />

engaging the threat directly with what we can do to the<br />

threat actors. By innovation and improvisation can the<br />

fight be taken to the terrorists instead of waiting for them<br />

in the trenches. Taking the initiative by offensive and<br />

psychological operations will change the threat-response<br />

dynamic with a role-reversal that will turn those who<br />

torment us into the tormented.<br />






Prince Michael of Liechtenstein<br />

Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Intelligence Services AG, Vaduz<br />

(www.gisreportsonline.com / www.gisadvisory.com)<br />

With the rise of social media has come a new term: “fake<br />

news” — a term that has even made it into the German<br />

Duden dictionary. Fake news is either invented, factoidbased<br />

or manipulative information intended to mislead<br />

the recipient of the information. But is fake news a new<br />

phenomenon? The answer is no. Fake news is nothing more<br />

than an electronic version of rumour.<br />

Rumour — whether true, almost true or pure lies — exists<br />

from time immemorial. One source of rumour of which<br />

everyone is probably aware, is the so-called “Stammtisch”, a<br />

table men sit around drinking beers, exchanging information<br />

and gossip and discussing local politics.<br />

The later an evening becomes and the more beer is<br />

consumed, the more colourful the rumours become.<br />

In former times, rumour remained at a local or a regional<br />

level. Today, however, with all the social media instruments<br />

available, a lot of rumour is globalized and distorts<br />

information by taking the guise of news or, even worse, facts.<br />

We are indeed living in a time in which individual<br />

perceptions and hypotheses are more important than<br />

facts — a time in which fake news is part and parcel of<br />

everyday life.<br />


There are a number of crises worldwide, most of them due<br />

to shifts in global power. And there are very different types<br />

of news and information that cover these crises. Breaking<br />

news provides information on events, such as the recent<br />

earthquake in Mexico. It is mostly a theme of the electronic<br />

media. Then there is commentary, which are an important<br />

part of the printed media. And then there is gossip, which is<br />

widely spread in electronic, social and print media.<br />

Then there is news that is either wrong or manipulative,<br />

distorts real facts and frequently gives rise to conspiracy<br />

theories. Sometimes, there are also facts that are just not<br />

reported properly; this might be for ideological reasons or<br />

for reasons of avoidance due to political correctness. And<br />

then, there are serious background information which allows<br />

one to understand a situation in its entirety, to realise the<br />

consequences of a situation and which highlight future<br />

scenarios. Such background information from genuine<br />

sources have become a very narrow niche and they are<br />

essential for decision makers in business, politics and<br />

academics in order to avoid misperception and misjudgement.<br />


74<br />

Fake news supports the tendency to judge based on one’s<br />

own point of view, which narrows the perspective. But, as<br />

mentioned above, some kinds of fake news have always<br />

existed. With the tendency to raise the importance of<br />

individual perceptions, fake news just has a wider, different<br />

reach today. And with modern technological means, it can be<br />

spread instantly across the entire globe.<br />

In 2011, I founded Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS).<br />

Driven by my own need for high-quality information,<br />

I decided to establish a system that provides useful, unbiased<br />

information that provides deep insight into relevant topics<br />

and highlights the geopolitical relevance and consequences.<br />

In our understanding, geopolitics translates the lessons<br />

drawn from historical legacy and geographical facts into

Search-by-region option facilitates navigation on GIS-website <br />

© Geopolitical Intelligence Services AG<br />

operational tools. It describes the shifting impact of<br />

dynamics in a multipolar world. It is also realism, beyond<br />

ideologies and preferred conclusions, in foreign policy,<br />

international relations and economics.<br />

Geopolitics in the way we at GIS understand it develops<br />

scenarios and fosters out-of-the-box thinking. We deliver<br />

scenarios based on probabilities. We do not just deliver a<br />

prognosis. We help clients to understand the rationale of<br />

the other side, put themselves in the shoes of their client,<br />

negotiating partner, opponent, etc.<br />

For example, a peace conference on the Syrian conflict was<br />

convened for January 2014. Montreux, Switzerland, was the<br />

venue for the initial peace talks and the drafting of a transition<br />

plan for Syria. These talks were bound to fail, as they began<br />

with the Syrian government and its main political opposition<br />

taking entrenched positions. President Bashar al-Assad’s<br />

government refused to participate in the conference, and<br />

some neighbouring countries were excluded, whereas some<br />

40 participants from different countries (representing quite<br />

unrelated parties) were included. What went wrong?<br />

First, important parties such as Iran where not invited.<br />

Second, in a successful peace conference, there may be no<br />

preconditions, because preconditions mean that at least one<br />

party will continue to fight. Third, the myriad of unrelated<br />

parties that were invited made efficient decision-making<br />

impossible. Finally, there was a misconception that continued<br />

through the Syrian conflict, while the real underlying causes<br />

were never considered. That is, the removal of President<br />

Assad was considered paramount. But shouldn’t the most<br />

important thing have been peace for the people in Syria?<br />

Such unfortunate situations have become common.<br />


So, to make key decisions in politics and business, access to<br />

high-quality, unbiased background information is essential.<br />

GIS’s mission is to remain a privately owned, unbiased<br />

intelligence service that strives for the highest professional<br />

standards, so we can give decision-makers the advice they<br />

need. Hence, the crucial criteria for GIS are:<br />

- Objectivity<br />

- Expertise<br />

- Deep knowledge of background information<br />

- Competency and trustworthiness of sources<br />

- Information based on facts and figures.<br />

One key to GIS’s success is its network of experts. Wellversed<br />

experts from various countries and areas of expertise<br />

work for GIS, and each of them has their own, high-quality<br />

network of people. All of our experts have a proven track<br />

record in politics, economics, energy or security and<br />

defence. On top of that, they have a strong sense for future<br />

developments and how such developments will influence<br />

politics, the economy and society — and they have the ability<br />

to formulate potential scenarios.<br />





Julia Prettl — 29 years old, CEO to<br />

THE COMBINATOR Inc. and Member of the<br />

board to the Prettl family foundation, head of<br />

the Prettl ImmoOffice, lawyer and responsible<br />

optimist — shares some thoughts with us during a<br />

ride on an electric car through the Principality of<br />

Liechtenstein. THE HUS.institute’s CEO and<br />

co-founder, Christopher P. Peterka, interviewed<br />

the young leader for <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>.<br />

Julia, it’s great to have you here in Liechtenstein.<br />

How are you today?<br />

I’m quite nervous. I don’t like to do pictures and interviews<br />

at all. But, as I like to quote: Do something that scares you<br />

everyday ...<br />

That’s interesting advice. Normally, people don’t<br />

like to be scared. Why are you fond of doing<br />

something scary?<br />

You always get something in return when you challenge<br />

yourself. You grow with it. And I think you don’t move<br />

forward if you don’t get out of your comfort zone and<br />

experience things you’re afraid of.<br />

76<br />

For your job you spend a lot of time travelling the<br />

world. You are very busy — how do you choose what<br />

to busy yourself with?<br />

I guess you could say that everything I am passionate<br />

about has something to do with helping people, with<br />

transformation for the better and sustainability. But I’m<br />

an entrepreneur and business women thoroughly, so it is<br />

very important to me, to only engage in projects that are<br />

economically sustainable — in other words, the project<br />

has to be profitable and work out by itself without being<br />

subsidized. I believe that in this way you can generate a<br />

bigger impact in the end. If you showcase a business model<br />

of doing good, you can generate a role model others are<br />

more likely to follow and being for-profit forces you to be as<br />

resource-efficient as possible.<br />

Julia Prettl<br />

So, you actively decide what you’re spending time<br />

and energy on by looking for attributes that are<br />

compatible with your moral concept?<br />

I believe it is our responsibility to question our actions<br />

and fully understand that everything we do has an impact<br />

on the world. I think decision makers and individuals in<br />

industrialised countries can easily examine and scan the<br />

institutions or projects in which they invest their money<br />

and time. In doing so, they should ask themselves what

Christopher P. Peterka, Julia Prettl and Barbara Dietrich<br />

their moral codex is — beyond existing cultural or social<br />

conventions. We should all act according to what we<br />

believe in and the best starting point for doing that is to ask<br />

ourselves: What do I believe in? What impact do I wish to<br />

see in the world? You should never think you can’t make a<br />

difference by yourself.<br />

Let’s define this strategy a little more. How do you<br />

check an investment? What do you look for?<br />

Rather than looking at impact reports or certificates,<br />

I look at the people and their mentalities, to see if they are<br />

ambitious entrepreneurs who are driven by values I can<br />

agree on. Because there is a lot of greenwashing happening<br />

as a marketing strategy — not only on numbers. As we say:<br />

only trust the statistics you faked yourself. But of course I’m<br />

doing due diligences and look at details, e.g. checking where<br />

materials come from and whether there is any indicator of<br />

land robbery or seriously unsustainable processes.<br />

If you could change something about the current<br />

economic situation — slaughter a holy cow — what<br />

would it be?<br />

I pick the “law of eternal growth”. Please can anybody<br />

explain to me why nowadays it’s the ultimate goal for<br />

companies to be able to eternally grow — exponentially, of<br />

course, without any sustainability in mind? There is not<br />

one example — neither in nature nor in economic history<br />

— that proofs exponential growth without sustainability to<br />

be a successful, economic model. If companies think they<br />

have to sell more products, they present their marketing<br />

tricks to consumers, suggesting that they consume more to<br />

make them happy. But salaries are not rising fast enough<br />

for all the consumption expected of us, so companies make<br />

their products cheaper and cheaper; they make smaller<br />

margins, so they have to sell even more products to make<br />

the same or better profits. In the end it leads to a vicious<br />

cycle when companies think they have to substitute the<br />

raw materials or expand to countries with less worker<br />

protection regulations, for example. There is no long term<br />

success if you harm the environment, human beings or<br />

animals without consideration of sustainability. We need<br />

to rethink the whole system! The concept of Minimalism,<br />

the circular or sharing economy are good examples of<br />

how mind-sets are already changing. Through these new<br />

digital-enabled models it’s possible to focus more on<br />

sustainability, make margins and grow without sacrificing<br />

on convenience.<br />

The world is changing. When you think of the<br />

Digital Modern Era, as we call these times, what is<br />

the most fascinating thing about it, that comes to<br />

your mind?<br />


I think that Digitization can be the key to a sustainable<br />

future if you don’t only consider digitisation as a<br />

method to optimize production processes. There are<br />

countless great opportunities. For example creating<br />

new value systems through blockchain technology and<br />

smart contracts or enabling access to education and<br />

information — preferably uncensored for everyone. But<br />

this could also lead to problems for our current political<br />

systems. When you think about fake news, for example,<br />

or the new way information is consumed digitally. You<br />

could say that the digitalization of media is one of the<br />

biggest challenges for democracy in this ‘Post Gutenberg<br />

Era‘. People aren’t watching the daily news on TV or<br />

read newspapers but are receiving their news feeds in<br />

echo chambers. Unfortunately a lot of people are more<br />

interested in Pokemon Go than in politics and misuse<br />

their smartphones and social media for entertainment<br />

rather than education. And with this evolution, the line<br />

between entertainment and news gets thinner and thinner.<br />

The question is really, if people will be more educated or<br />

responsible in the future, as public media will have hard<br />

times performing its educational task.<br />

Julia Prettl is looking for entrepreneurs that are driven by social and<br />

sustainable values.<br />

78<br />

Julia, you’ve been with THE HUS.institute, a<br />

think- and action-tank based here in Vaduz, for one<br />

year now — what’s your story?<br />

Everytime I come to Liechtenstein, I feel like I am<br />

meeting with friends and not like I’m doing my work as<br />

an advisory board member. We share the same values<br />

and even if we don’t have the same opinion on a topic,<br />

we totally tolerate and respect each other and that’s<br />

why I gained new friends so easily within this family of<br />

like-minded people. THE HUS.institute is a platform<br />

that connects people and ideas. It’s a vivid example<br />

of the Medici effect, where you have an intercultural,<br />

interdisciplinary exchange with immediate impact on<br />

everybody involved and I think that’s really important<br />

if you want to transform the world and solve problems.<br />

We have experts on very diverse fields like cleantech,<br />

architecture, energy, and data. Then we’ve got family<br />

offices and multinationals that really make an impact<br />

on the world; they prompt the think-tank be a real<br />

action-tank as they request interventions, not just talk.<br />

And then the third part of the community at THE HUS.<br />

institute are the creatives with whom we can devise<br />

crazy ideas where there were corporate rule sets before.<br />

It’s absolutely necessary to get the outside view and<br />

let whole new ideas arise when it comes to<br />

transformation.<br />

You recently took up on a new challenge. You<br />

are co-founder and CEO of a company called<br />

“The Combinator Inc” that is the result of your<br />

involvement with THE HUS.institute. Tell us a bit<br />

about this project?<br />

I think that businesses have a huge opportunity to make<br />

a change in the world — e.g. by helping to achieve the 17<br />

Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations<br />

— because they decide how energy is consumed, what raw<br />

material is used, how employees are treated, what products<br />

are offered, etc. It is time to foster the new generation<br />

of holistically sustainable, meaningful, and responsible<br />

corporations that embrace possibilities in the upcoming<br />

“shareconomy” concept and want to be successful in the<br />

long term. With “The Combinator” we do exactly that.<br />

Within this first year as an advisory board member of our<br />

think-tank, THE HUS.institute, I’ve heard about so many<br />

extraordinary people with amazing ideas and expertise<br />

and, when cross-linked and fused, “The Combinator”<br />

will establish outstanding and capable players who set<br />

the new status quo and show that the new era has begun.<br />

I’m convinced that it is the most important goal to find a<br />

purpose and value in life. So it’s wonderful to see how these<br />

people are not only working to make money but to use their<br />

talents to achieve something they believe in.

Talking about status quos: At least in the western<br />

world, organisations are heavily dominated by white<br />

senior men in leadership. What’s your opinion<br />

about diversity? Is that an important issue or is it<br />

overrated?<br />

I really think that “diversity is key”, as we say in THE HUS.<br />

institute, and when I advise companies I always tell them that<br />

they should diversify and employ people with different ethnic<br />

or educational backgrounds, from different genders and<br />

generations for their own advantage. In general, we should all<br />

stop comparing and start complementing each other. In this<br />

context I really like the Albert Einstein Quote: “Everybody is<br />

a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,<br />

it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”<br />

One aspect of diversity is gender. Do you think that<br />

female leadership is in any way different to male<br />

leadership?<br />

I think there are differences, of course. There are the<br />

common stereotypes that kind of define these differences<br />

and are often true on some level. But when I look at women<br />

in leadership positions I see a lot of very tough women and<br />

that is a reflection of what the economy and C-suite position<br />

levels are like. Women, historically, have had to be much<br />

tougher than their male colleagues to get into leadership<br />

positions. And I think that’s quite sad because women<br />

should vouch for their own leadership style or even personal<br />

characteristics, just like everybody should.<br />


A Think- and Action-Tank based in Liechenstein.<br />

THE HUS.institute is a think tank to explore the<br />

transformation of the old economy into the Digital<br />

Modern era. We critically convoy decision makers<br />

on their way to the necessary shift in perspective<br />

and worldview supporting the digital transformation<br />

towards an economically and ecologically sustainable<br />

present and future.<br />

We consider ourselves a platform, both transdisciplinary<br />

and cross-generational, for family offices, industry<br />

experts, and creatives who like to believe that there<br />

is tremendous potential in the Digital Modern era<br />

beyond fear and greed. At THE HUS.institute we<br />

believe in humanity, open minds, and courage beyond<br />

any limitation of heritage, gender, religion or party<br />

political interest.<br />


The Combinator is a for-profit catalyst for business growth<br />

and impact investment. The Combinator targets a business<br />

mindset that is driven by personality rather than ego,<br />

sustainable engagement rather than exit focus and follows<br />

the 17 SDG by the United Nations. For hand-selected,<br />

innovative and senseful companies it offers access to a<br />

highly diverse and impactful network of families providing<br />

access to distribution, sales, production, operational<br />

mentoring, talent and cash, if necessary. The Combinator<br />

is backed by family offices and a tank of experts for a wide<br />

range of operational expertise pools such as digitalization,<br />

production, distribution, sales etc. to tap into. The<br />

business model offers three alternatives depending on<br />

the intensity of our engagement: equity participation,<br />

revenue share or fixed fees. This cooperation is not about<br />

cashing out, it’s about bringing circular economy and<br />

sustainability one step further.<br />



is an ongoing column by senior media industry expert<br />

Dieter Brockmeyer. From now on he will throw a light on<br />

burning issues of our digitalization driven global societies<br />

from his own perspective. Here is the second one.<br />


80<br />

The low-black clouds announce a real storm. Artificial<br />

intelligence, robotics, the so-called blockchain technology, which<br />

is intended to turn especially — but not only — the financial<br />

industry upside down, are all characteristic for enormous<br />

uncertainty on the labor market. It used to be the simple work<br />

taken over by machines. It’s been a long time. In the meantime,<br />

the “white collar jobs” have long been in the thread. In Hong<br />

Kong, for example, three years ago, a first company from the<br />

financial sector called Deep Knowledge Ventures, “appointed” a<br />

robot, or, more precisely, a computer algorithm, to the board.<br />

Because of this development many people are anticipating job<br />

cuts of unimaginable extent. In the future, almost everything<br />

could be done by intelligent robots, for most of men nothing<br />

would be left to make a living. Microsoft founder Bill Gates goes<br />

as far as to demand a special tax for every worker replaced by<br />

robots to cover expected social costs. Elon Musk, Tesla founder<br />

and future visionary, believes that the so-called unconditional<br />

basic income for all citizens is indispensable.<br />

This view is, of course, being discussed controversially. In<br />

Switzerland, an initiative to introduce such an unconditional<br />

basic income failed clearly. In Finland, there is a long-term trial<br />

with several thousand participants, with results still outstanding.<br />

Critics doubt the effectiveness of the instrument, not least<br />

because many people would lose their motivation to work<br />

beyond their basic income. However, supporters argue that it<br />

would become easier for people to get involved in matters they<br />

really care about, independent from adequate remuneration,<br />

that most will be denied in the future, anyway. Simply because<br />

paid work will become scarcer in future. Others oppose this<br />

strongly. German liberal party FDP leader Christian Lindner,<br />

for example, compares it to the introduction of the personal<br />

computer. At that time, there was strong fear of major job<br />

losses, but the opposite had happened.<br />

Too much pessimism is not good. In future, there will be new<br />

work areas we cannot imagine today. Old craftsmanship will also<br />

be revived, as is the case with the cautious renaissance<br />

of tailoring, or the surprising run for the old vinyl record.<br />

Speaking of records: In the music industry, the record used<br />

to be the money-maker and concerts were only the means to<br />

promote it. This has changed completely and concerts are<br />

increasingly turned into events. This is what we can already see<br />

today, everything else can be guessed at best. This also includes<br />

the fact that the traditional permanent employment appears<br />

to be in decline. Employees must adapt to flexible project<br />

commitments and self-employment — including all risks — could<br />

be the norm in future.<br />

The transition, however, is likely to be tough for those sorted<br />

out either because they are unfit (or unwilling) to adjust to<br />

new requirements. Nor is the duration of this transition phase<br />

known. The accelerated technical innovation cycles also<br />

accelerate changes elsewhere and overwhelm many. Moreover,<br />

the moment it appears that a wave has just been survived there’s<br />

no time to breathe, because the next wave is — no, not on the<br />

rush, often it is already at its climax.<br />

To deal with this will be the challenge of next years, if not<br />

decades! Models, such as the unconditional basic income will<br />

win supporters — and perhaps they will help to master the<br />

transition.<br />

The prerequisite, however, is to face the developments and<br />

accept them in principle. Only then can we positively help<br />

shape them. By all means — the next decades will not be easy.<br />

As always there are winners and losers. We must deal with this.<br />

In fact, if the winners leave the losers out in the rain, then there<br />

will soon be a tsunami, from which also the winners will not<br />

be spared. Perhaps we will return to a phase of social unrest,<br />

as they have accompanied industrialization in the nineteenth<br />

century. But who seriously claims that there’s no learning from<br />




4-DAY<br />


Thursdays from 4 P.M. till 8 P.M.<br />

Day 1: October 26th 2017<br />

Day 2: November 2nd 2017<br />

Day 3: November 9th 2017<br />

Day 4: November 16th 2017<br />

In cooperation with:<br />


Indringingsweg 1 • 1800 Vilvoorde (Brussel) • www.livingtomorrow.com • info@livingtomorrow.com<br />




After bringing out the saloon variant of the new BMW<br />

5 Series at the start of this year, BMW has now also<br />

launched the brand-new Touring version. This lifestyle<br />

estate car combines stunning looks with outstanding<br />

user comfort and innovates with smart driver<br />

assistance systems and advanced digital connectivity.<br />

It’s exactly 25 years since BMW launched a 5 Series estate<br />

variant. This vehicle, which linked the brand’s sporty<br />

aesthetics with a particularly high level of user comfort, has<br />

become a best seller, especially in the European market.<br />

Today, the BMW 5 Series Touring is in its fifth generation,<br />

with a large, modular luggage compartment as a key feature.<br />

Because BMW 5 Series Touring drivers often make intensive<br />

use of the boot space, it has pneumatic rear suspension with<br />

automatic height adjustment. This means that the driving<br />

properties remain unaltered at all times. Even when heavy<br />

objects are being transported, BMW ensures maximum<br />

driving pleasure in all conditions. In addition, for a<br />

supplementary charge the Touring can also be equipped with<br />

variable electronic suspension. The boot has a load capacity<br />

of 570 litres, and if the rear seat is folded down this rises to<br />

a remarkable 1,700 litres. This all-rounder is equipped with<br />

a folding rear seat in three parts (40/20/40), and another<br />

handy feature is that the backrest can now be unlocked by<br />

means of a button in the boot. In addition, BMW provides<br />

an automatic tailgate as a standard feature, and the rear<br />

window opens separately too: this comes in useful for<br />

putting smaller items quickly into the car when parked close<br />

to a wall or another car.<br />




Although the new BMW 5 Series Touring is a true transport<br />

king, driving pleasure still comes first. BMW has developed<br />

a new chassis whose design prioritises sporty driving<br />

pleasure, as you would expect from this brand. Thanks to<br />

the use of extra-lightweight aluminium (e.g. for the tailgate),<br />

the new Touring weighs as much as 100 kg less<br />

than its predecessor. In conjunction with a<br />

better drag coefficient, this weight-loss diet has<br />

both improved performance and reduced fuel<br />

consumption and emissions.<br />

82<br />

At its launch, the new BMW 5 Series Touring<br />

is available in four engine variants: the BMW<br />

520d Touring (163 or 190 hp, 400 Nm, CO2<br />

emissions between 114 and 124 g/km), the<br />

BMW 530d Touring (265 hp, 620 Nm, CO2<br />

emissions between 124 and 144 g/km), the BMW<br />

530i Touring (252 hp, 350 Nm, CO2 emissions<br />

between 133 and 139 g/km) and the BMW <strong>54</strong>0i<br />

xDrive Touring (340 hp, 450 Nm, CO2 emissions<br />

between 167 and 172 g/km).

As to the newcomer’s appearance, suffice it to say that it<br />

creates an instant impression of sportiness and looks as<br />

highly trained as a competitive athlete. The designers have<br />

played with muscular surfaces and taut, powerful lines and<br />

created harmonious proportions in profile. The stretched<br />

roof lines and heavily raked D-pillars draw extra attention to<br />

the new Touring’s sporty qualities.<br />


Extra space and added comfort are the key words when it<br />

comes to describing the interior of this new Touring. The<br />

dashboard, which is oriented towards the driver, is lower<br />

than in the previous model and contributes to the sense of<br />

spaciousness. The occupants will certainly appreciate the<br />

additional headroom, shoulder width and legroom, wherever<br />

they are sitting. The rear passengers also enjoy noticeably<br />

more freedom of movement, making the Touring ideal for<br />

long journeys.<br />

Another point not without importance in these hectic<br />

times: thanks to improved acoustic insulation in the<br />

windscreen, the roof lining and the boot space and noisereducing<br />

encapsulation for the engine and transmission, the<br />

sound of silence prevails in this Touring. BMW has done<br />

all it can to maximise the driver’s comfort. Thus there’s<br />

the larger HD control panel for the optional Professional<br />

Navigation System with new, more intuitive controls<br />

thanks to enhanced speech features and now hand gestures.<br />

An optional Head-Up Display with a 70 percent larger<br />

projection surface ensures that the driver can focus on the<br />

road optimally and not get distracted.<br />


The BMW 5 Series Saloon introduced a whole host of<br />

technological innovations that made it one of the most<br />

innovative vehicles in its segment.<br />

The new 5 Series Touring also brings with it a surprisingly<br />

great number of active safety systems and automatic<br />

warnings. These represent a clear step in the direction of<br />

autonomous driving. We’ve singled out the most significant<br />

innovations. Priority Warning draws attention to crossing<br />

traffic and gives visual and acoustic warnings if the driver<br />

fails to give way. Evasion Aid helps avoid unexpected<br />


obstacles. The Steering & Lane Control Assistant function<br />

helps the driver to stay in lane by means of minor steering<br />

adjustments. As you know, increased surveillance make it<br />

ever more important to keep to the speed limit. In the new<br />

BMW 5 Series Touring, thanks to the use of Active Cruise<br />

Control with Stop&Go function, the driver can ask the<br />

system to take the speed limit into account.<br />

New parking systems ensure unprecedented convenience.<br />

Park Assist and Remote Control Parking (forwards parking<br />

of the vehicle without the driver on board, via the BMW<br />

Display Key) are technologies that really do make parking a<br />

lot easier.<br />


The possibilities of BMW Connected, the system that<br />

connects the car to the driver’s smartphone, are also<br />

constantly expanding. For example, the driver can send<br />

destinations from his or her smartphone to the car and<br />

determine the ideal departure time based on real-time<br />

traffic information. In a congestion-prone country like ours,<br />

such an application definitely adds value. Apple CarPlay®,<br />

using wireless iPhone integration, is also available in the<br />

new 5 Series Touring. One particularly cool feature is the<br />

Remote 3D View feature, which allows drivers to display<br />

views of the car’s surroundings on a smartphone.<br />

BMW Group Belux<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> Sales<br />

Lodderstraat, 16<br />

2880 Bornem – Belgium<br />

diplomaticsales.belux@bmw.be<br />

+32 (0)3 890 97 02<br />


Olafur Eliasson<br />

Make Yourself Smile Mirror Yourself Be Self-Compassionate<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />





Ms. de Margerie, you started your successful<br />

company in 1989, developed a new company identity<br />

in 2016 active in Paris, Florence and Dubai.<br />

What was your first assignment?<br />

As a member of the Taittinger family, a name already<br />

synonymous with prestigious hotels and champagne,<br />

I had the opportunity to put my interior architect bachelor<br />

into practice working for the family owned Concorde<br />

hotel group. Very soon, in 1989 I launched my own<br />

company, previously named SM Design, which specialized<br />

in designing interiors for hotels, casinos and restaurants<br />

in France and abroad. I worked with leading companies<br />

such as LVMH group (Hotel Cheval Blanc in Courchevel,<br />

France), Mandarin Oriental Group, Accor (Sofitel Legend),<br />

Park Hyatt, and private investors for hotels projects and<br />

residences all around the world.<br />

What did you learn from it?<br />

I had the privilege of growing up in the particular<br />

atmosphere of the most beautiful hotels in Paris which<br />

emphasize the utmost importance to traditions, the finest<br />

service and savoir-faire. Those circumstances allowed me to<br />

learn certain codes and experience luxury from the inside.<br />

When I chose to become an interior designer, I recalled<br />

the sense of wonder I had felt so early in life and set out<br />

to recreate it. My goal is to achieve a perfect blend of<br />

tradition, innovation and creativity. I see my work as a<br />

sensual quest for comfort, and the pleasure of the finest<br />

quality in the smallest detail.<br />

Sybille de Margerie<br />


Some interior designers impose their identity on a place,<br />

and in doing so reduce the identity of their client to<br />

basically invisible. My approach is more open. I look for<br />

creative solutions that exactly match my client’s identity<br />

and their global image in the world.<br />

From my point of view, reinventing oneself is the main<br />

challenge in interior design.<br />

86<br />

Was it a difficult road to success?<br />

Success is what our clients make it, and our references<br />

speak for themselves. That path to excellence is not an easy<br />

one but the most rewarding. The main difficulty our studio<br />

faces is to adapt each project to a specific environment,<br />

to local regulations, and always create new ambiances.<br />

Whether it be a listed building like the Old Cataract, in<br />

Aswan, Egypt, a new hotel development in Morocco,<br />

a boutique hotel like the Norman in Tel-Aviv, a villa in<br />

Moscow, a mountain chalet or resort in Oman.<br />

What would you advice young starters? Especially<br />

young woman creatives and entrepreneurs?<br />

The key philosophy I would suggest to someone aspiring to<br />

become a designer is to show great humbleness and to focus<br />

on the client’s or final customer’s needs.<br />

With a job based on creativity, the entrepreneurial side is<br />

too often laid aside or simply minimized. Parallel to my<br />

training as interior architect, I pursued law graduate studies<br />

at a master level. In dealing with international projects<br />

and managing large staff, I am very thankful to this double

Royal Atlantis Residences Dubai<br />

background. It forged my ability to be committed to results<br />

and of course business oriented. Of course, whether woman<br />

or man … each should be prepared to develop a strong<br />

capacity of work !<br />

Having a studio in Florence, in the heart of Renaissance<br />

architecture, represents a prime and exceptional inspiring<br />

environment. Art exhibitions is another refreshing way of<br />

keeping a creative mind-set.<br />

Do you believe that interior design can enhance<br />

peoples lives? How?<br />

I see my work as a sensual quest for comfort, and the<br />

pleasure of the finest quality in the smallest detail.<br />

Quest for comfort has always been part of our design<br />

philosophy: “Being creative with simplicity — Modernizing<br />

the traditional — Making technology attractive, and colors<br />

elegant — Designing for harmony and comfort”.<br />

Being curious, open-minded, listening to ideas brought by<br />

my team, are other keys.<br />

What’s your favourite artwork and why?<br />

I love Matisse, oriental painters, Anish Kapoor. I appreciate<br />

the audacity of combinations, the marriage of the classic<br />

with the contemporary, the alliance of harmony and<br />

emotion and the purity of lines.<br />

Design cannot compromise comfort.<br />

In my mind, a luxury hotel or residence must spark<br />

emotions; it must elicit what I would call a vibration that<br />

will touch the heart of its guests.<br />

My approach is inspired by the identity of the place, the<br />

location and the local culture. Therefore, each project is<br />

unique. I intend to create a setting that will bring emotions<br />

and has a connection with the local culture.<br />

What’s your favourite personal interior design<br />

project and why?<br />

Cheval Blanc in Courchevel and Mandarin Oriental Paris<br />

are both and equally my favourite works.<br />

Cheval Blanc for the bold vision we developed, creating a<br />

mountain palace, far from the traditional “chalet” designs.<br />

A project, thanks to Bernard Arnault’s confidence, that we<br />

yearly redesign with the same search for innovation and<br />

sophistication.<br />

Where do you draw your inspiration from?<br />

Travelling, as I do most of the year for my projects, is a<br />

great source of inspiration.<br />

Mandarin Oriental Paris for its timeless luxury, and the<br />

fashion and arty influences that inspired the creative<br />

process.<br />


Private Residence in London<br />

88<br />

Do you collaborate with artists or designers?<br />

Each project represents a fantastic opportunity to close<br />

collaborations with artists, designers and craftsmen. This<br />

approach definitely injects character and charisma to a hotel<br />

or private residence.<br />

We thus imagine and create bespoke designs which give<br />

an unexpected and immaterial dimension to the interiors,<br />

giving priority to local artists or designers. Hence in<br />

Amsterdam, we associated students of the highly recognized<br />

Design Academy of Eindhoven who created unique pieces<br />

for Sofitel Legend — The Grand. Works by the Dutch<br />

Droog Design group have also been incorporated into the<br />

interior design. For Mandarin Oriental Paris I wanted this<br />

luxury hotel to have its own distinctive feel, one which<br />

transpires in its haute-couture style. This was translated<br />

into collaboration with leading names in art and fashion,<br />

such as Ali Mahdavi, Nathalie Decoster, who designed Air,<br />

a sculpture in the Lobby, Ateliers Lesage for their amazing<br />

embroideries; Marcello Lo Guidice, Jean-Baptiste Huynh,<br />

Gérard Roveri, Thierry Bisch. Inside the rooms I picked up<br />

Man Ray, the acclaimed American photographer who made<br />

Paris his home in the 1930s with a reproduction on velvet of<br />

his famed photograph, The Kiss.<br />

In Dubai, for the Royal Atlantis residences, a complex<br />

of 230 luxury apartments, I entrusted five female artists:<br />

Céline Alexandre with her gilded unique textile creations.<br />

Annie Trussart, an embroidery expert. Helen Amy Murray<br />

who hand sculptured textiles and leather. Anne Corbière,<br />

a metal weaver, and Isabelle Poupinel who reinterprets<br />

exquisite porcelain in contemporary lights. Their mastery<br />

of craftsmanship illustrate my motto that luxury is in the<br />

details as well as in the language of texture and colors.<br />

My taste for noble materials, mixed with my sense of<br />

detail led me to develop my own furniture and lighting<br />

collections. And to sign partnerships with French<br />

craftsman Pouenat and Italian tap manufacturer Zucchetti.<br />

What is your dream project?<br />

As architect of a particular art de vivre that blends tradition<br />

and creativity in a characteristically French luxury<br />

I design dreamy palaces, boutique hotels, casinos, spas,<br />

mountain chalets, “hotels particuliers”, resorts, villas,<br />

furniture, lighting, carpets collection … There is still one<br />

achievement that I dream of: to design the interiors of a<br />

yacht!<br />


Raqs Media Collective<br />

Lost in Search of Time<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Varanasi, India, 2017<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />

While leaving an unattributed fragment of stenciled graffito on walls in cities from Varanasi to Santa Marta, Raqs Media Collective<br />

admit to a condition that they suspect they share with most people in the world today, of being lost, in search of time.<br />






“Good morning. Thank you for the warm<br />

and beautiful welcome at the “Cederhuis” in<br />

Grimbergen, the Pearl of Brabant. Two sisters, in<br />

the meantime two grown-up sisters who collaborate.<br />

You are known for being the designers of timeless<br />

and characteristic jewelry in Grimbergen. Your<br />

business has expanded significantly throughout the<br />

years with many loyal customers from all over the<br />

country and abroad. What distinguishes you from<br />

other businesses in this sector?”<br />

Krista: “Working from the heart is our biggest asset. It’s the<br />

love for beauty that guides us. Throughout the years, we’ve<br />

developed our very own, distinguishable style”.<br />

Grety: ”We first learned the craft of goldsmiths in a jewelry<br />

workshop. After that, when we were still very young, we started<br />

our own business. We had, however, sworn to never start our<br />

own business. We’re daughters of confectioners and we’ve seen<br />

our parents working their fingers to the bone, day and night.”<br />

90<br />

Krista: ”Well, I guess you can’t deny what’s in your blood<br />

(laughs). We’re chasing our passion. Collaborating with my<br />

sister is the best decision I’ve ever made. We’ve been working<br />

together for 29 years and we’ve added three motivated<br />

collaborators to our team.”<br />

“When I look at your jewelry, I see a lot of creative<br />

and special jewels. You probably have a very diverse<br />

clientele: some customers drop by without really<br />

knowing what they want, while other customers<br />

are looking for a rather meaningful creation with<br />

a personal story behind it. How do you guide your<br />

customers?”<br />

Grety: “You fulfill the desire of your customer. As a result, we<br />

take the time to discover this desire. The customers can pick<br />

a jewel from our large collection in which they can recognize<br />

themselves. We don’t have a permanent collection, we only<br />

make unique pieces. That’s what is so special about our work.”<br />

Krista: “We also really enjoy creating a jewel tailored to one<br />

specific customer. We listen to their story: who they are, what<br />

kind of jewel or stone they’re after. People often drop by<br />

when they have something to celebrate, like a marriage or a<br />

wedding anniversary.”<br />

“I gathered that customers also come by with one<br />

of the most personal requests: they want to have the<br />

ashes of a deceased person incorporated in a jewel.”<br />

Krista: “In that perspective, the jewel, in which the ashes<br />

of a deceased person is incorporated, is different. It is a<br />

comforting jewel. When the customers come to pick it up,<br />

it’s usually an emotional moment. The jewel heals the person,<br />

as it were, and gives people extra strength to move on and<br />

continue their mourning process. We see some kind of<br />

transformation happening in the customer.”

Grety: “We see the same thing when people come by<br />

after a broken marriage: they ask us to transform their<br />

old engagement ring or wedding ring into something new,<br />

because they’re entering a completely new phase in life.<br />

We then transform the jewel into a totally different, positive<br />

piece of jewelry.”<br />

“You radiate tremendous tranquility, it’s a<br />

feeling I get when I walk into the store. There’s<br />

an atmosphere of peace and spiritual thinking,<br />

something you undoubtly pass on to the creation of<br />

your jewelry. Have you got any dreams about how<br />

things will look like for you in a couple of years?”<br />

Grety: “We do still have a lot of dreams and we still want to<br />

do many things.”<br />

Krista: “When I hear you ask us that question, I’m thinking:<br />

I’m not living for later. Now is much more important to me.<br />

That’s why I love being occupied by my work, because<br />

I work very much in the present and I lose myself in the<br />

joy of creation. I absolutely love sitting at my workbench,<br />

designing and creating. Those are wonderful moments. When<br />

I feel connected to my source and I’m able to work with that,<br />

I feel amazing. The final result is, to a certain extent, always a<br />

bit of a surprise.”<br />

Grety: “When I create, I usually follow the source material,<br />

a specific stone or pearl. It could, for example, look like the<br />

body of a dancer, and so I’ll incorporate that in a jewel that<br />

will have something dance-like. Sometimes a stone inspires<br />

a certain movement, nature itself … sometimes something<br />

completely different.”<br />

Krista: “When we’re discussing what a personal jewel should<br />

turn out to be with a customer, we stick to the certain<br />

agreements we made about the design. The jewel should be a<br />

perfect fit for the customer.”<br />

“It’s very important that the customers feel<br />

comfortable around the person who creates<br />

something for them.”<br />

Grety: “Yes, absolutely. We can really sense what someone<br />

wants. We listen to their request, base ourselves on their<br />

desire or their personality. We incorporate that in the<br />

material. It’s a connection between the customer, ourselves<br />

and the material.”<br />

Krista: “We’re always looking for beauty and authenticity. Our<br />

desire for perfection results in the fact that we’re extremely<br />

demanding when it comes to the quality of our precious<br />

stones and pearls. We prefer using a small stone of the best<br />

quality to using a big, imposing fake stone. In our quest for<br />

special stones, we’ve traveled the world. The world has got<br />

more to offer than only plastic and perishable things, like<br />

nobel and precious materials that contain beautiful energy.<br />

For example, gold and precious stones, of which you feel the<br />

energy when you wear it. You carry it with you and it goes<br />

wherever you go. That’s what I find wonderful about our art.”<br />


92<br />

“Can you already tell us something more about your<br />

next exhibition?”<br />

Grety: “Our exhibition will take place here in the Cederhous<br />

from 4 until 19 November. The theme is a bit of a surprise…<br />

Well, all right … This year, we’ll work around the theme<br />

“flavour”. Our second big passion is eating (laughs). We’ve<br />

reduced the primary flavours to the essence, like salt, sour,<br />

bitter and sweet.”<br />

Krista: “First, I painted, which is something I often do. This<br />

time, I had a taste of a spoonful of “fleur de sel”, or salt<br />

blossom, to discover what it would do to me. What shapes<br />

and colours do I experience? I’ll work with that. I usually<br />

work through painting, because it’s a medium through which<br />

I can rather directly express myself.”<br />

Grety: “We took our designs to Studio Berengo in Murano.<br />

There we created a kind of magnifying glass with the glass<br />

blowers. Some time ago, we were wondering why jewels<br />

aren’t often exhibited in museums. We do see them in<br />

exhibitions of ancient art, but modern, beautiful jewelry is<br />

rarely displayed in museums. Maybe the jewels are too small?<br />

It’s not easy to fill up an entire space with a piece of jewelry.<br />

That’s why we started thinking about magnifying glasses, or<br />

big magnifiers. We made a magnifying glass with colours to<br />

represent the flavours. Behind it, we present the jewels, so<br />

they are magnified and deformed. That way, it becomes a bit<br />

of a sculpture.”<br />

Krista: “When you wear the jewel, the sculpture needs to be<br />

on its own. When you go to bed at night, and want to let the<br />

jewel rest, you can place it with the sculpture so it becomes a<br />

part of something bigger.”<br />

“Do you have any idea of what you still want to<br />

achieve with your business and your jewelry?”<br />

Krista: “I’d personally like to create even more from my<br />

tranquility. I’d also like to create more extreme, intense<br />

jewelry. I’ve got bigger designs that haven’t been brought<br />

to life yetand complex drawings that wouldn’t fit in a small<br />

piece of jewelry. The question is, however, if this piece of<br />

jewelry would be still wearable.”<br />

Grety: “It’s always about finding a balance between creating<br />

something crazy yet wearable. The jewel needs to be<br />

comfortable. Then you’re in a twilightzone between the jewel<br />

and the sculpture. We do find that exciting, so why not.”<br />

Krista: “We like doing what we do and we want to keep<br />

doing fun, crazy things. Like working with glass in Murano,<br />

for example. Discovering other media, exploring the<br />

possibilities. To us, that’s awesome.”<br />

“Your enthousiasm is inspiring. Thank you for this<br />

lovely chat and for the enlightening encounter.”<br />

Het Cederhuis, Krista & Grety Vandevelde<br />

Brusselsesteenweg 152 - 1850 Grimbergen

Nico Dockx<br />

Everything, Everything, Everything Is Memory<br />

(from a whispering conversation Giuseppe Ungaretti, 1997- …)<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Varanasi, India, 2017<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />


La peau du ciel<br />

éveille des oasis<br />

au nomade d’amour<br />

Versa, 20 mai 1916<br />

from Giuseppe Ungaretti, Vie d’un homme, Poésie 1914-1970, Éditions de Minuit, Gallimard 1973<br />



I watch the tree outside my window. Covered by the<br />

fluorescent light of the streetlamp, its leaves seem to<br />

be floating in mid-air. The rest of it, the long, strong<br />

branches, the trunk of the tree, are swallowed by<br />

damp October darkness.<br />

94<br />

Our society is a great tangled and interwoven web. Human<br />

connections span across borders, even continents, and the<br />

meanings of closeness and experience become increasingly<br />

complex. We can reach people across any distance by simply<br />

tapping a screen. There is an unconceivable multitude<br />

of stimuli in the forms of entertainment, education or<br />

recreation at our immediate disposal. We have built cities<br />

where every second street corner offers an opportunity for<br />

caffeination. Conversations in various languages resound<br />

on the escalators of shopping centers. Weekday mornings<br />

see waves of formally dressed people leaving their homes.<br />

Deep into the night traffic-lights conduct a tango between<br />

pedestrians and drivers as windows flush with flickering<br />

lights shining from our television sets. So totally have we<br />

surrounded ourselves with constructions planned and built<br />

by people that one can call themselves lucky if their window<br />

offers a view on a tree.<br />

The little car that is our own life easily gets accustomed<br />

to high speeds and uninterrupted traffic. Arriving in a<br />

populated area after having driven on a highway feels like<br />

having to slow down to a crawl when in fact the speedometer<br />

is still showing relatively high numbers. This speed-blindness<br />

translates to many other areas of perception. A response<br />

that comes slightly late, an internet connection that has a<br />

delay or our favorite bread that got sold out. They all feel like<br />

obstructions to the natural order of things. We have made a<br />

pact for efficiency and overall easy access to very specialized<br />

goods. As we serve this system through our specific area of<br />

expertise, we expect it to serve us back.<br />

Just recently I watched a live broadcast of a performance<br />

of the Metropolitan Opera house in a movie theater in<br />

Helsinki. Thousands of people all over the world watching<br />

the same realtime event. As the curtain rose on a mystically<br />

glowing stage, depicting an ancient forest I felt kinship<br />

with my fellow audience members. All of us listening to<br />

transfixing ethereal music, the sopranos voice floating<br />

through space, light as silk. Annoyance was apparent as due<br />

to a solar storm in the North American hemisphere, the<br />

transmission was partly breaking off. How accustomed we<br />

are to the wondrously complex technology that brings far<br />

places to us without us having to spend the time we would<br />

actually need to cross the distance. Just like a hummingbird<br />

flaps its wings up to 70 times per second and thus perceives<br />

time through the viewpoint of that speed, we have managed<br />

to significantly expand our possibilities of just how much we<br />

can do in a certain timeframe compared to past generations.<br />

We know time intimately, have divided it into units, wait for<br />

a specific time to strike before doing certain things. It is our<br />

companion and our challenger, sometimes swooping us off<br />

our feet, other times pressing us, squeezing us tightly. We<br />

feel it, always, yet we don’t know how to explain it. Sand<br />

floating in the hourglass, church bells at night. Based on<br />

our clocks, our way of moving from the shop to our car, the<br />

fact that a candle will steadily decrease in size as it burns,<br />

we could describe time as a thing that persistently moves<br />

forward. Yet modern physics and philosophy suggest, each<br />

in their own science-specific fashion, that time is not linear,<br />

not a set entity but something that exists in relation to other<br />

parameters. We could well be riding on a specific wave of<br />

time, our senses unable to perceive and grasp the vast ocean<br />

this wave is part of. This might just be a blessing. We can<br />

certainly draw a lot of knowledge and understanding from<br />

past events and history. Simultaneously however our past<br />

can stir us into certain not-always-positive patterns, where<br />

a memory can prevent us from giving the present the credit<br />

it deserves. Were we to have a picture of the future similarly<br />

affecting our thoughts and actions, we might completely lose<br />

any sense of self and power in a stream of events, triggers<br />

and consequences.<br />

While we are speeding through our time searching for stories<br />

to tell and hear, building some and destroying others, nature,<br />

which we continue to force out of our way, speaks a powerful

Photo: Emmi Pennanen<br />

language of its own. Whirlwinds or the movements of lava<br />

underneath tectonic plates certainly bring instant change to<br />

our world as we have known it until then, but mostly nature<br />

acts in a slower arc, persisting through its patience. Trees<br />

bear proof of the profound sculpting potential and power<br />

of perseverance. They grow not only up but also deep down<br />

into the earth, their roots building a web of interaction and<br />

exchange of resources below the surface. Loyal servants to<br />

the seasons, a tree will let the weathers strip its branches<br />

bare of leaves just to grow new ones after the winter has<br />

rattled its exposed core. The oldest individual trees on<br />

earth are proven to have lived well before the beginning of<br />

Western civilization. Circling the sun for several millennia<br />

they have witnessed, empires rise and fall, a myriad of<br />

constellations of human activity. A curious trait shared<br />

between all these ancient trees is their location in areas<br />

with the harshest possible growing conditions. Scientists<br />

believe that particularly this ability, to grow and survive on<br />

extremely challenging, even hostile terms, might well have<br />

granted these trees the possibility to reach exceptional age.<br />

They defy time itself through overcoming the challenges set<br />

by their world.<br />

I watch the tree outside my window. Covered by the<br />

fluorescent light of the streetlamp, its leaves seem to be<br />

floating in mid-air. The rest of it, the long, strong branches,<br />

the trunk of the tree, are swallowed by damp October<br />

darkness. It is a mystical sight. Floating leaves trembling<br />

ever so slightly in a light breeze. Against all the concrete<br />

structures around it, the tree seems like a remnant of<br />

another world. Whereas everything else I look at was built<br />

by external forces, through means outside the constructions<br />

themselves, this tree grew over time, all by itself. There was<br />

no way to speed up the process, no real means to control the<br />

outcome. As I float through my days, surfing the wavelengths<br />

and pathways of this big city that is constantly changing, the<br />

big tree outside my window is my landmark, my touchstone.<br />

A reminder that parallel to my reality bursting with countless<br />

sources of instant satisfaction or immediate distress, there<br />

exist other, slow but persistent truths as well.<br />

Emmi Pennanen is a professional ballet dancer and studies<br />

mathematics at the University of Helsinki. She is guest writer<br />

for <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> starting June 2017.<br />





Jaguar Land Rover Asse is a true family company<br />

that was founded more than 50 years ago. In all<br />

those years they have grown to become the biggest<br />

dealership within the Benelux. And the future<br />

is looking bright! With a completely renovated<br />

showroom and some new products like the Range<br />

Rover Velar and Jaguar XF Sportbrake, the family<br />

Van Vaerenbergh–Heymans is determined to stay<br />

on top of the Belgian market.<br />

“In January 2017 we’ve completed a total modernization<br />

of our showroom. One of the main aspects of the new<br />

showroom was to maintain the personal contact with<br />

our clients. We really value the connection with our<br />

customers and want them not to worry about anything,<br />

going from the moment they step foot in our showroom<br />

to the first and also last time their car needs service.<br />

Our team of 45 employees is dedicated to give clients<br />

the service they deserve”, says General Manager<br />

Ivo Van Vaerenbergh.<br />

96<br />

“One of our biggest strengths is that we can offer a<br />

complete service to our clients. Everything happens under<br />

the same roof. We have a spacious work- and body shop<br />

that are equipped with the latest technologies”, says Ivo<br />

Van Vaerenbergh. Jaguar Land Rover Asse has an own<br />

carwash and offers a home-delivery service. They pick up<br />

your car at home or work and once it’s finished they bring<br />

it back. That way you can save a lot of travelling time.<br />

Besides our service, we are known for our wide range<br />

of new stock cars. That way we can offer and show our<br />

clients the different color and accessories possibilities.<br />

This definitely makes the difference between Jaguar Land<br />

Rover Asse and other JLR dealerships. Our motto is “If<br />

you can’t find the Jaguar or Land Rover of your dreams<br />

at Jaguar Land Rover Asse, you’re not going to find it<br />

anywhere”. We are well known for our special color<br />

combinations and well-equipped vehicles.<br />


The showroom has recently been modernized with a new<br />

interior, extra offices and a barista bar. But the biggest<br />

change takes place at the ground floor. This spacious area<br />

has been transformed into a full black delivery area. “In the<br />

past we delivered new cars in our showroom but this doesn’t<br />

match with our vision of maintaining personal contact<br />

with our clients. Therefore we have designed three different<br />

experience boxes, which are foreseen of 360° mirrors so<br />

that you can watch your vehicle from any angle”, says Ivo<br />

Van Vaerenbergh. Very impressive! To make sure that you<br />

know your car inside out, a product expert gives you a full<br />

explanation about the car and all its must-haves. Which<br />

comes in very handy because of all the technology that’s<br />

in the car.


Jaguar Land Rover Asse doesn’t only sell new cars, even if you<br />

are looking for a second-hand car you are at the right address.<br />

With the Jaguar Land Rover Approved label, your vehicle is<br />

prepared to the highest standards. To ensure it leaves a Jaguar<br />

Land Rover dealership in immaculate condition, a seven point<br />

customer promise is in place. Every Jaguar or Land Rover<br />

has had a multi-point inspection that covers 165 mechanical,<br />

electrical and safety checks. Above that you always receive a<br />

2 year warranty and 24 months of roadside assistance. This<br />

gives you an absolute peace of mind and guarantees your<br />

vehicle delivers the most composed and capable drive possible.<br />

WHAT’S NEXT?<br />

In September we have launched the All-New Range Rover<br />

Velar. A new model that is positioned in between the famous<br />

Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. The Velar is<br />

called the Avant-Garde Range Rover because it takes things<br />

even further. A streamlined and powerful design but on the<br />

other hand very elegant. The Range Rover Velar has it all! The<br />

same is true inside the Velar’s beautifully appointed cabin,<br />

where a brand-new infotainment interface, Touch Pro Duo,<br />

takes up residence in the center stack. The Intel-quad-core<br />

based system features twin 10” touchscreen TFT displays.<br />

Everything to help you and your passengers arrive relaxed.<br />

From effortless, crisp acceleration to improved efficiencies<br />

and lower CO2 emissions, every engine that powers the<br />

Range Rover Velar has been optimized. The new lightweight<br />

aluminum 4-cylinder and powerful V6 engines delivers a<br />

responsive drive with the vehicle’s automatic transmission<br />

producing rapid shifting together with exhilarating<br />

acceleration and performance. The New Range Rover Velar<br />

starts at €57.300 and is ready to take over the city. Make<br />

sure to book your test drive at our dealership or website<br />

(www.landroverasse.be).<br />

Not only the Land Rover family will be expanding, the<br />

same counts for Jaguar. Jaguar Asse is ready to make an<br />

introduction with the new XF Sportbrake, which will be<br />

released the 19th of October 2017. XF Sportbrake builds<br />

on the success of Jaguar’s most award-winning car ever!<br />

Possessing an unrivalled combination of style and substance,<br />

it delivers an utterly seductive blend of design, dynamics and<br />

refinement to create a car that offers both excitement and<br />

efficiency. All enhanced by state-of-the-art technologies that<br />

keep you safe, connected and entertained.<br />

Thanks to Jaguar’s lightweight aluminum architecture,<br />

XF Sportbrake is more efficient, offers lower running costs,<br />

and reduces emissions to as low as 104g/km*. On the move,<br />

the lightweight front double wishbone and rear integral link<br />

suspension systems deliver supreme levels of ride comfort and<br />

handling. XF is a destination of bespoke choice and luxury.<br />

A Place where premium materials are elegantly crafted into a<br />

design that delivers pure, all-encompassing comfort. Wherever<br />

you’re sitting, XF’s contemporary design, abundant natural<br />

light, and exquisite craftsmanship combine to create an<br />

atmosphere of relaxed refinement. Explore the range of XF<br />

Sportbrake in our showroom and we happily help you further.<br />







When visiting Yona Friedman in his ‘cave’ in Paris<br />

in September 2017, I am mesmerized — not only by<br />

his apartment as an archive and small museum —<br />

but especially by Yona’s look, posture and<br />

determination. It is love at first glance.<br />

98<br />

On a daily basis the legendary architect and thinker invites<br />

friends, academics, members from the art world or partners<br />

in thoughts in his home and private space. Yona connects<br />

with the good listener on a one-to-one basis, he connects via<br />

his iPad with the world. A porcelain figure on first touch, who<br />

changes into a vast and passionate advocate for strategies that<br />

address our leaders.<br />

Utopia is very far away. Yona Friedman, aged 94, is as<br />

contemporary as ever; with concrete ideas — put into<br />

strategies — that cover today but especially reach out to our<br />

future, the future of billions of people around our globe, our<br />

village as he still calls it. His ideas are rooted in both his<br />

personal history and diaspora but also rooted in a universal<br />

language, that merges humanism and the collective spirit<br />

with the willpower and flexibility of the individual. For 45<br />

minutes Yona Friedman builds up a well thought monologue.<br />

I am honoured to share it with <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> and its<br />

readers.<br />

“The change in mainstream media has been the main factor<br />

for big media centres and publishers producing less and less<br />

written text on paper. As a result I have to count on smaller<br />

and niche oriented publishers to share my vision and stories<br />

from publishing and readers’ point of view.<br />

As an architect and thinker, I dare to propose in my<br />

concepts that “It’s not about the plan, but all about the<br />

strategy”.<br />

I prefer to start from the premise that strategies are open<br />

minded, and plans are made to be executed following<br />

predefined parameters.<br />

When I talk about the topics that I will share with you today,<br />

I never present a plan, only a strategy.<br />


On a global scale we have the situation that cities are growing<br />

and sometimes exploding. Cities — but even countries —<br />

are not adapted neither prepared to receive the flux of<br />

immigration that challenges our societies today. We lack<br />

structures but often an open-mindedness to answer to this<br />

situation. This shift and continuous moving of people from<br />

one continent to the other, in between countries, creates a<br />

new situation of, especially, urban growth.<br />

On a personal and governmental level, panic surrounds us and<br />

a multitude of questions arise about the consequences what<br />

will happen with all the immigrants arriving here. We are<br />

definitely not prepared for this kind of growth. And I dare to<br />

say we have no urban strategies to cope with this situation of<br />

explosive growth.<br />

We have to create a strategy that recognizes the situation<br />

and addresses the crucial problems of this changing urban<br />

context.<br />

Both problem and solution are anchored in how we envision<br />

and organize the conditions of employment.<br />

There is an historical background in this scheme. Urban<br />

planning has always been influenced and determined by the<br />

central idea of proximity. People used to concentrate in a city<br />

for a number of reasons, but this urban proximity has been<br />

evolving, slowly but straightforward. The last 20 to 30 years<br />

these slow changes have turned into brutal changes.<br />

Security and connectivity in parallel with economic and<br />

social factors brought people together within the city walls.<br />

Urban planning has been defined from the beginning by<br />

the security factor. The city wall defined the borders of<br />

this concentration of inhabitants, taking care of security

Yona Friedman Photos by Daniel Hernández-Salazar © 2017<br />

and reducing the complexity of creating protection. During<br />

history city walls proved its significance and use until the<br />

Siege of Paris (1870-1871) by the Prussians. After WWI and<br />

WWII this concept changed dramatically. In the 20th century<br />

proximity and concentration became even dangerous, which<br />

was proven by the terrible weakness and vulnerability of cities<br />

during both WW I & II. Today terrorism also stresses the<br />

vulnerable position of the high density city and its population.<br />

During the industrial age another main factor determined<br />

urban planning, linked to basic needs, creating the scale for<br />

‘networks’ of electricity and water.<br />

The second change was slower. Proximity in cities used<br />

to be a guarantee for nearness, answering to the necessity<br />

of social contact. This social component has shifted<br />

completely in the 21st century. The disruptive evolution of<br />

private communication and the original purpose of public<br />

spaces where people could coincide — coexist — and meet<br />

evolved dramatically.<br />

The evolution in the use of electronic devices and digital<br />

communication has lead this change in a disruptive way.<br />

Telephone and its infrastructure were the main network<br />

to cross distances and bring people together via voice.<br />

The last 20 years phones have found a new space in our<br />

pockets, constantly on the move, without needing the<br />

traditional network and infrastructure anymore. The devices<br />

we use today are instrumentally operated by batteries.<br />

The technology in batteries is still evolving. Soon,<br />

household electrical devices will also operate mainly via<br />

battery and be digitally controlled, and the evolution in<br />

LED technology will reduce another basic need for powerful<br />

networks, substituting these step by step.<br />

For the use of clean water, networks are well constructed<br />

but still vulnerable in many regions. With simple<br />

techniques the quantity of needed water for cities could<br />

be mastered much more efficient, apart from the need for<br />

drinking water, that you can buy easily at large scale in the<br />

supermarket.<br />

Elements that originated density and proximity are not<br />

per se the defining factors for urban planning in 2017 and<br />

beyond. Today people want more space, more nature. The<br />

further development of sophisticated technologies could<br />

prevail the ecological challenges — climate change — and<br />

will have an impact on our ecosystems and create less<br />


Yona Friedman, Bonne année 1965, Mimeographic printing, 27 x 21 cm, Courtesy de l’artiste et Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris<br />

100<br />

condensed cities. For example, Urban Heat Islands radiate<br />

more heat than rural or suburban surfaces and landscapes,<br />

so urban growth is not necessary the right strategy.<br />

It is time to envision how to reduce the strategies on the<br />

permanent growth of cities. Let’s think out loud on some<br />

possibilities and draw some sketches:<br />

1. Cities should not grow anymore. I look at the old<br />

continent — Europe — and regard it as one city (in the<br />

1960s Yona Friedman was already connecting 120<br />

cities in his project Villes d’Europe/Métropole Europe).<br />

The distance in time between suburban Paris and the<br />

city centre is comparable to the time distance between<br />

Brussels and Paris. In the 1950s and 1960s when I<br />

proposed this idea people were laughing and mocking<br />

but today with the fast trains and the ‘cheap flight’<br />

networks, the process of itineraries has changed. I look<br />

at the fast train system as a metro/subway system which<br />

connects cities. In Japan when I travel from Tokyo to<br />

Osaka I take the fast train — Shinkansen — that arrives<br />

and leaves every 9 minutes. This fast network, at subway<br />

frequency, with variable pricing is a possibility to develop<br />

further. When a larger number of people would use this<br />

existing infrastructure, the economies of scale to support<br />

the large investments are there and should at the end<br />

benefit public and social purpose but also economics. In<br />

Pasadena, a very green and pleasant city, circulation still<br />

works. Traffic jams are concentrated in the freeways, but<br />

I am convinced we should address these challenges with<br />

a well-developed network of fast trains.<br />

2. (Un)Employment can both stimulate or blow up cities.<br />

Employment patterns are changing radically, from job<br />

definition point of view but also from human point<br />

of view. Looking at this situation from a traditional<br />

perspective, white collar jobs are influenced by the use of<br />

internet, computers and electronic devices. It is possible<br />

to diminish work space in offices or ultimately abandon<br />

them, because white collar people can work at home<br />

and technology facilitates this evolution rapidly. Living<br />

in Paris, aged 94 and not very mobile anymore, I am<br />

connected to different parts of the world 24/7 and able to<br />

work and connect in an efficient way. The opportunity is<br />

to give people better housing, and step away of the idea<br />

of better and more office space. I propose to add 10%<br />

more workspace in our homes to facilitate this change<br />

in job related behaviour. Meanwhile factories will be<br />

working differently tomorrow. In the case of 3D printing<br />

— together with artificial intelligence one of the most<br />

crucial new technologies that will influence our future —<br />

you can imagine a blue collar employee, to control the<br />

3D production process as an operator, from his home<br />


Yona Friedman, La jeune fille qui voyageait avec les gazelles, from the series « Films d’animation », 1961<br />

B/W animated film, sound, 21’, Ed. 1/5 + AP, Courtesy of the artist, Cneai & Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris<br />

3. In the short term future, main employment opportunities<br />

and growth are related to person-to-person services. Even<br />

in traditional labour environments, people working in<br />

garage workshops — after sales services and maintenance<br />

— are creating a higher number of jobs than in traditional<br />

car factories. What we will never be able to computerise<br />

or robotize completely is personal care and service.<br />

We should invest and create a maximum in this type of<br />

employment opportunities. From repair jobs to babysitter<br />

to healthcare to personal care. This alternating type<br />

of employment doesn’t need to coincide with the high<br />

density and flux to cities. It can be organized anywhere.<br />

People could benefit form a better service also in rural<br />

or smaller suburban areas, because often in larger cities<br />

supply and demand are disproportionate.<br />

To conclude I would like to propose urban dispersion<br />

instead of urban growth.<br />

On first sight it might add to the complexity but being an<br />

architect, when I have created my vision and manifest on<br />

mobile architecture, I also meant that architecture should<br />

be completely customised and not planned and that the<br />

individual person or family could transform his housing and<br />

living premises and that it was not the primordial task of the<br />

architect. It used to be the praxis of older times but also of<br />

my daily life.<br />

It is a strategy in architecture that people can push their<br />

own space and borders. Imagine in this kind of urban<br />

dispersion program farming and agriculture become a city<br />

trade, which is a logical step. Small vegetables and fruits are<br />

grown in your garden, individualised. In this case garden<br />

service becomes also a personal service, another type of<br />

employment created.<br />

In general I am not speaking about rich or poor countries<br />

or cities because the relative proportions are often similar<br />

— of course absolute amounts show huge differences. In<br />

the poorest countries you are poor recalculated towards<br />

international currencies and standards, but locally the<br />

situation is not the same. For example in India a peasant<br />

would have a servant, and still today in poor countries<br />

agriculture and farming are still important industries,<br />

creating value.<br />

After all these images and impressions on a revised urban<br />

strategy I would like to anticipate and comment on the<br />

obstacles. Surprisingly or not I say these obstacles are<br />

related to our basic ideas of banking in which real estate<br />

plays a very important part in the structures of the financial<br />

system. If we propose a change in the real estate situation,<br />

we must also anticipate and be clever enough to follow an<br />

alternative pattern in our banking procedures towards real<br />


Yona Friedman Photos by Daniel Hernández-Salazar © 2017<br />

102<br />

estate. There should be no reason that financial concepts<br />

are rigid and not adaptable. From a different angle ‘Mobile<br />

banking and mobile architecture’ should find a common<br />

path in their future operations.<br />

The Strategy Process is a step-by-step process; we effectuate<br />

one step, than another, we move on, but in reality the line of<br />

these steps can alter in the process. Urban growth reducing<br />

is a strategy, but detailed plans are not sufficient and would<br />

not work. Improvisation is essential and an important factor<br />

which cannot be planned. Architecture as a discipline<br />

should also change. It should touch the borders of the art<br />

world, sociology, politics, science and the development of<br />

technology. But above all it should be open for experimental<br />

approaches.<br />

Back to the strategy perspective. The strategy view includes<br />

to look for possibilities for real and pragmatic solutions,<br />

without formal predictions. Predictions start from statistics,<br />

average figures, but I believe there is no such thing as an<br />

average person. People can be influenced, but at the end<br />

always decide for themselves.<br />

We have to accept and understand that this urban strategy<br />

is not imposed by some legislating body. Societies are<br />

self-built, values and customs too. The self-building and<br />

reactive human process should be entangled in the strategic<br />

approach. To build a city is not constructing a fixed object,<br />

it is an ongoing process of organic growth … and you cannot<br />

master and plan processes. You revise constantly old and<br />

new attitudes. This is not a political choice; it is a policy<br />

and politics have to follow this logic. Our daily democracy is<br />

not a political one, it is ruled by our daily behaviour in our<br />

lives and close environment. When you walk in the street,<br />

you apply a direct form of democracy. You can decide<br />

to say hello or in contrast to avoid contact. There are no<br />

pre-established rules to guide ourselves, either the preestablished<br />

rules became so much institutionalized that we<br />

don’t question them anymore.<br />

For years my partner in daily life and practice was Balkis, a<br />

dog, and Balkis didn’t plan ahead, but reacted permanently<br />

according to its changing environment and circumstances.<br />

The dog was flexible and reacted immediately, very direct,<br />

towards its changing environment. In parallel, history is not<br />

always about the ‘greater histories’. History on a daily basis<br />

is the accumulation of the small events in our real life. The<br />

historian always sees what he wants to see in a self-imposed<br />

way, which is often far from reality.

These issues I present, are not a proposal but are meant as an<br />

incitation. As an individual I cannot bring or offer solutions.<br />

I would like people to think and reflect on what I say. Present<br />

architecture is overplanned. Present economy is overplanned.<br />

Present politics too. We need less planning. Improvisation<br />

is part of my strategy. Balkis made decisions, and even the<br />

final and crucial decisions in wars by armies on the battlefield<br />

are decided by individual decisions, guided by the moment,<br />

influenced by ratio or emotions, close to both genius or failure.<br />

At the end, I want to avoid the one idea that guides and<br />

steers the collective mass. I am pro the individual and our<br />

personal capacity to improvise in life and make our own<br />

decisions. Life, as in a non-aggressive game, taking into<br />

account the idea of coherence in our society.”<br />

“Are you optimistic Yona ? In 1944 I was taken prisoner and<br />

brought to the concentration camps, today I am 94 and we<br />

have this conversation where I can share my thoughts on a<br />

strategy for urban growth and dispersion. If I would have<br />

been imprisoned in 1943, I would not be here.”<br />

<br />

Bruno Devos<br />

Bruno Devos would like to thank Yona Friedman, Nico<br />

Dockx, Jean-Baptiste Decavèle for this experience and Daniel<br />

Hernández-Salazar for the portrait photograpy. Thank you<br />

Jérôme Poggi and Sara Alonso Gómez at Galerie Jérôme<br />

Poggi for elaborating biography and images.<br />

www.danielhernandezsalazar.blogspot.com<br />


AS FROM OCTOBER 2017<br />

Mobile Architecture. Yona Friedman<br />

MAXXI — Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo,<br />

Rome (IT)<br />

June 23 — October 29, 2017<br />

Biennal Art Encounters, Romania<br />

September 30–November 5, 2017<br />

Projet pour un Musée sans bâtiment<br />

On Site — Avenue Winston Churchill<br />

Galerie Jérôme Poggi at FIAC 2017, Paris (FR)<br />

Films d’animation<br />

Curated section « Referentes”<br />

Galerie Jérôme Poggi at ARTBO 2017, Bogota (CO)<br />

Yona Friedman, Projet pour un musée sans bâtiment, 2017, On Site - FIAC<br />

Photo Barbara Dietrich<br />


In partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de<br />

Rochechouart and the Cneai in Pantin; together with<br />

the kind support of Philippe Chiambaretta architect and<br />

Ars Ultima - Stein & Guillot Art Foundation, the Galerie<br />

Jérôme Poggi, one of the leading galleries from the new<br />

generation in Paris, presents a monumental Iconostase<br />

by Yona FRIEDMAN, which will be built between the<br />

Petit and Grand Palais, at Winston Churchill Avenue.<br />

Developed since the 1960’s, these modular architectures,<br />

or “Space Chains”, can be developed infinitely, according<br />

to a flexible protocol of construction and improvisation.<br />

After London, where the Serpentine Gallery invited<br />

Yona Friedman in 2016 to build a Summer House,<br />

today located in front of Windsor Castle; and Venice,<br />

where he built a Mountain during the last Biennale<br />

of Architecture; it is in Paris — his adopted city since<br />

1957 — that Yona Friedman will build this Project for a<br />

Museum without building, ephemeral and cooperative<br />

architecture, made up of thousands of houla houps.<br />

galeriepoggi.com<br />





Yona Friedman (born in 1923) is a Hungarian-born French<br />

architect.<br />

He first studied architecture at the University of Technology<br />

and Economics in Budapest, then at the Technion of<br />

Haïfa, Israël, where he worked as an architect from 1949<br />

to 1957. Since his early projects on housing, he tried<br />

to step away from the responsibility for designing the<br />

projects by delegating it to their future inhabitants, a<br />

procedure he calls “self-planning”. In 1953, in response<br />

to postwar demographic problems and the challenges of<br />

the reconstruction period, he started to conceive spatial<br />

structures on stilts based on mobile architecture’s principles<br />

(1958): 1) to touch the ground in a minimum area; 2) to be<br />

demountable and movable; 3) to be transformable at will by<br />

inhabitants.<br />

These structures with indeterminate characteristics enable<br />

him to develop the principles of the spatial city (Ville<br />

Spatiale) a highly innovative urban organization based<br />

on a nomadic way of life. Yona Friedman says about the<br />

indeterminacy of his structures: “The building is mobile in<br />

the sense that any mode of use by the user or a group must<br />

be possible or practicable.”<br />

Yona Friedman is also the author of numerous books<br />

(including comics and didactic books for Unesco), among<br />

them Realisable Utopias, a book in which he exposes his<br />

main lines of thinking and architectural production.<br />

His publications and teaching have had a notable influence<br />

on many architects from the seventies to the present<br />

day, especially those who have worked on projects of an<br />

experimental nature, such as Archigram, transforming<br />

together buildings and lifestyles related thereto.<br />

But Yona Friedman has also been appreciated for many years<br />

in the field of contemporary art for the multitude of project<br />

drawings, all kind of representations in plan, in section or in<br />

elevation, but also for his models marked by special artistic<br />

touches (forms of intent, circulation, projection ratios,<br />

sculptural and volumetric qualities, etc.) and an aesthetic of<br />

remarkable mobility.<br />

At the International Congress of Modern Architecture<br />

(CIAM) in 1956, he questioned the postulates of modernist<br />

architecture, which led him to co-found the Mobile<br />

Architecture Study Group (GEAM), in 1958, and then in 1965<br />

the International Group of Prospective Architecture (GIAP).<br />

Yona Friedman has achieved very few buildings, including the<br />

Bergson High School in Angers in 1979, a real “self-planning”<br />

experience developed together with the education staff; as well<br />

as the Museum of Simple Technology in Madras, India, in<br />

1987, made from local materials such as bamboo.<br />

Pages 106 ‒ 111<br />

Slide show of Yona Friedman,<br />

photogravure Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, 2017<br />

Page 105, Yona Friedman<br />

Projet pour un musée sans bâtiment, 2017, On Site - FIAC<br />

© Christophe Brachet, Courtesy of the artist,<br />

Cneai & Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris<br />


















The title of Michaël Borremans’ sixth solo exhibition at<br />

Zeno X makes reference to dance as a metaphor for the<br />

painter’s practice and to the different positions that the<br />

medium can adopt with regard to society’s current pulse.<br />

The inherent ambiguity immediately sets the tone for the<br />

substantive character of the themes on display. The works<br />

demonstrate a sense of playfulness, eagerness and virtuosity.<br />

At the same time, Borremans’ recent work has a dark side.<br />

The monochrome backgrounds provide little explanation<br />

about the situations in which the peculiar characters find<br />

themselves. A particular atmosphere in which time and<br />

space seem indeterminate incites viewers to reflect on the<br />

overall meaning. ‘Sixteen Dances’ is composed of three<br />

themes and also occupies the gallery’s back room, furnished<br />

as a study.<br />

‘Fire from the Sun’, one of the themes, depicts naked<br />

toddlers and young children who seem to have ended up in a<br />

strange ritual. It is unclear whether they have been smeared<br />

with paint or blood, but there is an unmistakable hint of<br />

cannibalism. The works combine horror and innocence in<br />

the shape of children. ‘Fire from the Sun’ refers to natural<br />

primal forces but also to human urges and humanity’s<br />

animal nature.<br />

A second series shows athletic black men whose faces are<br />

completely covered. The artist asked young hip-hoppers to<br />

dance to what for them is unconventional music: 1950s rock<br />

‘n’ roll. The gold chains and sagging trousers hint at their<br />

identity but at the same time give the scene an absurd and<br />

anachronistic feel. In addition, the titles also refer to the<br />

language and slang of the world of hip-hop: ‘Fugazy’, ‘On the<br />

Grind’, ‘Buggin’ or ‘Phat’.<br />

The last group of works features figures in shiny, close-fitting<br />

suits. As in the earlier series, ‘Black Mould’ (2015), in which<br />

characters are dressed in black garments, there is something<br />

oppressive and threatening about this series. The fact that<br />

they are entirely covered and therefore dressed anonymously<br />

heightens the feeling of theatricality and artificiality; they<br />

come across as extras in a disturbingly bare setting.<br />

The artist’s tendency to work more regularly in series comes<br />

from his longing to go deeper. At the same time, a cinematic<br />

continuum is suggested from which random stills are made.<br />

However, it remains unclear to viewers whether there really<br />

is a narrative structure in which one work follows on from<br />

the other.<br />

The ambiguous and strained atmosphere enveloping the<br />

works refers to the widespread feeling of disorientation that<br />

permeates our current age and society. This approach can<br />

seem highly contemporary but is in fact an age-old theme in<br />

the field of art history. Borremans here likes to refer to Goya,<br />

Bosch and Bruegel. He questions human nature and takes a<br />

close look at the current conception of humanity. ‘Sixteen<br />

Dances’ ushers the unsettling state of the world into the<br />

gallery but sends the visitor back out with an intense feeling<br />

which has already been indirectly permeated by dance.<br />

His retrospective ‘As sweet as it gets’ travelled in 2014-2015<br />

from Bozar in Brussels to the Tel Aviv Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. The<br />

exhibition ‘Eating the Beard’ opened at the Kunstnernes<br />

Hus in Oslo before being shown at Kunstverein Stuttgart,<br />

Kunsthalle Budapest and Kunsthalle Helsinki. Michaël<br />

Borremans has also had solo exhibitions at CAC Malaga, the<br />

Hara Museum in Tokyo, MCA Denver, Kestner Gesellschaft<br />

in Hannover, De Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam,<br />

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Parasol Unit in London,<br />

S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel,<br />

Kunsthalle Bremerhaven and many more.<br />

In 2018 Borremans will take part in the Biennale of Sydney<br />

and will provide the inaugural show of David Zwirner<br />

Hong Kong.<br />






“Fire from the Sun”<br />

oil on canvas, 2017<br />

174,0 x 220,0 cm<br />

photographer: Peter Cox<br />

courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp<br />

Pages 112 - 113<br />

“On the Grind”<br />

oil on canvas, 2017<br />

27,0 x 35,6 cm<br />

photographer: Peter Cox<br />

courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp<br />

Pages 114 - 115<br />

“Mercy”<br />

oil on canvas, 2017<br />

280,0 x 205,0 cm<br />

photographer: Peter Cox<br />

courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp<br />

Page 116<br />

118<br />

Michaël Borremans’ Sixteen Dances at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp<br />

© Zeno X Gallery

Michaël Borremans’ Sixteen Dances at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp<br />

© Zeno X Gallery<br />

For more than 35 years Zeno X has developed a long term<br />

strategy to become the most important gallery in Belgium.<br />

In its relation with the artists of the gallery, institutional<br />

partnerships and worldwide collectors, the gallery is a benchmark<br />

in the art market. Both gallery and the artists have grown<br />

together, following a parallel parcours and sharing success.<br />


“In 1981 Frank Demaegd and his wife opened Zeno X<br />

Gallery and started showing the work of architects<br />

such as John Körmeling and Rem Koolhaas. Later on the<br />

gallery began to work with artists such as Anne-Mie<br />

Van Kerckhoven and Patrick Van Caeckenbergh. With<br />

them Zeno X became the subject of international<br />

discussion. In 1988 Raoul De Keyser showed for the first<br />

time at the gallery and in 1990 Luc Tuymans was<br />

presented. Marlene Dumas joined in 1991 and Mark<br />

Manders first solo show in Antwerp took place at<br />

Zeno X Gallery in 1994. More storage place was needed<br />

and in 1996 a small factory was bought in Borgerhout.<br />

Transformed into storage and exhibition space Zeno X<br />

Storage opened its doors in 2002.<br />

The storage has been renovated and enlarged. Since<br />

April 2013 the former gallery space closed and the new<br />

space has been inaugurated with a group exhibition.<br />

Recently Zeno X has started working with Grace<br />

Schwindt, Susan Hartnett, Pietro Roccasava,<br />

Mircea Suciu, Marina Rheingantz and N. Dash.<br />

More than 35 years have passed now in which we<br />

have put together more than 190 exhibitions and<br />

have attended more than 90 art fairs.”<br />

Zeno X Gallery<br />

Godtsstraat 15<br />

2140 Antwerp Borgerhout, Belgium<br />

www.zeno-x.com<br />





When artist Nico Dockx was invited to make a presentation<br />

in Delire Gallery in Brussels in the spring of 2015, the<br />

owner of this gallery — Sébastien Delire was proposed<br />

to close his white cube gallery. This thought-provoking<br />

question resulted in a complete withdrawal of the galleryowner<br />

at a moment in his life when he was questioning<br />

La Galerie Imaginaire creates a provocative and futureoriented<br />

approach, although LGI goes back in time<br />

by creating coinciding art experiences, presenting its<br />

presentations outside the regular institutional circuit and<br />

bringing it close to the people. The audience is in direct and<br />

hazardous contact with the artworks; the artworks are given<br />

120<br />

and balancing the contemporary art world, the commercial<br />

gallery system and its art fairs, the powerful influence of<br />

galleries, directing and controlling museum shows and most<br />

importantly about the relationship between gallery and<br />

artist and their respective freedoms in practice.<br />

In partnership with Nico Dockx, Sébastien Delire<br />

created La Galerie Imaginaire (LGI) as a potential model<br />

transcending the white space of the contemporary art<br />

gallery and bringing art into a context of social inclusion<br />

and participation, while creating new possible spaces in<br />

close dialogue with the artists invited and involved in<br />

long-term projects, or even using the sea and the wind<br />

(Marseille August-September 2016, Avec le Vent ..., Un<br />

Voyage en Mer Méditerranée — initiated and curated by Nico<br />

Dockx) as imaginative tools for exhibiting art. In 2017<br />

Sébastien and Nico started working in the streets and quays<br />

of historical cities as Varanasi (or Benares, India), Santa<br />

Marta (Colombia) and Athens (Spring 2018) as interactive<br />

presentation spaces.<br />

into the hands of local biotopes and economies which will<br />

decide organically if the works will last for a day, a week,<br />

or even beyond years. The spiritual and poetic experience<br />

is not ‘imaginaire’ at all. It is for real, in hand and its<br />

discrete and intimate presence will interact with the local<br />

communities, and questions both on an experimental level<br />

of how art is perceived and welcomed in our global village.<br />

Randomness is not so random, poetry is visualized, art goes<br />

beyond mere politics. According to Sébastien, who advises<br />

us that we shouldn’t define any limitations on the approach<br />

LGI proposes us or the artists. “All thoughts are limitations.<br />

If you want to see poetry in these stencils, you will observe<br />

and read poetry. For myself it is about contemplating<br />

without judging, sometimes even just observing. In this<br />

project nothing belongs to me or Nico. We invited the<br />

artists via mail and in consequence we received the<br />

proposals. Every proposal has a different thought, enclosing<br />

them in a unique vision, which is not the reality. We let it be<br />

and happen.”

“Do you know the word Shoshin? Shoshin is a Japanese<br />

term meaning ‘Beginner’s Spirit’, used in Zen Buddhism<br />

but also in martial arts (Budo). It is an attitude of humility,<br />

that the practitioner must keep throughout his path, while<br />

making progress, whatever level he/she reaches.” According<br />

to Zen master Shunryu Suzuki: “In the mind of the beginner<br />

doesn’t exist yet the thought, ‘I have reached something’. All<br />

egocentric thoughts limit our vast minds. When we do not<br />

have the idea of realization, not the idea of ourselves, we are<br />

real beginners. Then we can actually learn something. [...] It<br />

is not necessary to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even<br />

if you read a lot of books about Zen, you have to read every<br />

sentence with a fresh mind. You should not say ‘I know<br />

what Zen is’, or ‘I have attained enlightenment’. It is also<br />

the true secret of the [martial] arts: always be a beginner.”<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> <strong>54</strong> is invaded by 10 artists/10 images of<br />

(art) interventions as stencils on walls or banners, produced<br />

in collaboration with local partners in Varanasi and Santa<br />

Marta. We look at these as true ‘beginners’, and gratefully<br />

we embrace the generosity of the artists, Sébastien Delire,<br />

Nico Dockx and the local communities.<br />

All photos with Courtesy of La Galerie Imaginaire, 2017<br />

Luca Vitone<br />

Eppur Si Muove<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Varanasi, India, 2017<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />

The wheel icon is taken from the flag of the Rom and Sinti populations as well as from the anarchic flag. It suggests the idea of libertarian nomadism,<br />

with no borders, which gives voice to our desire for roaming freely in every living space.<br />




Technological progress seems to promise a more<br />

fulfilling life. We want to be hyperconnected with<br />

everybody, everything at all times. On the other<br />

hand we feel sometimes confused by such<br />

an overwhelming amount of connectivity,<br />

data and sensorial input. Welcome to<br />

the post-digital twenty-first century.<br />

122<br />

De Wilde’s artwork is clearly inspired by Rodin’s iconic<br />

sculpture that portrays a nude male figure in deep<br />

contemplation. De Wilde wondered: “How would a twentyfirst<br />

century ‘Hyperthinker’ look, feel and think like? And,<br />

what is the nature of the radical shift that hyperconnectivity<br />

impose on the human condition?<br />

What happens if our hyperconnectivity disappears, and feel<br />

afloat in a void just like Rodin’s Thinker sculpture?”<br />

De Wilde’s ‘Hyperthinker’, according to philosopher<br />

Ms. Nicole Dewandre (JRC) hovers between the traditional<br />

view of thinking as a solipsistic activity and thinking as a<br />

relational activity (ref. Hannah Arendt).<br />

Moreover, the Hyperthinker not only makes wifi networks<br />

(500MHz-2,6GHz) in the vicinity of the artwork<br />

audible and visual, it also randomly blocks or jams the<br />

aforementioned (visible as light flickering in the antennas<br />

and sculpture).<br />

This subversive act forces us to reflect upon our<br />

hyperconnected lives and the fear of being disconnected<br />

and/or hyperconnected (and losing control).<br />

The statute’s missing leg refers to Rodin’s Cleveland<br />

‘Thinker’ that lost its leg during a terrorist attack (1970),<br />

and the intentional destruction of cultural heritage (ISIL,<br />

Daesh). Are such actions limited to the physical and<br />

globalised world or can they also be digital De Wilde<br />

wonders?<br />

The general shape of the sculpture is intentionally hovering<br />

between form and void, growth and decay, networked and<br />

disconnected, male and female. We are standing exactly at<br />

this crossroad, in deep contemplation, together with the<br />

‘Hyperthinker’.<br />

Which direction will we, and Europe, go from here in an<br />

increasingly globalised, hyperconnected and automated<br />



Frederik De Wilde (BE–1975) works at the interstice<br />

of art, science and technology. Frederik studied fine<br />

arts, media arts and philosophy. The conceptual crux<br />

of his artistic praxis are the notions of the inaudible,<br />

intangible and invisible. An excellent example is the<br />

conceptualisation, and creation, of the Blackest-Black art<br />

made in collaboration with American universities and<br />

NASA. The project received the Ars Electronica Next<br />

Idea Award and the Best European Collaboration Award<br />

between an artist and scientist, extensively covered<br />

(e.g. Huffington Post, Creators Project, TED).<br />

In 2019 De Wilde brings the Blackest-Black art to<br />

the Moon in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon<br />

(www.moonarts.org/about/team), NASA, AstroRobotic<br />

and Space-X. De Wilde is finalist of ‘Giant Steps’ which<br />

aims to bring an artist to the Moon supported by x-prize<br />

lab MIT. De Wilde is a finalist of the ZKM app art award<br />

with ‘Coremites,’ and uses often data as a source for<br />

his creations (e.g. data visualisations, sonifications).<br />

De Wilde is a laureate and member of the Royal<br />

Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.<br />

De Wilde collaborated with the KIT micro- and collective<br />

robotics lab in Karlsruhe, the University of Leuven<br />

(Prometheus, division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering),<br />

Hasselt University (I-BioStat, X-Lab), UGent (Textile<br />

Department), Wyoming University (Computer Science),<br />

ESTEC, and many other universities and organisations<br />

worldwide. De Wilde exhibited at ZKM, Ars Electronica,<br />

Carroll/Fletcher Gallery, BOZAR, amongst many<br />

others. Frederik was a guest professor at the Artscience<br />

Interfaculty in The Hague, and Transmedia Brussels.<br />

De Wilde’s extended praxis includes creative- and<br />

innovation consultancy, micro-entrepreneurship,<br />

interdisciplinary research, software development<br />

(AR, VR, Data Visualisation, etc.). Frederik is currently<br />

preparing a residency at the MOODY Center<br />

For The Arts in Houston and the Max Planck Institute.<br />

De Wilde realised his first short film ‘Joy Palace,’<br />

supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund in 2017,<br />

produced by Potemkino, Bekke Films, Radiator Sales<br />

and supported by The Fridge.<br />

De Wilde is currently represented by White Circle Agency<br />

(www.whitecircle.xyz) and Sedition (www.seditionart.com).<br />




After graduation from the Hochschule für Bildende<br />

Künste Dresden in 1953, Adler was active in<br />

and experimented with applied art, mostly in<br />

connection with architecture, and would often use<br />

concrete, ceramic materials and metals, but it was<br />

neither because of his faithfulness to constructivist<br />

principles or out of choice. He did so out of<br />

necessity resulting from the political situation in his<br />

country where free artists were liable to prosecution<br />

the way they had been in the Nazi period.<br />

That he embarked on experiments with geometric art in<br />

1957, earlier than any of his friends, was firstly because of<br />

an irresistible inner incentive, and secondly because his<br />

financial resources and the little bit of free time he had<br />

after work permitted him to. It may be that his work as a<br />

lecturer at the Architectural Department of the Technical<br />

University in Dresden in 1955-61 acted as an inspiration, as<br />

some think. But there are good grounds for believing that his<br />

innate predilections, suppressed cumulated and released at an<br />

opportune time, were the main cause. When he worked on his<br />

first abstract geometric system collages, art of this kind was<br />

received in the GDR with no lesser hostility than five or ten<br />

years earlier. Adler had no reason to think that the situation<br />

was likely to change and his works would one day leave the<br />

studio and find their way to exhibition rooms. In spite of it, he<br />

continued his pursuit for over twenty years, all by himself, with<br />

no support from critics and the artistic milieu (except a narrow<br />

circle of friends), and isolated from modern trends in world<br />

art. He embarked on his path, developed his concepts and<br />

finally defined his premises and goals. That was long before he<br />

had first officially presented his works in exhibition salons.<br />

series. At an introductory stage of his research, his works had<br />

a rhythmical and decorative quality. Though it has remained<br />

typical of his work to this day, it is no longer the main trait, in<br />

any case not deliberately so.<br />

124<br />

When Karl-Heinz Adler first tried his hand at abstract art<br />

in 1957, he was a mature artist. It may be attributed to his<br />

relatively late debut as an independent artist at the age of<br />

thirty. The term maturity does not refer to the individual works<br />

but his consciousness and the choice of artistic path. From<br />

the very beginning, his geometric works have been built on the<br />

system principle, and often, especially later on, in the form of<br />

Karl-Heinz Adler, Serielle Lineaturen — Phasenverschiebung<br />

symmetrisch, 1992, Zeichnung, Graphit auf Karton, 59 x 42 cm<br />

Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin,<br />

Photo: Uwe Walter, Berlin

Adler works in series because the idea of art he has adopted<br />

includes the immanent time factor, and also because<br />

he is interested in the changing relations of forms and<br />

transformations of compositions in which he analyses various<br />

arrangements of the geometric form he has chosen. At first,<br />

he used squares, then semicircles and circles, later triangles<br />

and rectangles. The composition model he has employed<br />

the most frequently is the transformation of geometric<br />

figures through the centre or axis of symmetry. In some<br />

compositions there is one axis, in others there are two. In<br />

his experiments, he employed the effect of mirror reflection<br />

or multiplication. To enhance the dynamism, he would<br />

sometimes locate the axis along the diagonal.<br />

From the very beginning of his work, space has been a<br />

problem of primary importance. Even in the early 1960s,<br />

he started to employ forms suggesting space. In his watercolour<br />

collages, he arrived at an impression of space thanks<br />

to the accumulation of apparently transparent forms placed<br />

in succession from the foremost plane inwards. The more<br />

forms he superimposed, the more intense the colour and<br />

the darker the value. Besides showing the consistency of his<br />

analytical experiments and the pureness of the visual effect,<br />

the series anticipated the later ambiguity of formal solutions<br />

and messages. This is evident in his series of drawings of<br />

1967-68 titled Serielle Lineaturen. The exceedingly delicate<br />

lines indicate the direction of the propagation of rays<br />

creating an illusion of space in areas of intensifying and<br />

decreasing tension. The series has both an emotional and<br />

associative effect. In the 1970s, Adler continued analyses and<br />

experiments combining linear solutions leading to an illusion<br />

of space with the flat forms of circles or dispassionate squares<br />

entangled in a network of lines converging at a distance, on<br />

the horizon. Conducting parallel experiments with colour<br />

in his series of water-colour collages, in addition to illusive<br />

painterly effects, he would sometimes employ literally<br />

transparent matter: layers of foil glued one upon another.<br />

In the early 1980s, he combined collage technique with<br />

serigraphy, resulting in images reminiscent of graphs of<br />

mathematicals functions and suggesting depth, in which they<br />

harked back to Naum Gabo’s and Antoine Pevsner’s sculptures<br />

and Luigi Veronesi’s drawings. The series executed in the<br />

1980s were a continuation of those from 1967-68 though<br />

more comprehensive and more vigorous than the former. The<br />

drawings in pencil on white area, differing in composition,<br />

evoke various associations. No objects are represented. The<br />

series analyse the structure of lines but primarily the problems<br />

of space. Another issue tackled in these series of drawings,<br />

Karl-Heinz Adler, Serielle Lineaturen — Phasenverschiebung<br />

symmetrisch, 1992, Zeichnung, Graphit auf Karton, 59 x 42 cm<br />

Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin,<br />

Photo: Uwe Walter, Berlin<br />

almost as important, is light. His colour scheme is usually<br />

limited, toned down. Though on the whole he leans towards<br />

monochromy, some of his paintings of the late 1980s reveal<br />

his longing for post-impressionist aesthetics manifesting itself<br />

in the more intense colours and vibrant surfaces. Adler’s first<br />

professor at the art school Walther Löbering sought to engraft<br />

this kind of aesthetics on him.<br />

Like the first collages of the 1960s and all his works in<br />

general, his drawings of the second half of the 1980s,<br />

increasingly mature from the viewpoint of concept and<br />

workmanship, are executed in series. Precedents in the<br />

past are easy to trace. A hundred years ago, Claude Monet,<br />

while painting the Rouen cathedral, mounted canvases on<br />

his easel at welldefined intervals of time in order to render<br />

its appearance changing under the influence of the colour<br />

of light and the inclination of the sunrays. Jan Dibbets<br />

photographed the route of a sunray across his studio all<br />

day at regular intervals. Sol LeWitt investigated into the<br />

superimposition of several simple patterns of lines running in<br />

various directions. Josef Albers and Johannes Itten worked<br />

on systems of colour transformations and Roman Opalka<br />

employs a numerical system, in which the unit of progression<br />

is one. One percent of white is added to the grey background<br />


of the successive paintings inscribed in white. In most<br />

cases, the important thing is not the system adopted by the<br />

individual artist but what it reveals when it is used, a broader<br />

intellectual context, most often existential.<br />

The system adopted by Karl-Heinz Adler is his method of<br />

expression on issues going beyond the purely visual. His<br />

series of static drawings feature motion and document the<br />

course of the ongoing processes. In each series, we may<br />

trace the shift of the centres of composition or spatial vortex<br />

towards the most distant points in the background. We also<br />

sense in these drawings the pulsation of light and darkness.<br />

More and more competent technically, and visual beautiful,<br />

Adler’s drawings are pure, subtle like a breath and full of<br />

musical harmony. They are light, airy and brilliant. They<br />

have something magic and misty about them. This may be<br />

so because their space is so abstract that it does not evoke<br />

associations with anything tangible. It seems a section of<br />

the cosmic space. His series of drawings illustrate processes<br />

of growth and decay, nearness and distance, polarisation<br />

and unification, opening and closing. This is how opposing<br />

values, transforming from each other or identical values,<br />

transforming from one extreme to the other are encoded.<br />

It seems a manifestation in universal visual language of the<br />

nondualism principle (Advaita), continuous motion and<br />

anxiety, known from Hindu philosophy.<br />

Bozena Kowalska<br />


Karl-Heinz Adler (born in 1927 in Remtengrün) studied<br />

at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste West-Berlin in<br />

the class of Arthur Degner and at the Kunstakademie<br />

Dresden in the classes of Wilhelm Rudolph and Hans<br />

Grundig. Adler is known as a major and independent<br />

representative of constructive-concrete art that deals<br />

with structures that are composed of repeating elements.<br />

He took part in noumerous national and international<br />

Solo exhibitions, for example at Albertinum Dresden,<br />

at the Kassák and Kiscelli Museum in Budapest, at<br />

Museum für Angewandte Kunst Gera, at the Museum<br />

Modern Art Hünfeld, at Folkwang Museum Essen, at the<br />

Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz and the Malmö Konsthall.<br />


Bozena Kowalska, born in Warschau, is an art historian,<br />

art theoretician and curator. She studied art history at<br />

the University of Warschau and received her PhD in<br />

1974.<br />

From 1974 to 1983 she had a lectureship at the Academy<br />

of Art, Warschau, from 1991 to 1992 at the Academy<br />

of Art, Lodz and 1989 she was a Visiting Professor at<br />

the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Nürnberg. From<br />

1972 to 2001 she was the manager of the “Galerie 72”<br />

in Kreismuseum Chelm. She has a lot of curatorial<br />

projects and published numerous essays with the focus<br />

on Constructive-Concrete Art.<br />

126<br />

Karl-Heinz Adler<br />

Schichtung von transparenten und nichttransparenten Dreiecken und<br />

Punkten, 1980<br />

Handdruck, Collage, Folie, farbige Papiere, Grafit auf Karton<br />

63 x 63 cm<br />

Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin<br />

Photo: Uwe Walter, Berlin<br />


Galerie EIGEN + ART represents established and young<br />

artists working in a wide range of media such as film/<br />

video, photography, installation, painting and sculpture<br />

including conceptual art and performance in both<br />

locations: Leipzig and Berlin. The gallery’s program<br />

is dedicated to all fields of contemporary art. Galerie<br />

EIGEN + ART was founded on April the 10th 1983. Karl-<br />

Heinz Adler is represented by the gallery since 2016.<br />

Galerie EIGEN + ART is represented at numerous<br />

national and international fairs: Art Basel Hong Kong,<br />

Frieze New York, Art Cologne, Art Basel, Frieze<br />

London, Fiac Paris, Art Basel Miami.<br />


Pratchaya Phinthong<br />

Reality Ripple<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Varanasi, India, 2017<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />

Reality Ripple, 2017<br />

Wood, vinyl, cctv<br />

Site-specific installation / 24 hours live streaming<br />

I have been driving past an empty, free-standing medium-sized billboard that is being swallowed, day by day, by a creeper.<br />

The billboard is made from the reverse side of another, used sign, with multiple triangular holes, cut into it to provide stability against the wind,<br />

through which the creeper is now propagating. It is clearly a common mock-up, a replica of a real billboard which would disappear as soon as there is new<br />

content to replace it. The stencil is made from these triangular holes which in fact become images produced in the maintenance of an absence of content,<br />

rather than being assigned a subject for the sake of it — not telling a story but rather asking what story should be told. Despite the acute tensions in Thai<br />

society today, the political desires and cravings of certain groups also generate these moments of suspension and inertia.<br />

The silences imposed arbitrarily by the ruling powers compound the society’s frustration and depression.<br />



The Kunstmuseum Bochum is situated at the heart<br />

of Germany’s Ruhrgebiet, a region that is still today<br />

primarily associated with coal and heavy industries.<br />

Little is it known that in the Ruhrgebiet there is a<br />

unique and dense network of art museums with art<br />

collections ranging the 20th and 21st centuries.<br />

Around 1900, the collector Karl Ernst Osthaus pursued<br />

a mission to give the people of the simmering industrial<br />

regions cultural identity by accumulating a collection of<br />

contemporary and non-european works of art and cultural<br />

goods. Following this intention, he bought works by<br />

van Gogh, Gauguin, Renoir and Kandinsky and founded the<br />

“Kunsthalle für das Volk”, a museum for the public, today the<br />

Folkwang Museum in Essen. His example was followed, and<br />

is still followed today, by politicians and private citizens in<br />

multiple other cities throughout the Ruhrgebiet.<br />

128<br />

The Kunstmuseum Bochum is kept in this tradition. Under<br />

municipal ownership, it considers itself an art space for<br />

the public. Its philosophy is to be rooted in its city and its<br />

community, while acting on a national and international level<br />

— with growing success. The building, designed by the Danish<br />

architecture duo Bo and Wohlert in 1983, offers visitors<br />

ideal premises and conditions to communicate about and<br />

through art. Children, young adults, families, seniors, people<br />

with disabilities, art buffs or the art-curious of all different<br />

backgrounds, they all meet here to witness art, talk about<br />

art and be artistically active. We have an open discussion<br />

with our visitors about the principle functions of a museum:<br />

collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and communicating art.<br />

Decidedly, during times in which communities are forced<br />

to make decisions under restricting financial conditions,<br />

questions about the importance of art collections in the<br />

community need to be answered. A very illustrative example<br />

is the private collection of Reydan Weiss.<br />

Reydan Weiss is a ‘collector between worlds’. Born in<br />

Istanbul and raised in Jordan and Jerusalem, she came to<br />

Germany for her studies and today lives in New Zealand,<br />

Germany and Turkey. Her acquisitions show a strong<br />

personal relationship to art, a strong interest in topical<br />

questions and an ever expanding eye for, at times, headstrong<br />

Bernard Frize<br />

pieces by young, as well as established artists. Sculpture and<br />

painting meet photography, ceramics or video installation.<br />

Cindy Sherman and Gerhard Richter are placed aside<br />

new pieces from Cuba, Chile, Australia, or Asia. “For me,<br />

collecting art is being open for the new, staying curious, and<br />

valuing change,” says Weiss. Her collection expresses her<br />

love for art discovery. Her joy and risks are not only reflected<br />

in the individual pieces, but also in the formation of her<br />

exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bochum.<br />

The management of the Kunstmuseum Bochum, together<br />

with Dr. Anne Marie Bonnet, professor at the institute of art<br />

history at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, opened<br />

the curation process to a young team of students. They were<br />

to interrogate and question Reydan Weiss’ collection in light

Mohau Modisakeng<br />

of the new Bochumer exhibit. The exhibit doing identity<br />

wants to give focus to the dialogical and open strategies of<br />

individual and communal identity shaping. Does the portrait<br />

truly depict our “I” or can it only just depict what we in<br />

hindsight consider our own identity? Does an “I” live within<br />

us, or does it moreover live at the intersections of the “We”,<br />

for example, in the things we surround ourselves with, in our<br />

clothes, or the rooms and furniture of our home? The current<br />

migration and refugee dynamics show that doing identity, or<br />

navigating an identity in a community, is difficult and can be<br />

nearly impossible facing war and destruction.<br />

The Kunsthaus Bochum is exhibiting the Reydan Weiss<br />

collection starting the 25th of November 2017 — for the<br />

first time in North Rhine-Westfalia and for the first time in<br />

such an extensive scope. Where could the question of doing<br />

identity be better examined than in a region that has for over<br />

one hundred years been shaped by migration and its process<br />

of finding identity? Doing identity is an example of how Karl<br />

Ernst Osthaus’ idea remains current today.<br />

<br />

Dr. Hans Günter Golinski, Director<br />

© Charles Fréger, Wilder Mann — Cerbul din Corlata 2010-2011<br />




It is said that art collectors are passionate,<br />

confident, proud, independent, but also obsessive,<br />

compulsive and a bit crazy. 1 To some extent all<br />

of these traits apply to Reydan Weiss. In the<br />

last twenty years she has built up an astonishing<br />

collection of international contemporary art.<br />

How did Reydan Weiss manage to assemble a collection of<br />

this quality? From the very beginning she was not interested<br />

in following one artistic style or individual. On the whole<br />

she focused on young artists — “young” in the widest sense,<br />

as reflected in the artistic content of the individual work,<br />

not necessarily in the artist’s age. And she loves art: the<br />

material value of the work is not important to her; she does<br />

not distinguish between a very expensive picture and a small<br />

piece that was found by chance. She is guided exclusively by<br />

her personal taste.<br />

Thus her own artistic position has crystallized out of the<br />

process of collecting works based on her convictions. Her<br />

objects and works reveal something of herself, something<br />

she carries within herself, something of her own feelings<br />

and sentiments. The source of these feelings can be found<br />

in Reydan Weiss’s vita. She was born in Istanbul, grew up in<br />

Jordan, went to school in Jerusalem and came to Germany<br />

as a young woman. From here she has been continually<br />

propelled out into the world. She fell in love with<br />

New Zealand, where she founded the Elephant Hill Estate<br />

Winery with her husband Roger in the wine-growing area<br />

Hawkes Bay.<br />

As one can see, there are many important places in her life<br />

between cultures.<br />

belongs. If asked today where she feels at home, she simply<br />

answers “everywhere and nowhere”.<br />

As an individual who has lived and lives in so many<br />

countries, she feels that communication between cultures<br />

is of the utmost importance. In this context art can provide<br />

a medium for exchange. It is effective beyond country<br />

borders and brings together people from all over the<br />

world. International exchange leads to a valuable learning<br />

process, not only for artists or museum people but also for<br />

collectors: they learn to appreciate another perspective,<br />

a new way of thinking and questioning, but in a universal<br />

language that everyone can understand. This provides<br />

Reydan Weiss with the impetus to collect and also subtly<br />

determines her choice of works.<br />

Based on her experience, it is impossible to assimilate<br />

a culture entirely. As a result she feels that her home is<br />

“everywhere and nowhere”. At an early age she learned that<br />

“at home” is an ambiguous term and that wherever she lives<br />

a significant part of her life is elsewhere.<br />

“Home” is an emotional place — a place where one truly<br />

130<br />

1 According to Honoré de Balzac, they are the most passionate people in<br />

the world.<br />

Reydan Weiss

Anselm Kiefer<br />







Pancreatic cancer occurs when a malignant tumour<br />

forms in the pancreas. There are two main types of<br />

pancreatic cancer:<br />

The cure for Pancreatic cancer<br />

might very well be on the verge of discovery<br />

132<br />

Pancreatic cancer occurs when a<br />

malignant tumour forms in the pancreas.<br />

Exocrine tumours<br />

These make up the vast majority of all pancreatic cancers<br />

(around<br />

There<br />

90%) and<br />

are<br />

come<br />

two<br />

from<br />

main<br />

the cells<br />

types<br />

that<br />

of<br />

line<br />

pancreatic<br />

the ducts in<br />

the pancreas which carry digestive juices into the intestine.<br />

cancer:<br />

Endocrine tumours<br />

Exocrine tumours<br />

These are known as neuroendocrine tumours, and are<br />

These make up the vast majority of<br />

much less common. These tumours sometimes make<br />

all pancreatic cancers (around 90%) and<br />

hormones such as insulin, and glucagon, to control<br />

blood sugar. Often referred to as either PETs or islet<br />

cell tumours, the pancreas they are very which rare, making carry up just 2-5% of<br />

pancreatic digestive tumours juices into the intestine.<br />

What causes Endocrine pancreatic tumours cancer?<br />

The causes These of pancreatic are known cancer as are neuroendocrine<br />

not known. However,<br />

there are tumours, some risk factors and are that much make developing less common.<br />

pancreatic These cancer tumours more likely: sometimes make<br />

• Cigarette Smoking – There is a direct relationship<br />

between the amount you smoke and the risk of<br />

pancreatic cancer.<br />

• Age – The risk of developing pancreatic cancer<br />

very rare, making up just 2-5% of<br />

increases with age.<br />

pancreatic tumours<br />

• Chronic Pancreatitis – Long-term inflammation of the<br />

pancreas<br />

What<br />

(pancreatitis)<br />

causes pancreatic<br />

has been linked<br />

cancer?<br />

to pancreatic<br />

cancer. The causes of pancreatic cancer are not<br />

• Diabetes known. – a number However, of reports there suggest are that some diabetics risk<br />

have an factors increased that risk make of developing pancreatic pancreatic cancer.<br />

• Obesity cancer – Recent more studies likely: show that the risk is higher in<br />

people Cigarette who obese Smoking (Body Mass – There Index is < a 30). direct Obese<br />

women relationship who carry their between weight on their amount stomach you area<br />

could<br />

smoke<br />

be at an<br />

and<br />

increased<br />

the risk of<br />

developing<br />

pancreatic<br />

pancreatic<br />

cancer.<br />

cancer.<br />

come from the cells that line the ducts in<br />

hormones such as insulin, and glucagon, to<br />

control blood sugar. Often referred to as<br />

either PETs or islet cell tumours, they are<br />

Age – The risk of developing pancreatic<br />

cancer increases with age.<br />

Chronic Pancreatitis – Long-term<br />

inflammation of the pancreas<br />

(pancreatitis) has been linked to pancreatic<br />

cancer.<br />

Diabetes –a number of reports suggest<br />

that diabetics have an increased risk of<br />

developing pancreatic cancer.<br />

Obesity – Recent studies show that the<br />

risk is higher in people who are obese<br />

• http://www.pancreaticcancereurope.eu/<br />

• https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/<br />

• https://eng.sheba.co.il/international_patients<br />

• https://www.tal-center.org/?lang=en<br />

• http://www.europacolon.com/pancreaticcancer.<br />

php?Action=Pancreaticcancer<br />

• http://www.e-gezondheid.be/hoe-is-pancreaskanker-teherkennen/2/actueel/610<br />

A rare but deadly cancer<br />

The pancreas is a vital organ that makes<br />

A RARE insulin BUT and DEADLY other hormones, CANCER which aid in<br />

a number of processes important for good<br />

The pancreas is a vital organ that makes insulin and other<br />

health. While it accounts for only 2% of<br />

hormones, which aid in a number of processes, important<br />

cancers diagnosed in the United States<br />

for good health. While it accounts for only 2% of cancers<br />

each year, pancreatic cancer is the 3rd<br />

diagnosed in the United States each year, pancreatic cancer<br />

most common cause of cancer-related<br />

is the 3rd most common cause of cancer-related deaths in<br />

deaths in the country. It often does not<br />

the country. It often does not cause symptoms in the early<br />

cause symptoms in the early stages,<br />

stages, making it challenging to detect and diagnose.<br />

making it challenging to detect and<br />

diagnose.<br />

Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is a daunting<br />

challenge, but we’re taking a bold and unbiased approach<br />

to develop<br />

Early<br />

a<br />

diagnosis<br />

blood test for<br />

of<br />

this<br />

pancreatic<br />

disease. By<br />

cancer<br />

identifying<br />

is a<br />

abnormal daunting blood-based challenge, cancer but markers, we’re called taking biomarkers, a<br />

our intent bold and is to detect unbiased the cancer approach before it’s to symptomatic. develop a<br />

We believe blood such test a for blood this test disease. will lead to By significant identifying<br />

improvements abnormal in blood-based survival and can cancer be broadly markers, used outside<br />

the walls called of MD biomarkers, Anderson. our intent is to detect<br />

the cancer before it’s symptomatic. We<br />

believe such a blood test will lead to<br />

significant PANCREATIC improvements CANCER RESEARCH in survival and<br />

can RECEIVES be broadly LESS used THAN outside 2% OF the ALL walls THE of<br />


Pancreatic cancer research<br />

receives less than 2% of all

Painless jaundice (yellow skin/eyes, dark urine,<br />

itching). This is related to bile duct obstruction<br />

Weight loss which is significant and unexplained<br />

Abdominal pain which is new-onset and<br />

Classic pancreatic cancer symptoms can include:<br />

significant. Pain in the upper abdomen that<br />

radiates to the back which is new, significant and<br />

persistent that is relieved by leaning forward. Pain<br />

• Painless jaundice (yellow skin/eyes, dark urine, itching).<br />

This is related to bile duct obstruction;<br />

• Weight loss which is significant and unexplained;<br />

• Abdominal<br />

when eating;<br />

pain which is new-onset and significant. Pain in<br />

the upper abdomen that radiates to the back which is new,<br />

significant and persistent that is relieved by leaning forward;<br />

with weight gain;<br />

• Pain when eating;<br />

• Diabetes which is new-onset and not associated with<br />

weight discomfort gain; not responding to prescribed<br />

• Vague indigestion (dyspepsia) or abdominal discomfort not<br />

responding vomiting; to prescribed medication;<br />

• Loss of appetite;<br />

• Nausea and vomiting;<br />

stools that are often pale and smell foul)<br />

• Change in bowel movements;<br />

• Steatorrhea (fatty stools that are often pale and smell foul).<br />

Diabetes which is new-onset and not associated<br />

Vague indigestion (dyspepsia) or abdominal<br />

medication; Loss of appetite; Nausea and<br />

Not everyone will have all of these symptoms.<br />

For example, those who have a tumour in the body or tail<br />

of the pancreas are unlikely to have painless jaundice.<br />

All of these symptoms can have other causes, and there<br />

is not yet a reliable and easy test for pancreatic cancer.<br />

Having one or more of the symptoms does not mean you<br />

have pancreatic cancer. Still if you have 2 or more of these<br />

symptoms, it is important to have them checked by a<br />

doctor so that the cause can be found and treated if needed<br />

the major research funders are<br />

wakening up to the fact that<br />

pancreatic cancer remains<br />

chronically underfunded. However,<br />

there is a lot more we need to do<br />

There is also a glimmer of hope that the major<br />

research funders are wakening up to the fact<br />

that pancreatic cancer remains chronically<br />

underfunded. However, there is a lot more we<br />

need to do and I am determined that over the<br />

next 5-10 years Pancreatic we get five-year Action survival UK rates<br />

to at least double digits if not better.<br />

– Ali Stunt, Pancreatic Action UK<br />

and I am determined that over the<br />

next 5-10 years we get five-year<br />

survival rates to at least double<br />

digits if not better. – Ali Stunt,<br />

Pancreatic Cancer has the<br />


Change in bowel movements; Steatorrhea (fatty PANCREATIC CANCER HAS THE<br />

LOWEST major SURVIVAL cancers RATE OF ALL<br />

Not everyone will have all of these symptoms. MAJOR CANCERS<br />

For example, those who have a tumour in the<br />

body or tail of the pancreas are unlikely to have<br />

painless jaundice. All of these symptoms can have<br />

other causes, and there is not yet a reliable and<br />

to talk to the people it takes all the time to<br />

easy test for pancreatic cancer. Having one or<br />

more of the symptoms does not mean you have<br />

pancreatic cancer. Still if you have 2 or more of<br />

– Vitor Neves, EuropaColon Portugal<br />

these symptoms, it is important to have them<br />

checked by a doctor so that the cause can be<br />

found and treated if needed<br />

In Portugal the primary care has<br />

such little time to talk to the<br />

people it takes all the time to<br />

write the prescription and to put<br />

everything in the computer while<br />

the doctors should talk to the<br />

people and find out what are the<br />

symptoms – Vitor Neves,<br />

EuropaColon Portugal<br />

In Portugal the primary care has such little time<br />

write the prescription and to put everything in<br />

the computer while the doctors should talk to<br />

the people and find out what are the symptoms<br />





Ask your public officials to support more government funding of<br />

pancreatic cancer research. #WPCD or #worldpancreaticcancerday<br />


134<br />

There is also a glimmer of hope that the major research funders are wakening up to the<br />

fact that pancreatic PANCREATIC cancer remains CANCER chronically underfunded. HAS THE LOWEST<br />

However, there is a lot<br />

more we need to do and I am determined that over the next 5-10 years we get five-year<br />


survival rates to at least double digits if not better. – Ali Stunt, Pancreatic Action<br />

UKPancreatic Cancer has the LOWEST SURVIVAL RATE of all major cancers


By 2030 pancreatic cancer is set to be the 2nd leading<br />

PANCREATIC cause of death CANCER by cancer DECLARATION<br />

if no action is taken. This<br />

By 2030 pancreatic cancer is set to be the 2nd leading<br />

DECLARATION by the EU Multi-Stakeholder Platform on<br />

cause of death by cancer if no action is taken. This<br />

Pancreatic Cancer outlines what action is needed to halt this<br />

DCLARATION by the EU Multi-Stakeholder Platform on<br />

violent and deadly disease, with Philippe De Backer MEP,<br />

Pancreatic Cancer outlines what action is needed to halt<br />

this Françoise violent Grossetête and deadly MEP, disease. Philippe Juvin MEP, Daciana<br />

Philippe Sârbu MEP De Backer – “The EU MEP has Françoise a central role Grossetête to play in MEP, the fight<br />

Philippe against Pancreatic Juvin MEP, cancer: Daciana it is Sârbu time for MEP EU The institutions EU has a<br />

central and Member role to States play to in support the fight European against citizens Pancreatic affected cancer:<br />

it by is pancreatic time for EU cancer institutions and trigger and real Member change in States research, to<br />

support diagnosis European and care.” citizens affected by pancreatic cancer<br />

and<br />

There<br />

trigger<br />

are real<br />

key targets<br />

change<br />

by<br />

in<br />

2020:<br />

research, diagnosis and care<br />

There are 5 key targets by 2020<br />

1. Launch education and awareness campaigns in all Member<br />

Launch education and awareness campaigns in all<br />

States. Raise awareness in the general population through<br />

Members States. Raise awareness in the general<br />

population active promotion through active of awareness promotion campaigns of awareness and increase<br />

campaigns political and awareness increase on political pancreatic awareness cancer in order on to<br />

pancreatic trigger political cancer in leadership order to and trigger action political in this disease. leadership<br />

and 2. Develop action in specific this disease plans to tackle pancreatic cancer and<br />

Develop integrate specific pancreatic plans cancer to tackle in the pancreatic broader Member cancer State and<br />

integrate cancer pancreatic control policies. cancer Include in the Pancreatic broader cancer Member in<br />

State cancer cancer control control policies policies at EU Include and national Pancreatic level, more cancer<br />

in cancer control policies at EU and national level, more<br />

specifically in rare cancer initiatives and develop national<br />

specifically in rare cancer initiatives and develop<br />

pancreatic cancer plans with measurable action plans,<br />

national pancreatic cancer plans with measurable action<br />

ensuring comprehensive standards of diagnosis and care<br />

plans, ensuring comprehensive standards of diagnosis<br />

and across care across Europe. Europe awareness on pancreatic cancer<br />

in 3. order Improve to trigger early diagnosis by launching national campaigns<br />

Improve towards early healthcare diagnosis and by patients. launching Increase national awareness of<br />

campaigns pancreatic towards cancer healthcare towards the scientific and patients. and patient Increase<br />

awareness communities of pancreatic to enable cancer earlier diagnosis toward sthe and develop scientific<br />

and pancreatic patient communities cancer training to programs enable earlier for treating diagnosis and<br />

develop pancreatic cancer training programs for treating<br />

physicians about symptoms and risk factors to improve<br />

physician about symptoms and risk factors to improve<br />

earlier diagnosis.<br />

earlier diagnosis<br />

4. Implement efficient data collection and pancreatic cancer<br />

Improve data collection on surgery and treatment of<br />

pancreatic registries. cancer Improve patients, data collection supporting on surgery physicians and and<br />

researchers treatment ti of better pancreatic understand cancer patients, the disease supporting and<br />

leverage physicians EU-wide and initiatives researchers such to better as the understand European the<br />

Network disease of and Cancer leverage Registries EU-wide to initiatives, support and such work as the<br />

towards European the development Network of Cancer of pancreatic Registries, cancer to support registries the<br />

in Europe development of national registries.<br />

Increase 5. Increase the the number number of of pan-European pan-European and and national national<br />

pancreatic cancer research projects by increasing<br />

pancreatic cancer research projects. Increase allocation<br />

allocation of funds for the research into pancreatic<br />

of funds for the research into pancreatic cancer in order<br />

cancer to improve early diagnosis and enable patients to<br />

receive<br />

to improve<br />

treatment<br />

early<br />

at<br />

diagnosis<br />

and early<br />

and<br />

stage<br />

enable<br />

of<br />

patients<br />

their disease<br />

to receive<br />


By 2030 pancreatic cancer is set to be the 2nd leading<br />

cause of death by cancer if no action is taken. This<br />

DCLARATION by the EU Multi-Stakeholder Platform on<br />

Pancreatic Cancer outlines what action is needed to halt<br />

this violent and deadly disease.<br />

Philippe De Backer MEP Françoise Grossetête MEP,<br />

Philippe Juvin MEP, Daciana Sârbu MEP The EU has a<br />

central role to play in the fight against Pancreatic cancer:<br />

it is time for EU institutions and Member States to<br />

support European citizens affected by pancreatic cancer<br />

and trigger real change in research, diagnosis and care<br />

The onset Philippe of De the Backer study that led to this<br />

Declaration came from a number of<br />

patient advocacy groups and created a<br />

treatment at an early stage of their disease and create<br />

movement of cooperation between the<br />

funding streams within Horizon 2020 to support research<br />

Member States. All the directives are<br />

on pancreatic cancer.<br />

guidelines, what makes it difficult to<br />

reprimand Member States for not<br />

The onset of the study that led to this Declaration came<br />

obliging. What we hear in conferences<br />

from a number of patient advocacy groups and created<br />

with other EU patient advocate groups<br />

a<br />

is<br />

movement<br />

that some<br />

of<br />

countries<br />

cooperation<br />

in the<br />

between<br />

European<br />

the Member States.<br />

All<br />

Union<br />

the<br />

are<br />

directives<br />

far behind<br />

are guidelines,<br />

in the application<br />

what makes it difficult to<br />

reprimand of EU guidelines. Member Some States have for not no obliging. What we hear<br />

screening conferences programs, from other some EU even patient don’t advocacy groups is<br />

that have some access countries to the necessary are far behind medication in the EU. Some have<br />

no to heal screening a patient programs, with cancer. some even During don’t a have access to<br />

the recent necessary meeting medication the High-Level to treat Group a patient with cancer.<br />

focused on more cooperation amongst<br />

A the recent Member meeting States. of the The High-Level European Group Union focused on<br />

more will reach cooperation out to countries amongst the experiencing Member States. The<br />

European difficulties Union implementing will reach best out to practices countries experiencing<br />

difficulties in hospitals. implementing Patients should best practices be able to in hospitals.<br />

Patients get the best should of be care able no to matter get the in best which of care no matter in<br />

which European European Member Member State State they they are. are. Some Some countries<br />

also countries experience also experience difficulties purchasing difficulties medications.<br />

All purchasing Member medications. States should All get Member access to and arrange<br />

reimbursement States should get for acces the necessary to and arrange medication. The<br />

High-Level reimbursment Group for is the looking necessary into a European Fund for<br />

reimbursement medication. The on Hijgh-Level a European Group level. is<br />

looking into the possibility of founding a<br />

European Fund for reimbursement on a<br />

European level.<br />

Foto Philippe De Backer<br />

The onset of the study that led to this<br />

Declaration came from a number of<br />




One of the reasons pancreatic cancer is so difficult to treat<br />

is because it does not produce symptoms until after it has<br />

spread. The goal is to develop an inexpensive noninvasive<br />

test that can be done in any town and any office. “To that<br />

end we are looking for blood-based biomarkers, substances<br />

that can be reliably and consistently measured to indicate<br />

that a specific process is occurring in the body” says<br />

Moon Shot co-leader Anirban Maitra, M.B.B.S.<br />

The key for a simple pancreatic screening will be to figure out<br />

which marker or markers to follow; to find the biomarkers<br />

that will indicate the presence of pancreatic cancer. Right<br />

now researchers have not identified those markers.<br />

The things the researchers at MD Anderson Pancreatic<br />

Cancer Mon Shot are looking at include<br />

• Proteins made by cells to see if there is a specific protein<br />

that reliably occurs when pancreatic cancer is present<br />

• Antibodies that indicate pancreas cancer is being battled<br />

- Mutant DNA from tumor cells<br />

- Abnormal metabolites which indicate that pancreatic<br />

cancer is active<br />

The highlight of our visit to SHEBA Medical Center<br />

was the appointment with Talia Golan, MD Medical<br />

Director, Early Phase Clinical Trials Program and Medical<br />

Oncologist at Gastrointestinal Unit, Chaim Sheba Medical<br />

Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel and her patient Yoav Hadas,<br />

pancreatic cancer advocate.<br />

In the beginning he said he did not like to talk about his<br />

disease, he did not want to jinx it but after a few questions<br />

we did not even dare breathe. His story was so from the<br />

heart, so spiritual that we were all convinced that he<br />

himself did — and is still doing most of the work towards<br />

healing. Time after time he stressed a few golden truths.<br />

Listen to your gut feeling. If it does not feel right or if<br />

you do not fully understand what is going on or going to<br />

happen, ask additional questions again and again. If you<br />

don’t get satisfactory answers, ask for a second, third …<br />

opinion. The fact that you trust your physician will<br />

improve your healing. You will be free of worries when<br />

you have full confidence in the treatment.<br />

Don’t rely solely on medical treatments, chemotherapy nor<br />

radiotherapy. You need something more, mostly to soothe<br />

the soul. Think of additional alternative therapies like<br />

acupuncture or acupressure; sound, light or music therapy;<br />

reiki, yoga, tai chi, anything that will ease your mind.<br />

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 2017<br />















groundbreaking research. This advanced<br />

technology enables the in vitro growth of<br />

patients' cancer and immune system cells,<br />

making it possible to examine their<br />

response to anti-cancerous herbs and<br />

provide truly personalized medicine; while<br />

expanding the Tal Center treatment<br />

experience and knowledge-base.<br />

development of innovative protocols.<br />

The center is located within the oncology<br />

treatment system at Tel Hashomer<br />

Hospital and works in cooperation with<br />

the oncology department and research<br />

laboratories.<br />

Together we can change the cancer<br />

treatment culture around the world<br />


On December 26, 2009, we said goodbye to our beloved<br />

daughter Tal, who was studying Chinese medicine and<br />

alternative medicine. Tal left us when only 26 years old,<br />

after a tenacious struggle against cancer.<br />

Our lives without Tal found a new meaning when we<br />

made the decision to start working towards achieving a<br />

breakthrough in CANCER RESEARCH and TREATMENT<br />

by combining conventional medicine with research-proven<br />

natural medicine and supplemental medicine that augments<br />

and intensifies conventional medical treatment.<br />

TAL Center operates through two parallel channels:<br />

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES to examine the efficacy of herbal<br />

plants and products from nature on the activity of cancer<br />

cells and the immune system and which are applied in<br />

oncology departments in Israel and around the world.<br />


Medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy, guided imagery,<br />

hypnosis, yoga, meditation, reflexology, workshops, group<br />

support and more.<br />

At the TAL Center we hope to bring a breakthrough in<br />

treatment of therapy for coping with cancer through the<br />

development of innovative protocols. The center is located<br />

within the oncology treatment system at Tel Hashomer<br />

Hospital and works in cooperation with the oncology<br />

department and research laboratories.<br />

Together we can change the cancer treatment culture<br />

around the world.<br />


Working closely with oncologists, the Tal Center has begun<br />

the process of ‘translating’ the wisdom of Chinese medicine<br />

into Western practices, and conducts pioneering, global<br />

clinical research in a diverse range of fields, including<br />

oncology nutrition, botanical formulas, homeopathy and<br />

immunotherapy. The Tal Center’s uniqueness lies in its<br />

ability to conduct in depth scientific research, mainly<br />

as a result of the exceptional partnership the center has<br />

established with the Sheba Medical Center — Tel Hashomer.<br />

Foto Yair in het labo met het kruidenbord<br />

[Grab your reader’s attention with a great<br />

achter hem<br />

quote from the document or use this space to<br />

emphasize Foto zopas a doorgestuurd<br />

key point. To place this text box<br />

anywhere on the page, just drag it.]<br />

On December 26, 2009, we said goodbye<br />

to our beloved daughter Tal, who was<br />

The Sheba Oncology Center, the studying largest Chinese in medicine Israel, and has<br />

alternative medicine. Tal left us when<br />

provided the Tal Center with a only state-of-the-art 26 years old, after a tenacious laboratory<br />

struggle against cancer.<br />

to support its groundbreaking research. This advanced<br />

Our lives without Tal found a new<br />

technology enables the in vitro meaning growth when of we patients’ made the decision cancer to<br />

start working towards achieving a<br />

and immune system cells, making breakthrough it possible in CANCER to RESEARCH examine and<br />

TREATMENT by combining conventional<br />

their response to anti-cancerous medicine herbs with and research-proven provide natural truly<br />

medicine supplemental medicine<br />

personalized medicine; while expanding the Tal Center<br />

that augments and intensifies<br />

treatment experience and knowledge-base.<br />

conventional medical treatment<br />

Tekst van dit artikel heb ik gisteren aan Yair<br />

gegeven om na te lezen. Nog niets gehoord<br />

Working closely with oncologists, the Tal<br />

Center has begun the process of<br />

'translating' the wisdom of Chinese<br />

medicine into western practices, and<br />

conducts pioneering, global clinical<br />

research in a diverse range of fields,<br />

including oncology nutrition, botanical<br />

formulas, homeopathy and<br />

immunotherapy. The Tal Center's<br />

uniqueness lies in its ability to conduct in<br />

depth scientific research, mainly as a result<br />

of the exceptional partnership the center<br />

has established with the Sheba Medical<br />

Center - Tel Hashomer. The Sheba<br />

Oncology Center, the largest in Israel, has<br />

provided the Tal Center with a state-ofthe-art<br />

laboratory to support its<br />

groundbreaking research. This advanced<br />

technology enables the in vitro growth of<br />

patients' cancer and immune system cells,<br />

making it possible to examine their<br />

response to anti-cancerous herbs and<br />

provide truly personalized medicine; while<br />

expanding the Tal Center treatment<br />

experience and knowledge-base.<br />

TAL Center operates through two parralle<br />

channels<br />

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES to examine the<br />

efficacy of herbal plants and products<br />

from nature on the activity of cancer cells<br />

and the immune system and which are<br />

applied in oncology departments in Israel<br />

and around the world<br />


Chinese Medicine, naturopathy,<br />

homeopathy, guided imagery, hypnosis,<br />

yoga, meditation, reflexology,<br />

workshops, group support and more.<br />

At the TAL Center we hope to bring a<br />

breakthrough n treatment of therapy for<br />

coping with cancer through the<br />

development of innovative protocols.<br />

The center is located within the oncology<br />

treatment system at Tel Hashomer<br />

Hospital and works in cooperation with<br />

the oncology department and research<br />

laboratories.<br />

Together we can change the cancer<br />

treatment culture around the world<br />




Vitor Neves is founder and CEO of EuropaColon<br />

Portugal, an associate of EuropaColon UK and<br />

dynamic fighter with his advocacy group against<br />

colon cancer. His organization is also the first one<br />

EuropaColon Portugal is a division of EuropaColon and about pancreatic<br />

to<br />

cancer<br />

take on<br />

to<br />

the<br />

the<br />

fight<br />

primary<br />

against pancreatic<br />

doctors.<br />

cancer<br />

We can<br />

as<br />

well. “The way to find the disease early is to<br />

the first to combine awareness and prevention of colon create a difference create by catching awareness, this provide disease much early”. information<br />

cancer with pancreatic cancer campaigns.<br />

In Portugal there as are possible 8.000 so cases people of can colorectal identify the cancer symptoms<br />

and consult their primary care doctor as early as<br />

As a very dynamic patient organization their work<br />

cases per year with a 5-year survival rate. The survival<br />

possible.”<br />

is twofold: raising awareness about prevention Europacolon and Portugal is rate a division for the of 1.000 “If pancreatic you have 2 or cancer more symptoms patients or today 2 or more is 3 to<br />

spread the word that early detection is very important.<br />

Europacolon and the first<br />

4 months.<br />

to combine risk factors, contact your primary care doctor. We<br />

awareness and prevention of colon must also create awareness and provide the<br />

Europacolon Portugal has a very active and professional<br />

cancer with pancreatic cancer<br />

necessary information about pancreatic cancer to<br />

helpline. People can either address the nurses campaigns or<br />

“If the patients are the not primary in the doctors. first We stages can of create pancreatic a difference<br />

As a very active patient organization by catching this disease early”.<br />

volunteers in the hospitals or call in. Their questions will cancer, it is a question of months. We know patients<br />

their work is twofold: raising<br />

In Portugal there are 8.000 cases of colorectal<br />

be answered by the staff within the day and when awareness needed about prevention with and a 5, 6-year survival. cancer cases Look per year at Ali, with this a 5-year August survival she rate. is<br />

they will be forwarded to medical professionals spread the word that early a 10-year detection survival The patient, survival but rate what for the all 1.000 these pancreatic people cancer have<br />

is very important. Europacolon<br />

patients today is 3 to 4 months.<br />

in common is early detection. There is no other way to<br />

Portugal has a very active and<br />

“If the patients are not in the first stages of<br />


solve the problem pancreatic at this time. cancer, Primary it is a question care doctors of months. have We<br />

professional helpline. People can<br />

know patients with a 5, 6-year survival, look at Ali,<br />

either address the nurses to or know the symptoms and think more about the possible<br />

this August she is a 10-year survival patient, but<br />

Vitor Neves is founder and CEO of EuropaColon volunteers in the hospitals diagnose or call in. of pancreatic what all cancer. these people Doctors have in should common get is more early<br />

Their questions will be answered by<br />

Portugal, an associate of EuropaColon UK and dynamic time to talk to people, detection. find There out is what no other way family to solve history the<br />

the staff within the day and when problem at this time. Primary care doctors have<br />

fighter with his advocacy group against colon needed cancer. they will be forwarded is the to symptoms. know The the communication symptoms and think between more about the the<br />

His organization is also the first one to take on medical the fight professionals doctors and the possible patient diagnose is so important!” of pancreatic cancer. Doctors<br />

should get more time to talk to people, find out<br />

against pancreatic cancer as well. “The way to Groepsfoto find the _ REEDS OPGESTUURD< what the family history is or the symptoms. The<br />

disease early is to create awareness, provide as much Research is looking communication for genetic between reasons the and doctors starting and the<br />

information as possible so people can identify the<br />

to find patterns that patient can is so tell important!” us by analysis Research if people is looking for<br />

genetic reasons and starting to find patterns that<br />

symptoms and consult their primary care doctor as early will become pancreatic can tell us cancer by analysis patients if people but will it is become going<br />

as possible.”<br />

much too slow. “In pancreatic Portugal cancer there patients is little but research, it is going much not<br />

too slow. “In Portugal there is little research, not<br />

“If you have 2 or more symptoms or 2 or more risk<br />

enough. We hope that in the next year research will get<br />

enough. We hope that in the next year research<br />

factors, contact your primary care doctor. We must also more funding, not will only get more for detection funding, not and only treatment for detection of and<br />

create awareness and provide the necessary information pancreatic cancer treatment but for of the pancreatic general cancer health but of for people.” the<br />

general health of people.”<br />



Since August 2007, I have been diagnosed and treated for<br />

pancreatic cancer, founded the charity Pancreatic Cancer<br />

Action, seen both my boys finish school with excellent results,<br />

seen one of my boys graduate from university and law school<br />

and embark on a new career as a lawyer in the City of London<br />

Since August 2007, I have been diagnosed and<br />

and the other complete a successful first year at university.<br />

treated for pancreatic cancer, founded the<br />

charity Pancreatic Cancer Action, seen both<br />

Statistically though, I should be my dead boys by finish now. school A sobering with excellent results,<br />

thought. But I know that I am seen very lucky one of indeed. my boys graduate from university<br />

and law school and embark on a new career<br />

as a lawyer in the City of London and the<br />

While initially I asked myself and those around me “why<br />

other complete a successful first year at<br />

me?” when I was diagnosed, it university. is difficult not to ask the same<br />

question about why it is me and Statistically not other, though, very deserving I should be dead by now.<br />

people, who is surviving pancreatic A sobering cancer. thought. But I know that I am very<br />

lucky indeed.<br />

While initially I asked myself and those<br />

There is also a glimmer of hope that the major<br />

I have got to know many of these people over the years and it There is also a glimmer of hope that the major research<br />

around me “why me?” when I was diagnosed, research funders are wakening up to the fact<br />

still saddens me to think they are it is no difficult longer not with to us. ask the same question funders are wakening that pancreatic up to the cancer fact that remains pancreatic chronically cancer<br />

I can’t dwell on that too much, about but I do why know it is that me and it was not other, very remains chronically underfunded. underfunded. However, However, there there is a lot is more a lot we<br />

my early diagnosis, in time for deserving surgery then people, followed who by is surviving pancreatic more we need<br />

need<br />

to do<br />

to<br />

and<br />

do<br />

I<br />

and<br />

am<br />

I<br />

determined<br />

am determined<br />

that over<br />

that over<br />

the<br />

the<br />

chemotherapy and chemo radiotherapy cancer. I that have gave got me to know the many of these next 5-10 years we get five-year survival rates<br />

next 5-10 years we get five-year survival rates to at least<br />

people over the years and it still saddens me to at least double digits if not better.<br />

opportunity to survive. Sadly, it is still the case 10 years later double digits if not better.<br />

to think they are no longer with us.<br />

I will continue to campaign and promote<br />

that only 10% of patients are diagnosed I can’t dwell in time on that for surgery too much, to but I do I will know continue earlier to campaign diagnosis and of promote pancreatic earlier cancer diagnosis through<br />

be an option — currently the only that potential it was my we early have diagnosis, for a cure. in time of for pancreatic cancer my charity through Pancreatic my charity Cancer Pancreatic Action. Through<br />

surgery then followed by chemotherapy Cancer and Action.<br />

my<br />

Through<br />

work on<br />

my<br />

the<br />

work<br />

Board<br />

on<br />

of<br />

the<br />

Pancreatic<br />

Board of<br />

Cancer<br />

A lot has happened in the world chemo in 10 radiotherapy years, but not that a gave me the<br />

Europe and the Steering Group of the <strong>World</strong><br />

Pancreatic Cancer Europe and the Steering Group of the<br />

opportunity to survive. Sadly, it is still the case Pancreatic Cancer Coalition I am helping<br />

great deal for pancreatic cancer outcomes We are though, <strong>World</strong> Pancreatic Cancer Coalition I am helping spread<br />

10 years later that only 10% of patients are spread these vital messages beyond the<br />

beginning to see greater levels diagnosed of public awareness in time for of surgery the to be an these option vital messages shores beyond of the UK. the shores of the UK.<br />

disease thanks in main to the high – currently impact the campaigns only potential we have So, for while a I didn’t So, want while this I didn’t disease want in this the disease first place, in the first<br />

Pancreatic Cancer Action has cure. run, and we are starting to see I will be celebrating<br />

place,<br />

the<br />

I will<br />

10-year<br />

be celebrating<br />

milestone<br />

the<br />

with<br />

10-year<br />

family and<br />

a slight shift in five-year survival A lot — however has happened only by in one the or world in 10 friends. years, milestone with family and friends. I am<br />

I am grateful to still be here and in good health —<br />

but not a great deal for pancreatic cancer grateful to still be here and in good health –<br />

two per cent.<br />

here’s to another 10!<br />

outcomes We are though, beginning to see here’s to another Teamfoto 10! Pancreatic action<br />

greater levels of public awareness of the<br />

disease thanks in main to the high impact<br />

campaigns Pancreatic Cancer Action has run,<br />

and we are starting to see a slight shift in fiveyear<br />

survival – however only by one or two<br />

per cent<br />





Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer was born<br />

together with the State of Israel in 1948, and<br />

today boasts an all-encompassing medical city that<br />

produces Israel’s modern-day medical miracles.<br />

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer exemplifies the best of<br />

Israeli innovation. Israel’s leading hospital is at the forefront of<br />

medical treatments, patient care, research and education that<br />

are transforming lives across the Middle East and the world.<br />


Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer is a tertiary referral<br />

hospital that proudly serves as the largest medical center in<br />

the Middle East. As a university teaching hospital affiliated<br />

with The Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University,<br />

we welcome people from all over the world indiscriminately.<br />

Prof. Yitshak Kreiss Haiti humanitarian mission<br />


140<br />

One heartbeat at a time<br />

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer’s exceptional<br />

physicians are committed to providing vital medical care<br />

to people within and beyond Israel’s borders, and rapidly<br />

mobilize expert medical teams to provide rescue and<br />

emergency medical services to victims of human disasters<br />

and terrorist attacks around the world.<br />

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer also welcomes<br />

patients from nations that lack diplomatic ties with Israel.<br />

Beyond Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer’s active<br />

global humanitarian successes, including international

elief, medical training and medical project management in<br />

dozens of countries, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer<br />

runs on-campus humanitarian projects such as The Safra<br />

International Congenital Heart Disease Project, which<br />

brings children to our facility for specialized heart surgery.<br />



and endocrinology institutions, IVF services, maternal-fetal<br />

medicine and an infertility division.<br />

The Diagnostic Imaging Division includes a masterful<br />

imaging center, along with a national school for M.R.I.<br />

technicians that also trains physicians and technicians in<br />

imaging for other hospitals.<br />

The Laboratory Division is comprised of all known<br />

laboratories in medicine, including a high number of<br />

research laboratories, especially in the field of<br />

malignancies.<br />


Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer houses both Israel’s<br />

largest acute care hospital and its national rehabilitation<br />

hospital; we are the only medical center in Israel that<br />

combines these two critical components of healthcare on<br />

one campus creating a seamless continuum of care. This<br />

unique combination is also rare globally, and does not yet<br />

exist in the U.S.<br />


The Division of Internal Medicine includes cardiology,<br />

oncology, bone marrow transplants, neurology, dermatology,<br />

and all other institutions related to medical diseases.<br />

The Children’s Hospital includes a special rehabilitation<br />

department for children up to 16 years of age, a large<br />

hemato-oncology department, an eating disorder<br />

department, a special institute for children with rare genetic<br />

diseases, and all related institutions in Pediatrics, including<br />

a Child Development Center, and a kindergarten for autistic<br />

children.<br />

The Division of Surgery includes open heart surgery and<br />

neurosurgery, in addition to all regular surgical departments.<br />

The Gynecology and Maternity Center is coveted for its<br />

premier newborn department specializing in the care of<br />

premature babies, and also boasts highly impressive genetic<br />

As Israel’s national center of rehabilitation, we offer<br />

expert long-term and life-long treatment and rehabilitation<br />

programs in areas including orthopedics, neurology,<br />

respiratory, psychiatry, geriatric and trauma. We proudly<br />

hold the national responsibility for the long-term treatment<br />

and care of the most difficult and complex cases in Israel,<br />

such as injured soldiers and terror victims.<br />

Through our pioneering role as a global leader in<br />

rehabilitation technologies, our world-renowned specialized<br />

laboratories and centers develop innovative technologies<br />

in rehabilitation medicine. Among the innovative medical<br />

technologies pioneered at the Rehabilitation Hospital are:<br />

the Virtual Reality Training Facility, the Computerized<br />

Motion Analysis Laboratory, and the Isokinetic<br />

Laboratory.<br />

The Rehabilitation Center is highly sought after by patients<br />

seeking treatments involving orthopedics, neurology,<br />

respiratory, psychiatry, geriatric, trauma and spinal cord<br />

injuries.<br />

The Psychiatry Center is home to Israel’s only department<br />

for adults with eating disorders, and includes a special<br />

section for severe psychiatric patients, and patients suffering<br />

from PTSD.<br />

The Geriatric Center offers extraordinary and compassionate<br />

care for elderly patients with varying needs such as dialysis,<br />

post-stroke treatment, orthopedics and more.<br />



A global pioneer in medical innovation and education, Sheba<br />

Medical Center, Tel Hashomer is internationally renowned as<br />

a medical-scientific research powerhouse.<br />


in medical care and research together with leadership.<br />

Our remarkable, visionary staff is determined to produce<br />

the next generation of unmatched medical leaders ready to<br />

anticipate and address the challenges of tomorrow.<br />

This unparalleled motivation is supported by Sheba<br />

Medical Center, Tel Hashomer’s status as one of only two<br />

medical centers in Israel that holds the U.S. Department<br />

of Health Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) designation —<br />

a classification that makes Sheba Medical Center,<br />

Tel Hashomer eligible for U.S. federal research grants<br />

involving human clinical trials.<br />




MSR Cardiology internal<br />

Our sought-after scientists and clinicians work in synergy<br />

with Israeli and international bio-tech and medical industries<br />

to develop and test new life-saving medical technologies and<br />

drugs.<br />

Our state-of-the-art facility and premier physicians offer<br />

unparalleled compassion coupled with the most advanced<br />

medical services and biotechnological and clinical products<br />

to 1 million+ patients annually.<br />

We provide a hospital environment where clinical treatment<br />

and medical research are closely intertwined in proximity to<br />

the patient, for the direct benefit of the patient.<br />

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer established MSR, the<br />

world leader in Simulation-Based Medical Education (SBME)<br />

and patient safety training.<br />

• Cancer, including hematology<br />

• Oncology<br />

• Cardiovascular diseases<br />

• Rehabilitation<br />

• Obstetrics, gynecology and genetics<br />

• Pediatrics<br />

• Extensive surgery services: neurological, pediatric, heart<br />

and maxillofacial<br />

• Gastroenterology and liver diseases<br />




• Extensive oncological research<br />

• Human stem cell research and regenerative medicine<br />

• Genetics, onco-genetics and fertility<br />

• Diabetes and metabolic diseases<br />

As Israel’s exclusive national medical simulation center, MSR<br />

employs advanced simulation-based training modalities that<br />

enable healthcare professionals to effectively improve their<br />

clinical and communication skills. MSR trains physicians,<br />

nurses and paramedics from Israel to prepare them for urgent<br />

disaster and critical incident response. MSR also collaborates<br />

with simulation centers around the world.<br />

142<br />

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer is home to the Talpiot<br />

Medical Leadership Program, which was founded to ensure<br />

the continuity of educating Israel’s future medical leaders.<br />

We employ Israel’s top physicians, who combine excellence<br />


• Neuroscience for adults and children<br />

• Autoimmune diseases<br />

• Gynecological and surgical oncology<br />

• Cardiovascular diseases<br />

• Intestinal Bacteria – Microbiome<br />

Israel’s exclusive leader in healthcare and health policy,<br />

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer embraces its national<br />

responsibility to fully assist and support Israel’s other<br />

hospitals and medical facilities, especially in peripherallysituated<br />

locations.<br />

We are currently establishing the radiotherapy center in<br />

Tsfat, cardiology center in Tiberias, and rehabilitation<br />

hospital at Aleh in the Negev. Sheba Medical Center,<br />

Tel Hashomer is home to most of Israel’s national health<br />

institutes:<br />

• National Center for Medical Simulation<br />

• Main Rehabilitation Hospital including<br />

• Terror Victims and IDF Wounded<br />

• National Burns Center<br />

• National Center for Cystic Fibrosis<br />

• National Center for Glaucoma<br />

• National Center for Health Policy and Epidemiology<br />

• National Center for Hemophilia<br />

• National Center for Newborn Screening<br />

• National Center for Spinal Cord Injuries<br />

• National Center for Tay Sachs<br />

• National Virology Laboratory<br />

Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Director General Sheba Medical Center<br />


Israel’s #1 hospital, and one of the most sophisticated<br />

medical facilities worldwide, saves more lives, discovers new<br />

cures, and educates the next generation of physicians and<br />

medical researchers.<br />

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer is the only debt-free<br />

medical center in Israel.<br />

eng.sheba.co.il<br />

Main Hospital Building<br />





Brussels Creative is a platform for the Brussels<br />

based Creative and Cultural ecosystem gathering<br />

citizens, political leaders, researchers and business<br />

people helping our Region towards more cross-over<br />

innovation and new socio-economical initiatives<br />

having an impact on our daily lives.<br />

In monthly meetings it is actively promoting diversity and<br />

organizing serendipity. Both ingredients are crucial to foster<br />

cross-over innovation in Brussels Region but those meetings<br />

are also important to build bridges, friendship and trust<br />

amongst change agents.<br />

“Disruptive and innovative ideas thrive within a strong<br />

supportive framework and team. The biggest challenge in a<br />

multi-cultural and multi-professional society is to find a<br />

song, to which we can all sing along.<br />

It is categorization, competition and judgement which<br />

can keep big visions of necessary eco-systems forever in a<br />

theoretical realm.<br />

Our way out there as women in innovation is to activate<br />

the built in curiosity and solidarity in our genes and move<br />

away from individual competitiveness and towards empathic<br />

collaboration with diversity and inclusion as generators for<br />

a greater and powerful future.<br />

Transdisciplinarity celebrates the individual skillset of<br />

each team member with different professional expertise<br />

and background as much as it does achieve an impressive<br />

common strength, which increases and accelerates<br />

innovative energy.<br />

My goal is to fertilize a ground for our future global society<br />

where it is no longer my skin colour, my height, my body<br />

weight, my haircut, my gender, my nationality or my status<br />

which makes a difference, but my urge to create and actively<br />

participate in innovation together with a support system<br />

of likeminded beings. This plants the seed for personal<br />

evolution and constructive societal participation.<br />

Brussels as capital of the European Union should take a<br />

leading role in creating a smart and diversity supporting city<br />

and eco-systems with sustainable approaches.“<br />




144<br />

Alain Heureux and Martine-Nicole Rojina at Brussels Creative Meeting<br />

for Woman and Innovation at BOZAR LAB in September 2017<br />

In September Women and Innovation were at the centre<br />

of attention inviting a large community to gather, inspire,

Brussels Creative Meeting for Woman and Innovation at BOZAR LAB in September 2017<br />

reflect, talk and exchange along with a visit and presentation<br />

of the freshly opened BOZAR LAB and a tour through the<br />

exhibition TENDENCIES, which aims to place emphasis<br />

on works which question scientific and technological<br />

innovations as much as they incorporate them. It wants<br />

to open up the field of reflection relating to these links<br />

and highlight structural analogies between the creators<br />

of distinct and complementary fields. For this second<br />

edition, it unveils and promotes the work of six emerging or<br />

established female artists who probe innovative protocols<br />

and paradigms in the domains of artistic, scientific and<br />

technological creation.<br />

focusing on transdisciplinarity and innovation at the<br />

nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS. STARTS<br />

unites renowned art & research institutions and innovative<br />

industries to jointly work on innovative projects where<br />

artists, scientists and engineers work together on radically<br />

different solutions.<br />






Through a program of lectures, debates and workshops the<br />

BOZAR LAB would like to stimulate more interactions<br />

between artists, policy makers, researchers and citizens.<br />

This must lead to new visions & ideas for the future and<br />

critical approaches on contemporary scientific, societal<br />

and cultural developments. This program — in close<br />

collaboration with BOZAR AGORA — will involve many<br />

universities and research departments in Belgium and<br />

abroad.<br />

The European Union has recognized the urgency of finding<br />

hybrid solutions with the launch of the STARTS Program<br />

She is Head of the Hellenic Delegation for the Progressive<br />

Alliance of S&D, Chair Scientific Foresight Unit #STOA,<br />

Chair EU-NATO Delegation.<br />

Who are you and what are your core values on<br />

which your personality is built?<br />

The core values, which are guiding my choices as a person<br />

and as a politician, have been truth & speaking out, creativity<br />

(even a bit out of the box) and empathy (caring). Curiosity<br />

about what truth is, being creative in what I am doing and<br />

feeling empathetic towards people, have been my driving<br />

forces to enter politics since I was a teenager. Heraclitus<br />


concluded that: “Your values become your destiny” and<br />

I tend to agree with that quote. It has been my character that<br />

led me in politics and not politics changed me.<br />

in politics, women in leadership positions are keen to<br />

be inclusive and more compassionate when dealing with<br />

political issues of utmost importance.<br />

What advice would you give to your younger self<br />

at the beginning of your career?<br />

As the first child and the oldest sister, I feel that I have<br />

been very conscious, with a sense of accountability and<br />

respecting the balances of my surroundings. I guess that<br />

reflected also on my career decisions. I rarely regret,<br />

I could only remind to my younger self and any young<br />

person to enjoy more the benefits of that certain age,<br />

when the mistakes are more easily pardoned and the<br />

consequences are more easily corrected. (And as much as<br />

you try to have free time, tomorrow will not be less busy ...<br />

so I would advice me to make more time to spend with<br />

family and friends). Still, I believe that as soon as we shape<br />

a vision about how we would like our future to be and work<br />

hard for this, life will allow us to have options and the power<br />

of decision.<br />

Do you recognize a strength or unique “function”<br />

in the European Parliament, which stands out<br />

because of being a female leader?<br />

The European Parliament stands out as one of the most<br />

“gender equal” parliaments in the world. More than<br />

one third of its 751 Members are women and there are<br />

countries like Sweden, Finland and Croatia, which have<br />

more female MEPs than men in their delegations. Many<br />

of the Committees of the European Parliament are<br />

chaired by women and I have also been elected to chair<br />

the Parliament’s delegation for the relations with NATO<br />

parliamentary assembly but also the first woman chair of<br />

Science and Technology Committee. From my experience<br />

Furthermore, I would say that in general women are<br />

more empathetic towards minority issues and are more<br />

determined to stand up against discrimination.<br />

How do you think innovation is and will be<br />

positively influenced by a higher contribution<br />

of women?<br />

A study on entrepreneurship has found that start-ups led by<br />

women tend to perform better (First round capital report,<br />

2015). High technology firms that have at least one woman<br />

as co-founder have more chances to survive and be highly<br />

profitable. All these data are more and more accurate and<br />

proven in real life. I read recently in an article that the main<br />

reason behind all this is that women are found to be more<br />

resilient to setbacks and persevere in the face of adverse<br />

outcomes and this is something I can confirm from my<br />

personal experience.<br />

What categories/labels/prejudices in society would<br />

you like to overcome considering innovation?<br />

Prejudices are pre-existing categories of ideas usually<br />

regarding situations and experiences we haven’t experienced<br />

personally. In that sense innovation cannot thrive in a<br />

mind-set full of prejudices. It can however, help in the<br />

transformation.<br />

I would like to see more trust in the younger generations<br />

and women. I feel blessed and grateful for the trust of<br />

the voters, since my first attempt in politics, however<br />

I see that this is an exception, at least in most countries<br />

or corporations. Innovation provides concepts and means<br />

where inspiration is fundamental and the powerful elements,<br />

not the gender, the age or the nationality. For example,<br />

the pilot project of EIT that was implemented in Greece,<br />

during summer, the “Coding Girls”, it has been an amazing<br />

experience with a very strong content: to give to girls the<br />

tools of creating code and this in the future could be their<br />

path to professional independence, working from anywhere,<br />

for anyone they choose. This is innovation.<br />

146<br />

Eva A. Kaili in the European Parliament<br />

It would be irresponsible not to mention also the power of<br />

innovation in providing means to integrating vulnerable<br />

groups and refugees. Innovation is the most democratic<br />

field of action nowadays, where strong minds compete, not<br />

strong prejudices. Rilke phrased it nicely …

Eva A. Kaili in the European Parliament<br />

”That is the only courage that is demanded of us: to have<br />

courage for the most strange, the most singular and the<br />

most inexplicable that we may encounter”. And may I dare<br />

to add … “and if not us, then someone else may do it for us,<br />

despite our resistance ...”, referring to the innovators and<br />

to those politicians who are ready to push the boundaries<br />

and take the blame! Honestly, by the work being done in<br />

the European Parliament, I stay optimistic and I realize it<br />

may take time, but we win small battles against intellectual<br />

blindness and intolerance. I feel we are doing better,<br />

every day.<br />

Why do you consider a female eco- and supportsystem<br />

worth implementing?<br />

In the heart of the society stands the woman, a truth<br />

that is scientifically proven. Women create “systems” of<br />

relationships and dynamics around them that have impact<br />

to every small element and detail of society’s progress. The<br />

confidence and well being of women, create a chain-reaction<br />

that affects everybody. This is a wisdom that ancient<br />

matriarchic societies had discovered, but for complex<br />

reasons, this wisdom was abolished.<br />

The example of the Scandinavian countries is a modern<br />

model of provenance and supporting systems for females.<br />

Many people, even women themselves were against support<br />

schemes and measures, such as quotas in electoral lists or<br />

governing organizations and companies, but the experience<br />

shows that they are necessary, at least until they become<br />

a norm in the societies. Nowadays we see that in those<br />

countries, female support systems have produced great<br />

results. In Icelandic parliament for example almost 50% of<br />

the MPs are female. Attitudes change to the better.<br />

Recently, science observed that a female brain is<br />

way more active than a male brain ... what do you<br />

think is processed differently and creates that extra<br />

activity?<br />

Well, it is maybe the circular pace of female body structure<br />

that creates these dynamics of excessive brightness and<br />

efficiency! It is in the genetic code of a female to survive<br />

and protect, to invent and move on, progress. Empathy is a<br />

more familiar to women characteristic and this is a natural<br />

enhancement of intelligence. But seriously, these scientific<br />

results have to be communicated to the public with facts<br />

and figures!<br />

Looking at a future full of challenges on an<br />

environmental, political and societal level, how do<br />

you think women and innovation can change it to<br />

the better?<br />

Innovation and prosperity cannot be achieved by leaving<br />

women — half of the world population — behind. More<br />

women are needed in academia and scientific research as<br />


Martine-Nicole Rojina, Peter Friess, Jasna Rok and Eva A. Kaili at the STARTS exhibition at the NET FUTURES 2017 conference<br />

in Brussels<br />

well as in politics, but let’s just not neglect that cooperation<br />

with men and acceptance as equally competent are of<br />

utmost importance. We shouldn’t focus in improving<br />

the participation of women only in percentages, but<br />

also in qualitative facts. Women, with the unique vision,<br />

personality attributes and most importantly, by working and<br />

cooperating with men, we can find solutions to all those<br />

challenges. We need respect and equality in order to thrive.<br />

direction and I try to get involved and speak publicly about<br />

them.<br />

Interview and contribution by Martine-Nicole Rojina<br />


How can you personally contribute to make<br />

it better?<br />

In my capacity as an elected representative of men and<br />

women of my country, I am putting all my efforts to<br />

represent the best way I can the interests of society, guided<br />

by my core values mentioned before.<br />

Working collectively with citizens and my colleagues in the<br />

European Parliament, and with an open mind, is the best<br />

way I can contribute to tackle the future challenges.<br />

148<br />

I am amazed by the extent and the depth recent<br />

developments on innovation have reached. I try through<br />

my work and during my personal time to communicate and<br />

raise awareness on the impact that current developments of<br />

innovation will have in our lives, our personal choices our<br />

children’s future. I try to support initiatives that share this

Antonio Caro<br />

Mata Maiz<br />

Stencil, paint on wall<br />

Santa Marta, Colombia, 2017<br />

Courtesy of the artist, LGI<br />

Photograph: Sébastien Delire<br />




It is time to bridge the cultures, to reintegrate the<br />

insights of the Arts with the discovery of science.<br />

Europe has other thought-leading examples such<br />

as CERN. The EU begins to support the field but<br />

must do more. In Brussels, one striking example is<br />

emerging right now: how NATO have reached out to<br />

art as a privileged partner to the core business of the<br />

organisation. This article explains how.<br />

150<br />


The handover from Belgium to NATO of the new NATO<br />

Headquarters in Brussels in 2017 offers the opportunity<br />

to develop an innovative art policy in the public sector.<br />

NATO established an International Staff Art Committee to<br />

coordinate art contributions from NATO member countries<br />

to the new NATO HQ in December 2014. The notion of art<br />

at NATO HQ is not new. The launch of an art programme<br />

was foreseen in the past in the context of the move to the<br />

new NATO HQ at Porte Dauphine in Paris. The move to<br />

the new NATO HQ in Brussels presented the opportunity<br />

to re-consider this idea. A comprehensive inventory of the<br />

artworks displayed and stored in the current NATO HQ was<br />

conducted in April 2015. Immediately afterwards, a private<br />

art consultant was appointed to develop a framework to<br />

manage art and artefacts in the new HQ. The framework<br />

was approved by NATO member countries in April 2016.<br />


The objective of this report is to recognize and explain the<br />

innovative art policy developed by NATO, in the context of<br />

the transition to the NATO HQ.<br />

The approved framework sets criteria for future art donations<br />

and loans from NATO member countries. These criteria<br />

follow four work streams and two themes, in order to<br />

provide overall coherence.<br />

The work streams take into consideration the decision of<br />

NATO countries to preserve and transfer the existing art<br />

collection to the new NATO HQ and the desire expressed<br />

by several nations to contribute new artefacts in the future.<br />



• NATO Arts Heritage Project: a permanent display<br />

in the visitors’ area of the new premises to exhibit a<br />

selection from the current NATO HQ art collection.<br />

Digital displays will provide information about the<br />

individual artefacts and their relevance as a historic<br />

donation to NATO.<br />

• Commemorative Project: permanent displays of<br />

artefacts that commemorate a significant event in<br />

the donating member country’s history with NATO.<br />

The artefact will be enhanced by an information<br />

tool, accessible to visitors, which will constitute<br />

the platform to discover, through innovative digital<br />

systems, historic information about the artefact and<br />

its relevance to NATO.<br />

• Interactive Media and Fine Arts Project: a<br />

rotational project including both interactive<br />

and real-time art and artefacts reflecting NATO<br />

activities and fine arts. A permanent digital support<br />

structure will be the platform for presenting the<br />

interactive art and artefacts produced on a regular<br />

basis.<br />

• Performance Arts Project: a rotational project that<br />

will celebrate the cultural diversity of the Alliance<br />

by offering areas of the new NATO Headquarters as<br />

the stage for concerts and performances, as well as<br />

the opportunity to connect to cultural events from<br />

NATO member countries remotely.

Unveiling of the German and US donations to NATO<br />

The proposed work streams serve the purpose of supporting<br />

member countries in defining a possible contribution to the<br />

new NATO Headquarters, and in making decisions on the<br />

previously donated artefacts. Each member country can join<br />

any number of work streams.<br />

The work streams have been developed around two<br />

themes: history and dialogue. The Arts Heritage and<br />

Commemorative projects focus on the historic aspect, the<br />

relevance of a key event for a member country in NATO<br />

history. The Interactive Media and Fine Arts and the<br />

Performance Arts Projects focus on dialogue. Multi-layered<br />

cultural exchange through art will support dialogue and<br />

consultation which are at the heart of NATO’s mission.<br />

Dialogue will start within the member country by engaging<br />

national art institutions that will donate, lend or commission<br />

new artefacts and/or recommending visiting artists (e.g.<br />

museums, foundations, art academies, artistic collectives).<br />

NATO, through the Art Committee, will accept<br />

contributions from Nations that fit into one of the work<br />

streams, and will be responsible to recommend a suitable<br />

location for each donation to be displayed.<br />

The case of NATO in art policy development is remarkable<br />

for several reasons. On one hand, it develops an innovative<br />

framework, on the other, it reinforces the importance of<br />

the consultation process through mutual cultural exchange.<br />

This is crucial for a public institution that builds trust,<br />

enhances security and prevents conflicts via dialogue and<br />

consultation. Interactive art and digital tools in this context<br />

enhance NATO’s effort to fulfil its mission.<br />

Name: CAM (XX-XXI), “Committee on women in the NATO forces,<br />

25th anniversary, 1976-2001”<br />

Author: Unknown<br />

Origin: Presented to NATO’s Military Committee and its International<br />

Military Staff from the Chair’s Nation 2000-2001<br />

The Netherlands<br />

The article is contributed, with the permission<br />

of the NATO authorities by a key leader in the project,<br />

Luis Miguel Girao (Artshare) and Martine-Nicole Rojina<br />





When you think of innovation, you think<br />

of Living Tomorrow. The Brussels marketing<br />

and demonstration platform that<br />

for more than 20 years has been working<br />

on innovation could not be absent from<br />

the renowned DLD Innovation Festival.<br />

Its management, along with its partners,<br />

embarked on an economic mission to the<br />

“start-up city”, Tel Aviv.<br />

152<br />


The region between Tel Aviv and the port city of Haifa<br />

has rightfully been called Silicon Wadi. A comparison<br />

with its American counterpart is not wide of the<br />

mark. All major American tech companies, such as<br />

Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Facebook, Google, etc. are<br />

concentrated in that area. Many of them even have<br />

a substantial R&D department there. What is more,<br />

nowhere in the world are there as many start-ups per<br />

resident as in Israel: more than 7000 in the past ten<br />

years alone! That is quite a bit more than in Japan, the<br />

UK or Canada.<br />

The entrepreneurial spirit is truly part of the fabric.<br />

And the results are impressive. Some of the largest<br />

tech companies in the world had their beginnings in<br />

Tel Aviv: the website designer Wix, the GPS app Waze<br />

and Viber, the counterpart to Skype.<br />

Israeli policy has thus succeeded in retaining all that<br />

talent, as a result of which Tel Aviv and its surroundings<br />

have become the innovation hub. Meanwhile,<br />

Chinese investors with venture capital have also found<br />

there way here. The decision by Living Tomorrow to<br />

head over there with its start-up partners Forganiser<br />

and ApicBase is thus hardly surprising. At the DLD<br />

Innovation Festival, they were given the chance to discover<br />

potential business opportunities, make contacts<br />

and exchange knowledge with Israeli companies.<br />


In the areas of FoodTech and CleanTech, there is a<br />

good deal of know-how to be found in Tel Aviv. Living<br />

Tomorrow CEO Joachim De Vos followed the Clean-<br />

Tech path with visits to the world-renowned Rambam<br />

Health Care Campus and the leading Technion university,<br />

among others.<br />

E-health, digitization, advanced technologies in the<br />

areas of recycling, etc., are each items on which Living<br />

Tomorrow is also working.<br />

COO Patrick Aertsen, for his part, drew the FoodTech<br />

card. Innovation in the food sector are crucial in order<br />

to give our restaurant and catering sector a boost. Living<br />

Tomorrow start-ups Forganiser and ApicBase are<br />

fine examples of this, in fact. Forganiser has developed<br />

an effective software tool for the employment of flex<br />

workers. ApicBase, a start-up in food photography, has<br />

developed a camera with which chefs can, in a matter<br />

of seconds, photograph their creations, save them and<br />

share them on social media.<br />

Such companies are showing that they are the future,<br />

and Living Tomorrow wants to support them in their<br />





Living Tomorrow in Brussels is a symbol<br />

of innovative entrepreneurship. The<br />

complex itself offers an inspiring setting<br />

for organizing meetings, press conferences,<br />

events and seminars. The future-oriented<br />

image will be a welcome extra!<br />

Living Tomorrow is now launching a<br />

brand-new meeting concept: the Meet-<br />

Inn.<br />



Are you driving along the Brussels Ring and decide at<br />

the last minute to meet up with a colleague. Or do you<br />

have a bit of time left before your next appointment<br />

and want to get some work done in a pleasant setting?<br />

Do you want to set up a brief meeting but don’t<br />

want to rent expensive premises for half a day? In that<br />

case, the Meet-Inn offers the solution! The Meet-Inn<br />

is designed to be a flexible meeting space which you<br />

can use without reservation. The concept is made up<br />

of meeting boxes, American Diner nooks, comfortable<br />

seating areas, etc. for smaller meetings. Guests<br />

purchase a Meet-Inn Card with credits from reception<br />

and can check in and out whenever they wish. Ideal,<br />

in other words, for a quick meeting ‘on the road’. A<br />

drinks buffet and snacks are included in the price.<br />

The excellent location right next to the Brussels Ring<br />

and the ample parking are much valued assets in the<br />

extended Brussels area.<br />




If you would like to combine your visit to the Meet-<br />

Inn with a lunch or dinner, then you are most welcome<br />

to The Bistronomy. The gastronomic restaurant is<br />

located in the Living Tomorrow buildings, and is open<br />

to the public every day. Top chef Marc Clément mans<br />

the stove himself, pampering you with his refined<br />

gastronomy with a nod to the future. In fine weather,<br />

you can enjoy the tastefully decorated terrace. For the<br />

restaurant, reservations are recommended.<br />


Drivers of electric cars can recharge their car during<br />

their meeting or meal at the SolarFast Charging Station.<br />

The station fits with the total concept of electric<br />

driving that has been realized at Living Tomorrow.<br />

See you in the future at Living Tomorrow.<br />

Living Tomorrow<br />

Indringingsweg 1, 1800 Vilvoorde.<br />

Tel.: 02 263 01 33<br />

info@livingtomorrow.com<br />

www.livingtomorrow.com<br />


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Through my Renaissance studies, I discovered<br />

that Erasmus and Thomas More were the first<br />

thinkers to spread together the idea of parliamentary<br />

democracy as the best political system for all states<br />

in Europe.<br />

156<br />

Most explicitly through Utopia, the book they conceived<br />

jointly, and that Erasmus had found inspiration for<br />

these ideas which he handed over to More, in the Duchy<br />

of Brabant with Brussels as one of its four capitals.<br />

Representatives of these capitals held veto powers in the<br />

Duchy’s representative assembly, the Estates of Brabant,<br />

and in Brussels the craft guilds’ masters whose apprentices<br />

were organized in precursors of trade unions and able to<br />

steer the policies of their masters, were involved in political<br />

affairs and government of the city. On the Brabantine<br />

constitution named the ‘Joyous Entry’, providing the Estates<br />

of Brabant with the constitutional right to depose the<br />

Duke of Brabant and assign a new one, the Estates-General<br />

with representatives of several Low Countries based in<br />

the Act of ‘Verlatinghe’ of 1581 legally the Dutch Revolt<br />

and the deposing of Philip II as ruler of the Burgundian<br />

Netherlands: an event generally respected as a first broad<br />

manifestation of representative/parliamentary democracy.<br />

The political institution of the Dutch Republic of Northern<br />

Netherlands was further developed on this constitutional<br />

heritage, influencing throughout the seventeenth century<br />

culturally and politically the country across the Channel:<br />

England, where the over celebrated Magna Carta had given<br />

the right to only 23 barons to oppose a king who did not<br />

please them, to occupy his castles and resist him militarily,<br />

and where the real start of parliamentary democracy<br />

happened in 1688 with the Glorious Revolution allowing<br />

Dutch William of Orange, until then stadtholder of the<br />

Republic of the United Netherlands, to cross the Channel<br />

with a fleet and court and to become only by grace of the<br />

English parliament the new English king William III. For<br />

these reasons I proposed to consider the Joyous Entry of<br />

Brabant the Conception Act of parliamentary democracy.<br />

And not only parliamentary democracy, but also religious<br />

tolerance and freedom of belief and expression, social<br />

care reconciled with market economy, collective defense,<br />

double identities inside a double layered state, peaceful<br />

coexistence of neighboring states with a supranational<br />

organizational entity, are European values of which the<br />

origins can be traced back in the Low Countries of the late<br />

Middle Ages and Renaissance, defended by the Christian<br />

humanists — in close contact with these Low Countries —<br />

for the first time on a truly European scale. At the heart of<br />

the Low Countries was the Duchy of Brabant with indeed<br />

Brussels (today’s capital of Europe), Antwerp, Leuven<br />

and ‘s Hertogenbosch as its four capitals. The present<br />

successors of the Burgundian Low Countries, the Benelux<br />

countries (also institutionally formed as union in 1944),<br />

played a leading and mediating role in the start and further<br />

development of the European project and integration:<br />

did their political frontrunners in those and later years<br />

remember their national history classes?<br />

In 2014 a broad search for a ‘New Narrative for Europe’<br />

was launched as an official EU Project. In October 2015<br />

European Symbols was published, the first Latin manual<br />

for all students in Europe for which I had been invited to<br />

write the Belgian contribution, and for which I assisted the<br />

editors in advocating and arranging introductory notes by<br />

leading officials of the European institutions who pointed<br />

in these notes to the importance of our cultural heritage for<br />

the success of the European project. In the same month<br />

I had offered the European Commission my services and the<br />

rhetorical force of my research in the upcoming campaign<br />

to keep the UK, with a history loving public, inside the EU:<br />

PM David Cameron had however the European institutions<br />

not allowed to campaign openly in the UK against a Brexit.<br />

In the weeks before the referendum, the Magna Carta<br />

was indeed used as an efficient, but historically incorrect<br />

argument, by the Brexiteers. In 2016 the European Project<br />

for a ‘New Narrative for Europe’ was relaunched. On 8th

June 2016, two weeks before the Brexit vote, the European<br />

External Action Service and the European Commission<br />

released jointly a ‘joint communication’ on cultural<br />

diplomacy in which culture is described as the ‘hidden gem<br />

of European foreign policy’.<br />

In his first large interview for 8 European newspapers, 21st<br />

June 2017, President Emmanuel Macron expressed his<br />

intention as newly elected president to lead ‘a European<br />

Renaissance’. On 7th September 2017, President Macron<br />

elaborated this plan in a speech on the Pnyx in Athens,<br />

pleading to refound the European Union through culture<br />

and an increased attention for the origins of European<br />

democracy and sovereignty and to refind there the Soul of<br />

Europe. In a famous speech for the European Parliament<br />

in Strasburg, Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel tried in 2007<br />

also to find and formulate the Soul of Europe, focusing<br />

on liberty and diversity and recognizing in these values<br />

the basic principle of tolerance: one of the best known<br />

Erasmian ideals. In her accepting speech after receiving<br />

a joint honorary doctorate in January 2017 from both<br />

the universities of Leuven and Ghent, she celebrated<br />

expressively Erasmus of Rotterdam. First and former<br />

permanent President of the European Council, Herman<br />

Van Rompuy, stated on 21st September 2017 in an interview<br />

with Euractiv that the European Union needs in his view<br />

the formulation of a framework for the concrete goals of the<br />

Union itself, the articulation of its over-all project for which<br />

‘storytelling is needed’.<br />

As such Framework for Europe, I would like to offer<br />

and propose here the Erasmian ideals and an updated<br />

articulation and confirmation of the Christian humanist<br />

principles from which the most European societies turned<br />

tragically away already shortly after these ideas’ first<br />

brightest cultural appearances, blocking the European<br />

countries in deadlock and military self-destruction<br />

for centuries: a baroque chaos and war of by excesses<br />

and lack of internal reform provoked reformation and<br />

counter-reformation led to the over orderly structuring<br />

of neoclassicism, leading to an over passionate rule of<br />

suppressed emotions with romanticism and nationalism,<br />

ending in the horrors of the twentieth century. Therefore<br />

I propose as the over-all framework for the European<br />

Union, the realization of an actualized version of Erasmus’<br />

program for Europe, the dual realization of Erasmian<br />

Republic(s): the antipode of what Europe would have been<br />

if it had stayed under Nazi dominion and suppression.<br />

References to Erasmus and More are also welcome in a<br />

time when ‘sweeping Henry VIII powers’ are again gaining<br />

power in other countries and will also prevent extremist<br />

and populist parties to claim or monopolize the rhetoric<br />

strength of (misrepresented) history and crucial historical<br />

figures, as positive arguments are the ideal complement to<br />

negative warnings related to the world wars: AfD intended<br />

to name its civic organization the ‘Desiderius-Erasmus-<br />

Stiftung’ and should not be able to connect personally and<br />

philosophically with the cultural figurehead of Europe, the<br />

EU is entitled by sense and spirit to make this personal,<br />

philosophical connection.<br />

From 2007-2013, the European Project renEU had already<br />

tried to connect the basic European values and foundations<br />

with achievements of Italian, French, Polish, Portuguese<br />

and Spanish Renaissance and to start in this way ‘a new<br />

Renaissance’ in Europe. This project stayed however<br />

too much touristic and anecdotal and lacked actualized<br />

connections to the present day political and institutional<br />

working of the EU and knowledge of the newly made<br />

discoveries about the political thought of Erasmus and<br />

Thomas More and the significance of the related political<br />

culture in the Low Countries during the Renaissance.<br />

The Nazis bombarded the entire historical center of<br />

Rotterdam and thus also the birth house of Erasmus, not<br />

for direct military purposes but to force the Netherlands<br />

to capitulate under the threat of an imminent series of<br />

similar complete destructions of historical city centers: a<br />

ruthless and horribly successful tactic. In the bombarded<br />

city center of Rotterdam, the 1622 statue of Erasmus<br />

had survived the bombings and was brought to a nearby<br />

museum where it was hidden during the entire war, after<br />

which it was placed again at the center of a public square.<br />

For similar reasons, I would like to propose to place a statue<br />

of Erasmus on the Place Royale in Brussels, instead of the<br />

present statue of Godfried of Bouillon, one of the leaders<br />

of the first crusade that conquered Jeruzalem and murdered<br />

the Jews, Muslims and Christians living there. Under the<br />

pavements of this square are the foundations of the Palace<br />

of the Coudenberg, where Erasmus gave a Latin oratory in<br />

honor to Philip the Fair, published later as Erasmus’ first<br />

important political work, the Panegyricus, in which he urged<br />

Philip, Duke of Burgundy and Brabant, to respect the Joyous<br />

Entry of Brabant. The Brussels Avenue between the European<br />

Quarter at Place Schuman and the Parc du Cinquantenaire<br />

with a Triumphal Arch as the stone representation of a joyous<br />

entry into the city of Brussels through a large symbolized city<br />

gate, is named Joyous Entry Avenue.<br />


158<br />

Presently, the headquarters of the European Commission<br />

are located in the Berlaymont building referring by name<br />

to a convent that stood there previously, financed by the<br />

Berlaymont family of which a prominent member (the<br />

father-in-law of the lady founding the convent), Charles de<br />

Berlaymont, was at the start of the Dutch Revolt a councilor<br />