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<strong>58</strong><br />



KING<br />


OF THE<br />






H.E.<br />

BUDDHI<br />






H.E.<br />


Ambassador<br />

of China<br />

H.E.<br />

E. RODNEY M.<br />

PERERA<br />

Ambassador<br />

of Sri Lanka<br />

H.E.<br />



Ambassador<br />

of Austria<br />

H.E.<br />


Ambasador<br />

of Moldova<br />

H.E.<br />


Ambassador<br />

of Kyrgyzstan<br />

Autumn / Winter 2018 www.diplomatic-world.com Quarterly edition<br />

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





















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Barbara Dietrich<br />

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


ir. Marc Kintaert<br />

CEO<br />

Barbara Dietrich<br />


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©2018 <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> Magazine<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> was first published in 2003 starting<br />

with issue DW1. Since DW52 (March 2017) Barbara<br />

Dietrich has been CEO and publisher of <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong><br />

Magazine. From the start of her activities in <strong>Diplomatic</strong><br />

<strong>World</strong> Magazine, Mrs Dietrich has been focusing on the<br />

development of the internationalisation of the magazine,<br />

building bridges between continents. Evident content for<br />

the magazine has been related to Brussels and Europe,<br />

but Russia, China, Middle East and Eurasia have been<br />

main topics in the further contextualisation of <strong>Diplomatic</strong><br />

<strong>World</strong>’s content on a global scale.<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> is motivated by people’s thoughts, their<br />

ideas, their personality, their expertise, their charisma. They<br />

are the core asset of every magazine. <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>’s<br />

focus will be on collaborating with interesting partners,<br />

expanding on topical views from relevant experts and on<br />

surprising background stories.<br />

Future activities to develop: Lobby & network activities<br />

for <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> and its partners by Barbara Dietrich,<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> Global Art Forum and the <strong>Diplomatic</strong><br />

<strong>World</strong> Economic Diplomacy Summit.<br />


For <strong>Diplomatic</strong> world the 4 th industrial revolution opens<br />

perspectives for the new Eurasia continent, that extends<br />

from North Sea to Pacific Ocean; where peoples and<br />

cultures in the 3 major political jurisdictions the Eurasian<br />

Economic Union, the EU and China live in peace and<br />

harmony and develop numerous synergies between each<br />

other. Through the 4 th industrial revolution a meeting point<br />

between the East (inspired by communist and Confucian<br />

thinking) and the West (socially corrected market<br />

economy) can be created. This will open new windows of<br />

opportunities to work out new visions for the promotion<br />

of growth; within a broadly supported social model and an<br />

environmentally sound platform: a new model for the future<br />

of humanity.<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> is unique and unrivaled.<br />

One Belt One Road or China’s new silk roads can<br />

create a global interconnected free economic trade and<br />

manufacturing space and a new network for the sharing<br />

economies of tomorrow !<br />


INDEX DIPLOMATIC WORLD <strong>58</strong><br />

6<br />



60 TH BIRTHDAY<br />

36<br />


Ambassador<br />

of Kyrgyzstan<br />

66 H.E.<br />

BUDDHI<br />


B.U.C.<br />

PROF. DR.<br />

ANTON<br />


10<br />


Ambassador<br />

of the Republic<br />

of Moldova<br />

42<br />

SHEBA &<br />


16<br />


Former Belgian<br />

Prime Minister<br />

and Minister of<br />

Foreign Affairs<br />


Honorary<br />

Consul General<br />

of the Syrian Arab<br />

Republic to the<br />

50 78<br />

Philippines<br />



The Chaim Sheba<br />

Medical Center<br />

Bellevue Palace Berlin<br />

HERMAN<br />


President Emeritus<br />

of the<br />

European Council<br />

22<br />





52<br />



79<br />

28<br />


Ambassador<br />

of China<br />

to the<br />

European Union<br />

56<br />


Deputy Speaker<br />

of the<br />

Federation Council<br />

80<br />







Ambassador<br />

of Austria<br />

30<br />

H.E.<br />

DR. AMAL<br />



<strong>58</strong><br />

RUSSIA<br />


OF THE NEW<br />

GLOBAL<br />


82<br />

4<br />

32<br />

H.E. E. RODNEY M.<br />

PERERA<br />

Ambassador<br />

of Sri Lanka<br />

62<br />


IGUMO<br />

Magic of Pedagogy<br />

86<br />

FEMOZA<br />



AUTUMN/WINTER 2018<br />

90<br />




IN 2020 ?<br />



Cryptocurrencies<br />

fears and<br />

132 156<br />

opportunities<br />


AS PART<br />


OF PEACE<br />




IN ART<br />




MODELS:<br />



Moon Jae-in a<br />

dreamer and<br />

builder of Peace<br />

94 136 1<strong>58</strong><br />


in the Peninsula?<br />

102<br />




MALL<br />

100% DEDICATED TO<br />

140<br />


160<br />




in ornamental mural<br />

paintings of Bulgarian<br />

renaissance houses<br />

from XVIII century<br />


WORLD<br />


FORUM<br />

Lieve Van Stappen<br />

113<br />

AI WILL BE<br />


NOT OUR<br />


PROF. DR.<br />


142<br />





164<br />

116<br />











PROF. DR.<br />

146 JAN DE MAERE 166<br />





“Melody”<br />

Joint Exhibition<br />

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124<br />





KAYSER<br />

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128<br />




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While the European Union attempts to manage the<br />

Brexit crisis and Eurosceptic and nationalist forces<br />

raise their heads in certain EU countries, reinforced<br />

cooperations between members of the EU desiring<br />

to go forward in their project of solidarity are more<br />

indispensable than ever.<br />

To give a new impetus to the European project, the Benelux<br />

has an enviable pedigree, its foundations having been laid<br />

well before those of the EU. Indeed, it was in London<br />

in 1944 that Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg<br />

decided to form a Customs Union, which became an<br />

Economic Union with the Benelux Treaty of 19<strong>58</strong>.<br />

The Benelux celebrated its 60 th birthday last June 5 th<br />

in Brussels in the presence of the three Heads of State:<br />

the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, King Willem-<br />

Alexander of the Netherlands and King Philippe of<br />

Belgium. This illustrious milestone gave the opportunity to<br />

measure how this alliance had stimulated the construction<br />

of the European Union, and to conclude that it still had<br />

a beautiful future ahead of it: "Ever greener and younger<br />

Benelux".<br />

liberty and solidarity in our continent’s history: "Noblesse<br />

Oblige". It is in this context of reviving the Benelux<br />

cooperation that I would like to share some thoughts on the<br />

link between the Benelux and the European project, under<br />

the title of "Benelux, the good light of the North".<br />

These reflections will focus on three themes: the new<br />

paradigms at the origin of the European project, the<br />

pioneering role of the Benelux within this project and,<br />

finally, what enabled the Benelux to play this role, its<br />

"DNA".<br />




TWO WAYS:<br />

6<br />

This role as pioneer and laboratory of Europe is recognised<br />

by article 350 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the<br />

European Union, which allows the Benelux to derogate from<br />

certain European rules, provided that the Benelux is more<br />

advanced in the cooperation and integration in its project<br />

and that the derogation is essential for the implementation<br />

of the cross-border project.<br />

Consequently, the Benelux Union enjoys a unique position<br />

within the European Union: this is a privilege but also a<br />

responsibility towards the most remarkable project of peace,<br />

- A redefinition of what should constitute peace<br />

- The transition from nationalism to patriotism<br />

The word peace comes from the Latin “pax”, sharing a<br />

common root with the word “pacta”. For the Romans,<br />

peace proceeded from a pact, an agreement, a legal, formal<br />

and univocal convention sometimes imposed by force<br />

(pax romana). This rule, intended to make life in common<br />

possible, is translated into laws that justice will enforce.<br />

The adage "Pacta servanda sunt" highlights the imperative<br />

character of the rule of law.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Philippe of Belgium and the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.<br />

European culture being the heritage of both Greco-Roman<br />

and Judeo-Christian traditions, the idea of peace also<br />

comes from the Semitic root "Shalom" (SLM) drawn from<br />

the Hebrew verb "lehashlim" which means to complete,<br />

fulfill, reconcile. This verb implies anintersubjective,<br />

dynamic action of personnel engagement, of mutual<br />

recognition (symbol) and even of hospitality. Peace is based<br />

on the recognition that we need others to fulfill ourselves.<br />

This peace is founded on a completeness that also evokes<br />

the sweet alliance of lovers and the fecundity of their<br />

encounter.<br />

This dynamic conception of peace is thus based on a shared<br />

project, an active engagement, a respectful recognition and<br />

even a desire of the other, in his salutary otherness, his<br />

irreducible difference. The symbolics of peace, its hospitality<br />

are based on a shared conception of mankind, of a mutual<br />

recognition of everyone’s singularity, source of a natural law.<br />

The face of the other breaks the mirror of narcissism.<br />




We therefore see how the two spiritual traditions of<br />

Europe enrich our understanding of what peace should be:<br />

the rational approach commands that the rules of life in<br />

common be clearly set forth, unequivocal in terms of rights<br />

and obligations, but this formal peace cannot last without<br />

its relational counterpart, i.e. a desire for mutual respect, a<br />

recognition of my need of the other expressed in hospitality<br />

and personal engagement.<br />

These two approaches, rational and relational, are each<br />

indispensable and complementary for advancing towards an<br />

enduring and productive peace.<br />

Such was the inspiration of the Founding Fathers of Europe,<br />

who were also able to ban nationalism and — to quote<br />

Robert Schuman — "free borders of their pernicious<br />

character"; i.e. rid Europe from nationalism to the benefit<br />

of a renewed European patriotism.<br />

Indeed, nationalism, with Nazism as its most tragic<br />

avatar, illustrates the confusion of rational and<br />

relational discourses. Nationalism amounts to giving<br />

an objective character to a subjective and perfectly<br />

legitimate discourse, that of patriotism: the patriotic<br />

sentiment is a legitimate pride based on love, that of<br />

relatives, of ancestors and of what they bequeathed to us,<br />

patriotism is simultaneously subjective, singular (Ubi bene,<br />

ibi patria) and shared, without exclusivity. It is not an<br />

impersonal or rational discourse and it does not enter into<br />

competition with that of another person (each one loves<br />


King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Philippe of Belgium and the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.<br />

his relatives and admires this sentiment in others; as the fifth<br />

commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue recalls: "Honour<br />

your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the<br />

land that the Lord your God is giving you." What a beautiful<br />

summary of patriotism, linking gratitude and country !<br />

On the contrary, nationalism, which is a expression<br />

of political narcissism, maintains a rational and thus<br />

opposable discourse (therefore open to polemics)<br />

based on exclusivity and allegedly superior qualities, all<br />

possibly substantiated by pseudo-scientific argumentation.<br />

Nationalism often has as an economic corollary:<br />

protectionism or even autarchy; the project of autarchy is<br />

to refuse to depend on others and, on a strategic level, to<br />

prepare for war.<br />

in 1948, Economic Union in 19<strong>58</strong>) in order to arrive at<br />

politics (Benelux Union in 2008). The Fathers of Europe<br />

would follow precisely the same path beginning with the<br />

CECA and the Common Market.<br />

As a consequence of these paradigm changes, Europe, cured of<br />

nationalism, can no longer become an empire; its vocation is to<br />

be a house, not a fortress. In ancient Greek, a house is called<br />

Oikos, from which derive the terms economy and ecology. This<br />

root evokes a project of hospitality, where resources are placed<br />

at the service of a humanist and welcoming society. A market<br />

economy, but not a market society.<br />




8<br />

Thus, trade, if it is equitable, can be a factor of peace<br />

because, by exchanging with others, I recognise their<br />

utility, their talents; I need them (lehashlim). The theory<br />

of comparative advantage, as explained by the British<br />

economist David Ricardo in the early 19 th century, justified<br />

and inspired England's policy of free trade.<br />

It is because they understood this pacifying role of trade<br />

(“le doux commerce” according to Montesquieu: l'effet<br />

naturel du commerce est de porter à la paix (Montesquieu,<br />

De l'esprit des lois, 17<strong>58</strong>)) that the founders of the Benelux<br />

started out from economics (Benelux Customs Union<br />

The project of a free trade zone and customs<br />

union was negotiated during <strong>World</strong> War II by the Belgian,<br />

Dutch and Luxembourg governments in exile. It was based<br />

on a vision of complementarity, of solidarity between the<br />

states of Europe. While Europe was again being torn apart<br />

by the claws of exacerbated nationalism, the three Ministers<br />

of Foreign Affairs Spaak, van Kleffens and Bech, compelled<br />

their finance and agriculture experts to focus on the long<br />

term and to surpass the logic of zero-sum games and old<br />

rivalries. The project of a Benelux Custom Union was<br />

launched in 1944 and came into being in 1948.



FORGED.<br />

Starting from economics, (Treaty of Benelux Economic<br />

Union in 19<strong>58</strong>) to arrive at politics, the new treaty of Benelux<br />

Union was signed in 2008, to enter into force on 1 January<br />

2012, providing for intensified cross border cooperation<br />

between the three countries in the following fields:<br />

· Internal market and Economy<br />

· Security and Society<br />

· Digitalization and Durability as two core-binding factors<br />

Let us recall a few figures: with 28.5 million inhabitants<br />

(5.6%) and an average GDP of 36,000 €/year (7.9%), the<br />

Benelux is the 5 th largest European economic power. It<br />

must be stressed that the complementarity between the<br />

three countries is not static, we are not dealing with puzzle<br />

pieces that fit together perfectly, but rather with projects for<br />

creating cross-border value chains, based on comparative<br />

advantage. This complementarity is also open: the Benelux<br />

cooperates intensively for now 10 years with the Land<br />

Nordrhein Westfalen and more and more with the French<br />

regions of Hauts de France and Grand Est.<br />

Benelux has thus been the pioneer of "an ever-closer union<br />

among the peoples of Europe", to cite the preamble of the<br />

Treaty of Rome. From the very start the Benelux defended<br />

this position in the face of protectionist or nationalist<br />

temptations; at Schengen in 1985, the Benelux signed with<br />

France and Germany an agreement that would gradually<br />

be extended to virtually all of Europe, permitting the<br />

free movement of persons and thus reinforcing European<br />

citizenship and patriotism.<br />



That of transcending zero-sum games; this is also called<br />

creativity, imagination, the rejection of sterile rivalries, as<br />

attested by the prosperity and the rich artistic heritage of<br />

the 17 provinces. Our tradition is innovation.<br />

Tolerance, with a tradition of political asylum:<br />

multilingualism encourages empathy; tolerance must not be<br />

passive, but rather an attitude of respect towards the others<br />

(lehashlim).<br />

Pragmatism: no cults of personality or fanatical nationalism;<br />

humanity (and humor) takes precedence over ideology.<br />

Patience: in these regions where nature is not overly<br />

Thomas Antoine<br />

generous, nothing is built but in the long term; let us for<br />

example admire how the Dutch reclaimed their country<br />

from the sea!<br />

Trade, as the fair exchange between goods and people;<br />

the XVII Provinces were free traders, following England's<br />

example and Montesquieu’s thought.<br />

A profound determination: "One need not to hope in order<br />

to undertake, nor to succeed in order to persevere". The<br />

motto of William de Nassau reflects the mentality of the<br />

peoples of the Benelux.<br />

These virtues are at the service of a peaceful ideal, of<br />

a prudent yet determined humanism, and they express<br />

themselves via a culture of dialogue. This lays the field for<br />

an intense cross border cooperation.<br />

Traditionally, there has been no nationalism in the Benelux,<br />

but instead loyal patriotisms, which sometimes take a<br />

regional form.<br />

Today, the Benelux, in a difficult European context, is<br />

working on concrete projects for combating Euroscepticism<br />

and hostility to the EU, of which Brexit is one regrettable<br />

illustration. In this challenging period, the Benelux must<br />

preserve its relevance by remaining true to its vocation.<br />

Nomen est omen, each name bears a destiny, "Benelux" can<br />

evoke a "good light", this gentle light of the North so highly<br />

valued by artists, because it illuminates without blinding; it<br />

leads us to the mystery of the human, as do the paintings<br />

of Rembrandt or Vermeer.<br />

In conclusion, I hope that the Benelux, conscious of<br />

its humanist heritage and its responsibilities, will continue<br />

to illuminate the path for Europe.<br />

Thomas Antoine<br />

Secretary General of the Benelux Union<br />









The Benelux Union is celebrating its 60 th anniversary, at<br />

the same moment the ‘Foundation BeNeLux-University'<br />

(in Dutch: ‘BeNeLux-Universitair Centrum’ or ‘B.U.C.’)<br />

celebrates its 30 th anniversary. In the Foundation’s coat of<br />

arms — next to its name and the description of ‘BeNeLux<br />

Study Center’ — a representation can be found of ‘Psyche’<br />

and of the ‘Book of Wisdom’, with earthly and heavenly<br />

blue colors according to its artistic design. This is also<br />

referring to the harmony between mind, feelings and<br />

emotions necessary in all human life and work.<br />

This coat of arms also contains the words Scientiae et<br />

Artibus: ‘For Science and Arts’. <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> sat<br />

together with Professor Dr. Anton van der Geld, Founder<br />

and President of the Foundation BeNeLux-University, and<br />

invited him to tell us the story of his crucial Foundation.<br />

“I have always had a deep interest in Belgium, as I<br />

originate from and am still living in the South of the<br />

Netherlands, around ’s-Hertogenbosch. I studied at the<br />

Universities of Utrecht, Tilburg and Leuven, completing<br />

three studies.<br />

So I have always had a deep interest in the Benelux<br />

cooperation and then the idea rose to give it a special<br />

impulse by founding an independent institute to promote<br />

cultural, educational and scientific collaboration. Several<br />

contacts and conversations contributed to my idea of<br />

a university center. I discussed with the first Minister-<br />

President of Flanders (after the first Belgian state reform)<br />

Dr. Gaston Geens, who I knew well, and with Brussels<br />

‘Secretary of State’ Dr. Vic Anciaux, who was also a<br />

medical professional. In the Netherlands I often discussed<br />

my ideas with Professor Piet Steenkamp, President of<br />

the Senate, and with the Dutch Ambassador to the USA,<br />

residing in Washington DC. And this was the beginning of<br />

the Foundation BeNeLux-University for education, science,<br />

culture and humanity in Europe. And with these advisers<br />

the Foundation was safe.<br />

10<br />

In the eighties I was appointed at the University of<br />

Leuven. I have always been deeply interested in the<br />

cooperation between Belgium and the Netherlands, and<br />

automatically also Luxembourg. I also participated in a<br />

few culture and art societies. In Leuven this involvement<br />

became only stronger. During these years I also met the<br />

eminent Professor Mark Eyskens, still Minister of Foreign<br />

Affairs around that time. We were both professor with a<br />

special status, being only one day a week at the University<br />

of Leuven, and there we further strengthened our<br />

acquaintance by a continuous collaboration and<br />

friendship.<br />

Prof. Dr. Anton van der Geld

Ambassador H.E. Chris Hoornaert (B), Prof. Dr. Anton van der Geld, Ambassador H.E. Maryem van den Heuvel (NL), Prins Charles Adrien de Merode,<br />

Ambassador H.E. Jean-Marc Hoscheit (Lux).<br />

Also my wife, Cily Nouwens was very collaborative in this<br />

process and active inside the Foundation. In addition, our<br />

three children, Pieter, Lucienne and Christian, have been<br />

active as volunteers for the Foundation from the start and<br />

still are actively participating on a voluntary basis. My son<br />

Pieter, a dentist and psychologist, is my intended successor<br />

as President of the Board of the Foundation.<br />

After the death of Cily we have founded and named<br />

a foundation in remembrance of her: the ‘Foundation<br />

Cily van der Geld-Nouwens Fund’ advancing the (re)<br />

humanization of society (in Dutch: ‘Stichting Cily van<br />

der Geld-Nouwens Fonds’). Further information on this<br />

foundation can be found on the website of the Foundation<br />

BeNeLux-University (note of <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>: the<br />

website is stated at the end of the Professor’s statement).<br />

Thus we intended to give a special and concrete impulse to<br />

the cooperation and friendship between the three Benelux<br />

countries: not just doing something, but establishing a<br />

content and focusing on a practical contribution. Two<br />

pillars were therefore established. The first pillar was<br />

social-cultural and focused on humanity: we planned<br />

to organize meetings and symposia, in order to bring<br />

different societies from the three countries together. The<br />

second pillar was educational and academic: we planned<br />

to target specific groups in the Benelux: the group of<br />

medical professionals, the group of police and juridical<br />

professionals and the group of management administrators,<br />

teachers and policy advisors. Our related intention and<br />

goal was to provide these groups of professionals in<br />

Foundation BeNeLux-University with complementary,<br />

common trainings and educations and promotion of<br />

expertise.<br />

So we created three Course Locations: we started at the<br />

University of Antwerp, the University of Eindhoven and the<br />

University — still a Center at that time — of Luxembourg.<br />

The most remarkable aspect of our trainings was bringing<br />

together, in correspondence with the subject of the training,<br />

the specialists on this specific subject from the Netherlands<br />

and Belgium in a study group. They received education<br />

and formation on a specific subject, part-time during one<br />

or more years. In this way we created rapprochement and<br />

cooperation in the Benelux through the collaboration of<br />

these groups of professionals in a specific field.<br />

These courses worked indeed very well in our view: we<br />

organized even Master courses. In the course rooms<br />

professionals from Belgium and the Netherlands were sitting<br />

next to each other. So we created Benelux cooperation and<br />

friendship amongst these professionals as a sustainable<br />


approchement at the basis. It is remarkable how regularly<br />

and how intensively former course participants have found<br />

in this way the path towards more professional cooperation<br />

and also friendship in the Benelux countries.<br />

Our efforts in the Benelux did not go unnoticed. Contacts<br />

also arose with the Royal Families of Belgium and the<br />

Netherlands. At the official visit of the incoming Crown<br />

Prince Filip, the Governor of North Brabant, Mr. Frank<br />

Houben, asked me to give a speech to Prince Filip on the<br />

occasion of his acceptance of the title of new Duke of<br />

Brabant.<br />

In 2006, Princess Astrid of Belgium presented together<br />

with me the ‘BeNeLux-Europe Prize’ (In Dutch: BeNeLux-<br />

Europa Prijs) to Honorary Ministers Jacques Santer and<br />

Bernard Bot. In 2005 I presented the ‘BeNeLux-Europe<br />

Prize’ to Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, member of<br />

the Dutch Royal Family, together with our Counselor<br />

the Belgian Prince Charles-Louis de Merode. Prof. Pieter<br />

van Vollenhoven also joined our Foundation as a Patron,<br />

followed a few years later by Princess Lea of ​Belgium as<br />

Patroness. Count Herman Van Rompuy is also Patron of<br />

the Foundation BeNeLux-University.<br />

Awarding the ‘BeNeLux-Europe Prize’ has undeniably<br />

become an important event. The Prize is awarded to<br />

persons or institutions that have performed exceptionally<br />

well for Benelux cooperation and Benelux friendship. This<br />

year we presented the Prize in the City Hall of Eindhoven<br />

to the Belgian Ambassador H.E. Chris Hoornaert, the<br />

Dutch Ambassador H.E. Maryem van den Heuvel and the<br />

Luxembourg Ambassador H.E. Jean-Marc Hoscheit.<br />

Previous recipients of this Prize were amongst others<br />

Jean-Claude Juncker, Herman Van Rompuy, Pieter<br />

van Vollenhoven, Jan Peter Balkenende, Guy Verhofstadt,<br />

Willem van Eekelen, Marianne Thyssen, Maria van der<br />

Hoeven, Lydie Polfer, Neelie Kroes, Herman De Croo,<br />

Frits Korthals Altes, Viviane Reding, Bernard Wientjes,<br />

Piet Hein Donner, Kris Peeters, Frans Timmermans.<br />

In the City Hall of Eindhoven Dutch and Belgian Justice<br />

and Police professionals received this year also their<br />

postgraduate certificate of our Foundation BeNeLux Study<br />

Center. During an entire year they followed the same<br />

courses and worked closely together in the course rooms.<br />

And then you see what the final results are, then you see<br />

the output. These courses had truly great consequences in<br />

practice.<br />

12<br />

Former Premiers Mark Eyskens (B) and Jan Peter Balkenende (NL) within the B.U.C.

Senator Andre Postema, Minister of State Mark Eyskens, Barbara Dietrich, CEO <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>, Consul Monique De Decker-Deprez,<br />

Prof. Dr. Anton van der Geld, Former Premier Jan Peter Balkenende, Ambassador H.E. Chris Hoornaert (B), Prins Charles Adrien de Merode,<br />

Ambassador H.E. Jean-Marc Hoscheit (Lux).<br />

When we just started, there was actually little direct<br />

and personal contact between the Police and Justice<br />

professionals from the Netherlands and those from Belgium.<br />

I can still remember the time when the Attorney General of<br />

Antwerp had almost no personal contact with the Attorney<br />

General in ’s-Hertogenbosch. In this perspective, we have<br />

been collaborative. In recent years smooth cooperation<br />

between the Police and Justice professionals in the<br />

Netherlands and in Belgium is perceived as normal, but at<br />

the beginning of the Foundation BeNeLux-University this<br />

was not always the case.<br />

Let us go back to the beginning of our Foundation: the<br />

organization and teaching of Post-graduate and Master<br />

classes. We have organized many Master courses, according<br />

to the Anglo-Saxon system, in collaboration with several<br />

American and British Universities, until the moment the<br />

Universities in the Benelux picked up these Master’s Degree<br />

programs after the Bologna Declaration. We therefore<br />

decided to focus on other forms of Post-graduate education<br />

and on a few practice-based chairs.<br />

We were able to make many people enthusiastic, also<br />

Minister of State Mark Eyskens, Prince Charles-Louis<br />

de Merode, former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and<br />

other prominent persons. The Foundation has also evolved in<br />

a very personal way, because it has no external funding.<br />

We are (working) independent, self-supporting and partly pro<br />

deo. We only receive humble revenues from the courses, and<br />

we are keeping these course fees intentionally low. It is more<br />

important to bring various professionals together to help<br />

them advance in their area of expertise than to make profit.<br />

We were also able to establish in the Foundation BeNeLux-<br />

University Center a pleasant and work friendly context, in<br />

which at a certain time more than seventy professors from<br />

the Benelux were welcomed. They come regularly to us for<br />

teaching a specific course and are enjoying the absence of<br />

possible tensions and the presence of a more democratic<br />

model.<br />

They all chose for a collegial community with the President<br />

of the Foundation as team leader. From there I have always<br />

been confronted with a kind of difficulty: I am not only<br />

the President of the Board of the Foundation, but also in a<br />

way the Rector. The affiliated professors and participants<br />

expressed the wish to combine these functions. This makes<br />

it possible for them to have a personal and direct line with<br />

the Foundation. This combination of two functions creates<br />

a heavy workload.<br />


14<br />

Our Foundation has various activities in the three countries,<br />

which have also evolved over the years. In this way the<br />

accents have been shifted over time. The creation and<br />

installation of a special Chair for ‘Society and Culture’ in<br />

the Benelux countries played an important role in this.<br />

I founded this Chair in 1994 and offered it to the Benelux<br />

Parliament, meeting in the ‘Ridderzaal’ (Knights Hall) in<br />

The Hague. It is a partnership between our Foundation and<br />

the Benelux Parliament. Minister of State Mark Eyskens is<br />

the main titular. The chair is installed separately in the three<br />

countries, likewise in Luxembourg during the ceremony<br />

there in 1995.<br />

Since many years, courses for doctors are being held<br />

in Luxembourg to specialize further in the fields of<br />

Gerontology and Alzheimer. Therefore a special agreement<br />

has been concluded between the Luxembourg Government<br />

and our Foundation. In Luxembourg, we were allowed to<br />

play a constructive role, helping the Center to evolve into a<br />

full-scale University, with the assistance of the University<br />

of Trier.<br />

We organized a beautiful event at this occasion, in the<br />

presence of the Government of Luxembourg and with a<br />

large media attention. At this occasion we awarded also<br />

the distinction of the BeNeLux-Europe Prize to the Prime<br />

Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the<br />

Minister of Education, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, and the<br />

Minister of Social Security, Marie-Josée Jacobs. These<br />

courses in Luxembourg are still running. We have, as<br />

previously said, an agreement with the Luxembourg State,<br />

with two Ministers: they organize the administration and<br />

the finances, which is for us welcome, because we don’t<br />

have a large staff. In Belgium and the Netherlands we have<br />

been focusing on the fields of Police, Justice and Public<br />

Administration, over the past years.<br />

In Belgium, there was till recently a course on<br />

psychotherapy, for the further training of doctors and<br />

psychologists. There is also a Chair for ‘Man and Labor’.<br />

After a short interruption, I am for the Foundation strongly<br />

active again in the fields of ‘people, labor and sustainability’.<br />

We still have many ideas and plans. There is also the Chair<br />

for ‘Army and Society’.<br />

Our Chairs are strongly focusing on the practice. Therefore<br />

we are describing these Chairs also as practice chairs, in<br />

contrast to the universities with the capacities to start large<br />

and fundamental researches. This is not possible for us:<br />

as a study center, we are focusing on the research and the<br />

development of the practice, of professional fields.<br />

In practice, many professionals and supervisors scarcely<br />

come to the human aspects. How to act in the light of<br />

human dignity, is the central question. Precisely in this time,<br />

this is an important aspect. The ‘B.U.C.’ offers trainings<br />

and education to 'people counselors' who work in various<br />

locations in the Benelux. ‘People counseling’ (coaching) is<br />

a separate course in which good communication plays an<br />

essential role. This course combines applied humanities,<br />

cultural knowledge and human values.<br />

Modern techniques and science lift our society to an even<br />

higher level: the intervention in life becomes reality and<br />

the 'makeable' man comes into view. That sounds maybe<br />

nice, but are we on the way to a reality in which man can<br />

sometimes no longer recognize himself? There is a growing<br />

need for attention for the human aspect in work and<br />

development, in life and in death. It is an appreciation for<br />

diversity in civilizations.<br />

There we intend to make a considerable contribution<br />

to the well-being of the society in the Benelux, through<br />

‘imaginative power and renewal’ quoting the motto of<br />

the Foundation BeNeLux-University or ‘B.U.C.’ and<br />

my personal motto also. The ‘B.U.C.’ has four pillars:<br />

permanent education is the first pillar, helping to educate<br />

people personally and in a continuous way. The other<br />

three pillars are related to a certain inspiration from out<br />

of which we can achieve this education: science, culture<br />

and humanity. We intend to distinguish ourselves by the<br />

inspiration coming from these three pillars, in order to<br />

influence society and people positively and take the best<br />

decision about our actions and aspirations.<br />

Working from this idea a truly imaginative power can be<br />

built up, which allows us to achieve renewal in many fields.<br />

The society is rapidly changing and there are various new<br />

problems. Now it is the challenge to focus our attention on<br />

these changes and problems and find humane solutions.<br />

We have to renew society in many fields. And therefore<br />

we need imaginative power that will bring the necessary<br />

renewal leading to even stronger imaginative power in<br />

practice: both are needed and are inseparably connected in<br />

my view. This philosophy is at the heart of the Foundation<br />


Monique De Decker-Deprez, Barbara Dietrich and Prof. Dr. Anton van der Geld<br />

The Foundation’s mission is about the human values of<br />

humanity, well-being, love and happiness, giving priority to<br />

cultural optimism. In this context, several inspiring books<br />

have been published by Prof. Anton van der Geld: 'Your life<br />

is yours', 'Balance in our life', 'Your lifestyle from heart and<br />

soul'. At the moment he is working on his 10 th book about<br />

'Inspiration and the Art of Living'. Health, well-being and<br />

happiness in life are of utmost importance to everyone.<br />

Prof. Dr. Anton van der Geld received three Royal Honors<br />

in the Benelux in recognition of his meritorious services:<br />

Great Officer in the Leopold Order (Belgium), Knight in<br />

the Dutch Lion (the Netherlands) and Commander in the<br />

Oak Crown (Luxembourg).<br />

The non-profit organization ‘BeNeLux-Universitair<br />

Centrum’ (‘B.U.C.’) or ‘Foundation BeNeLux-University’<br />

was established in 1988. The Foundation intends to help<br />

improving the quality of society in the Benelux, in the<br />

perspective of the European integration.<br />

The Foundation is independent, self-supporting and<br />

idealistic in nature and creates through its institutions a<br />

framework for cooperation in the Benelux, reflected also<br />

in its organization.<br />

Founding President is Prof. Dr. Anton van der Geld;<br />

Special Counsels to the Foundation are the Ambassador<br />

of Belgium H.E. Chris Hoornaert, the Ambassador of<br />

Luxembourg H.E. Jean-Marc Hoscheit, Minister of State<br />

Mark Eyskens, Prince Charles-Louis de Merode and<br />

Minister of State Jaime Saleh.<br />

Coordinator of the College of Laureates is former Dutch<br />

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. Lord Protectors<br />

are Count Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of<br />

the European Council, and Prof. Pieter van Vollenhoven,<br />

Member of the Dutch Royal family.<br />

Lady Protector is H.R.H. Princess Lea of Belgium.<br />

President of the ‘BeNeLux Europe Circle’ is Minister<br />

of State Prof. Mark Eyskens for Belgium and former<br />

Minister Dr. Willem van Eekelen for the Netherlands;<br />

Vice President of the Circle for the Netherlands is<br />

Henk Morsink, Honorary Adjutant-General to the<br />

King of the Netherlands, and for Belgium Honorary<br />

Consul of Sri Lanka Monique De Decker-Deprez.<br />

www.benelux-universitair-centrum.org<br />









In fact the 60th birthday of BENELUX could be fake news.<br />

Actually the BENELUX is much older. The idea of creating<br />

a bond started already at the end of the Second <strong>World</strong> War<br />

in London when the three governments of Belgium, the<br />

Netherlands and Luxemburg, were in exile in London and<br />

realized that a new form of cooperation and an intense<br />

relationship starting from an economic and commercial<br />

union would be necessary to protect the interests of the<br />

three countries. But also financially it could be a tool to<br />

coordinate the fluctuations of the rates of exchange of<br />

the involved currencies. These ideas were in a later phase<br />

implemented in European treaties and today we could state<br />

that the BENELUX started as an experimental lab for the<br />

later integration of the European Union. The BENELUX<br />

was an incubator for what later happened. The most<br />

important treaty related to the BENELUX celebrated its<br />

60th anniversary a few weeks ago in Brussels.<br />



During this period European Summits were organised<br />

with only 12 member states: it was in the years just before<br />

and after the Cold War. Ministers knew each other in a<br />

very intimate way: we phoned each other in a direct way,<br />

before smartphones existed and we met on a regular basis<br />

face-to-face, formally but also informal. Sometimes in<br />

beautiful castles and other enclosed environments where<br />

confidentiality was the rule. These first confidential meetings<br />

were called the gimmick meetings, always following the<br />

Chatham House Rule, where the presence of the participants<br />

was not disclosed. Journalists were far away. We succeeded<br />

in breakthrough compromises that were at the end essential<br />

for the future development of the European Union.<br />

16<br />

As far as the BENELUX University Center (B.U.C.) is<br />

concerned: this is a rather old idea. It stems from the<br />

Netherlands and was created by Professor van der Geld<br />

who is a very dynamic man. He is in fact a psychologist and<br />

involved in coaching people and organizations. His idea was<br />

to have the BENELUX idea imbedded in university circles,<br />

to make professors of the three countries disperse their<br />

ideas to students of the other countries. I have an important<br />

chair in the B.U.C. and from time to time I am invited in the<br />

Netherlands, Belgium or in Luxembourg to explain the state<br />

and activities of the BENELUX. When I was a minister —<br />

I have been active in different Belgian governments for 16<br />

years — I was always impressed by the coherence and the<br />

creativity of the BENELUX.<br />

Mark Eyskens

Barbara Dietrich and Mark Eyskens<br />

In my career I have known several Presidents of the<br />

European Commission, but the most creative, impressive and<br />

daring one was Jacques Delors. He was President during 10<br />

years. He just had one handicap: his English was not good,<br />

so he kept speaking French, which was still a dominating<br />

language in diplomatic Europe. Arriving at meetings he<br />

was always carrying a small notebook in his pocket. While<br />

opening it he said: ‘Last night I couldn’t sleep very well<br />

but I came up with an idea’, proposing either a solution<br />

for a problem, or new initiatives, starting the discussion. I<br />

remember a crucial meeting on the Treaty of Maastricht in<br />

Ireland, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We were completely<br />

blocked by the attitude of the British, Margaret Thatcher<br />

and her Minister of Foreign Affairs Douglas Hurt being<br />

absolutely opposed to the transfer of political sovereignty<br />

to the ‘bureaucrats in Brussels’. Jacques Delors said: ‘When<br />

I was a young student I got a lecture on the social doctrine<br />

of the Catholic Church.’ When he was young, Delors had<br />

been a syndicate militant in the Christian Union, studying<br />

the social doctrine of the Catholic Church and a crucial<br />

concept in that doctrine is subsidiarity. For the Catholics it<br />

related to the Catholic school system. The Catholics wanted<br />

to protect their schools and declared that ‘Schools have<br />

to be independent, totally autonomous, except when they<br />

are unable to realize things by themselves: at that moment<br />

government could intervene’. This concept limited the<br />

intervention of the government.<br />

Can we perhaps apply the concept of subsidiarity to Europe?<br />

Nations continue to do what they can do, but as soon as<br />

they can’t — because we are becoming more and more<br />

interdependent — then they call on a higher level: and that<br />

will be the European Commission, the European Council<br />

or the European Institutions. Ms Thatcher replied she<br />

would consider this. And after a break in the negotiation<br />

process she said: ‘I can live with that’. The concept of<br />

subsidiarity became part of the Treaty of Maastricht and a<br />

key to the solution. Great Britain remained in the European<br />

boat although their interpretation of subsidiarity was a<br />

different from ours. For us subsidiarity meant that as<br />

many competences as possible should be transferred to a<br />

higher level. For the British it was the contrary: to keep the<br />

maximum of competences at the lower level of the national<br />

states. Today all this is questioned and perhaps over with the<br />

Brexit.<br />



I believe that more than ever the BENELUX should play<br />

the role of a lab of ideas and a broker of compromises as it<br />

was the case in the past. Given the present situation, which<br />

is extremely difficult, I think the three BENELUX countries<br />

could try to build a solid bridge between the two most<br />

important countries in the Union: France and Germany. The<br />

relation between the two major players depends often upon<br />

the electoral success in both countries. The government of<br />

Ms Merkel is weakened today. The BENELUX has a proven<br />

record to propose solutions.<br />

Yesterday morning I had a meeting with Manfred Weber,<br />

president of the Group of the EPP in the European<br />

Parliament. And he explained the intricacies of the<br />

European attitude of the different political parties in<br />

Germany. And we had the same problems in the<br />

BENELUX: in the Netherlands the Christian Democrats<br />

are less European minded than we are in Belgium and<br />

in Flanders. But this could be also a kind of enrichment<br />

by comparing our positions and trying to find a common<br />

denominator. So we have several problems in Europe today<br />

starting with a lack of leadership. The time of Adenauer<br />

and Robert Schuman is the past. But I am convinced that<br />

French and German leaders supported by the ideas of the<br />

BENELUX, could propose something intelligent resulting<br />

in a new model of coherence and consensus within the<br />

European Union.<br />

The migration problem is an extremely complex problem.<br />

We have to face three categories of immigration. First the<br />

war refugees: they have to be protected by article 3 of the<br />

European Treaty of Human Rights and they can get asylum<br />

when they fulfill well defined conditions. We have to share<br />

this responsibility. The number of asylum seekers has<br />

decreased in a spectacular way: in two years it has decreased<br />

by more than 40% which we should be able to control.<br />

Secondly we are confronted with the economic refugees.<br />

How to make the difference between an economic and a<br />

political refugee? What about ethics and morality? When<br />

you are starving in your country why not immigrate to our<br />

wealthy nations? In parallel politicians should explain to the<br />

public that the European demography is going down in a<br />

rapid way, particularly in Germany.<br />

At the end of this century, we will be confronted in Europe<br />

with a demographic deficit of minus 50 million people due<br />

to the phenomenon of the aging of the population — which<br />

is a very expensive burden because of health services —<br />

and the lack of young people. The youth are needed for<br />

the labor market and to balance our social security. Birth<br />

rates in Europe have fallen down, so we need young people<br />

coming from outside Europe and organize this influx. We<br />

need a selective policy of immigration, capable to integrate,<br />

responding to vacant jobs on the labor market.<br />

Without the demagogy of populism. The BENELUX could<br />

play a moderating role by practicing political pedagogy,<br />

explaining to the population what the situation is and what<br />

the long term problems are.<br />

18<br />

I remember that Foreign Ministers of Eastern European<br />

countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and even<br />

Hungary would interrogate me: ‘How does the BENELUX<br />

work? Could we do the same in the Eastern part of Europe?’<br />

In result the VISEGRAD countries were founded similar to<br />

the BENELUX.<br />

Secondly, the enormous challenge of immigration could<br />

completely destabilize the European Union if each country<br />

is applying its own measures in order to protect its own<br />

borders which leads to a negative disruption of the European<br />

Union. In the BENELUX we have an extensive experience<br />

of migration. After WWII Belgium attracted a lot of Italians<br />

and Turks, as miners. The Italians moved in general to<br />

Wallonia and the Turks to the Province of Limburg. Recently<br />

during the Turkish elections many of these very well<br />

integrated Turks in Limburg were voting for Erdogan, but<br />

also for the opposition, which led to campaign fights in the<br />

streets of Hasselt and other villages in Limburg.<br />

The problem of a democracy is that democracies function<br />

on a short term basis with elections every four to five years.<br />

On the other hand long term problems have an horizon<br />

of 20/25 years. Take the climate: we urgently have to take<br />

measures in order to reduce the warming of the planet for<br />

the next decades. In general voters vote for the short term.<br />

And politicians want to be re-elected. We have dysfunctions<br />

of democracy due to the friction or conflict between short<br />

term and long term problems and solutions, the revolution<br />

of digitalization and the fact that everyone is active and<br />

online all the time. We are evolving towards a formula of<br />

government led by a permanent opinion poll. All political<br />

parties test public opinion every day. When a measure<br />

is unpopular it is bound not to happen and in a way this<br />

weakens democracy. I hear the stories and I read in writings<br />

that strong regimes with authoritarian governments and<br />

leaders are more and more appreciated. In Italy, some are<br />

calling back the figure of ‘Il Duce’ Mussolini. President Putin<br />

has also many sympathies.

Mark Eyskens<br />

I have already proposed to modify our voting system. I am a<br />

great defender of the Belgian obligatory voting system. Take<br />

for instance the case of Donald Trump in the United States:<br />

he has been elected by 26% of the potential American voters<br />

because 48% didn’t show up. The Brexit was only approved<br />

by 36% of the potential British voters because 30% didn’t<br />

go and cast their vote. So these are minorities, overrunning<br />

and overturning completely the economic mechanism and<br />

political situation. We are obliged to go and vote as in<br />

Greece and Luxembourg.<br />

Secondly, we only have one vote: one man or woman, one<br />

vote. In many countries you have many political parties,<br />

which results in a great volatility on the political market<br />

and a big and intense competition between parties. And<br />

people change. In the past 20/30 years children voted<br />

like their parents for the same political parties. But that<br />

situation has changed. In Brussels, for federal elections you<br />

have approximately 13 different parties with hundreds of<br />

candidates and thousands of focus points in their electoral<br />

programs. But you have only one vote to decide.<br />

At the end you vote for one party and when that party steps<br />

in the government with at least two or three other parties we<br />

create a coalition government with four parties. This means<br />

the party you voted for, can only realize a smaller part of<br />

its program, which could frustrate the voter. The party<br />

cannot apply entirely what they promised because they are<br />

in a government with other parties. I am in favor of what I<br />

call ‘point voting’. Don’t give one vote to each voter, but for<br />

instance ten or twenty votes. And he could spread his votes<br />

like he or she wants for different candidates and different<br />

parties.The voter, by spreading his votes, is constructing<br />

the coalition and weakening the power of the presidents<br />

of political parties. I received a lot of criticism and one of<br />

the major criticisms was that technically this would be very<br />

difficult to organize. But in times of computerization and<br />

digitalization, I think that this should be feasible. We have to<br />

(re-)think this election case over and the BENELUX could<br />

become a lab to propose an improved alternative of our<br />

democracy.<br />



During Cold War, we lived in a bipolar world with two<br />

blocks. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold<br />

War without using arms was almost a miracle in history.<br />

Thanks to courageous leaders as Gorbachev, Mitterand,<br />

Thatcher and George Bush Sr. After 1989 the world became<br />

multipolar with fewer large countries: the United States,<br />

China, Japan, the European Union and Russia dominating<br />

the field. Today there is disorder and chaos in international<br />


20<br />

relations where alliances are changing according to the<br />

topic of the day, One could speak about an ‘a-polar’ world,<br />

without a significant polarity. Due to the presidency of<br />

Donald Trump and his behaviour the United States are<br />

politically weakened. They are no longer taken seriously.<br />

Whereas China is making an enormous effort, although<br />

they have some economic problems and although — once<br />

you travel through China and you go into the villages — it<br />

is still a bit of a developing country. But in cities welfare<br />

is increasing and in parallel the development of digital<br />

industries is widespread. This will have an economic impact<br />

on other continents and industries. The car industry in<br />

Europe, particularly the German car industry, has been<br />

strongly hit by Dieselgate scandal that will cost a fortune.<br />

Volkswagen has to pay one billion euro. Meanwhile the<br />

technological and market shift from gas engines to electrical<br />

cars is happening today. The Chinese have decided to ban<br />

all their gasoil driven cars by the latest in 2030 and replace<br />

them by electrical cars. They are now already manufacturing<br />

electrical cars for export to Europe at an extremely<br />

reasonable price: 15 000 euro for a fully electronical car.<br />

This will become a deadly competition for the European car<br />

makers.<br />

The Belt and Road Initiative is another major Chinese<br />

project, rebuilding the Silk Road of the Middle Ages, and<br />

bridging China to Europe. In this context China has already<br />

acquired big stakes in the harbour of Piraeus/Athens and is<br />

building a railway from Peking and Shanghai to Europe with<br />

a huge impact on costs. Costs will decrease and be lower<br />

than maritime costs. The train connection will go to the sea<br />

ports of Northern Europe: Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg,<br />

Rostov, Gdansk, increasing competition. We are living in a<br />

disruptive world and looking at the global map, Europe is<br />

a small peninsula hanging on the Eurasian continent up to<br />

Siberia and Vladivostok.<br />

With Russia we have to be more constructive. We should<br />

also have the moral courage to imagine if we were in the<br />

same situation as the Russians after the end of the Cold<br />

War: the explosion of the Soviet Union and the implosion<br />

of Communism. Russia lost their ideology and lost 12<br />

republics, evolving from provinces in the Soviet Union to<br />

independent countries. For me the annexation of the Crimea<br />

is a footnote and knowing that the Crimea was given to<br />

Ukraine when it was still a province of the Soviet Union<br />

under Khrushchev. The referendum in the Crimea gave a<br />

majority of 95% in favor of the annexation by Russia. I don’t<br />

believe that sanctions are efficient and are not worthwhile.<br />

The Russians and President Putin today and all his<br />

predecessors, beginning with Gorbachev have a history of<br />

feeling cheated by the Western countries, the United States<br />

and Europe. In 1989-1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall,<br />

the Western Ministers, obtained from Gorbachev that he<br />

accepted the reunification of both Germanies, becoming<br />

a full member of the European Union. The Americans<br />

added that Germany should also become a member of<br />

NATO. For Gorbachev this was a bridge too far. "We are<br />

now dismantling the Warsaw Pact. You should do the<br />

same with NATO and you should at least neutralize a<br />

reunified Germany within NATO: so no American basis, no<br />

nuclear weapons on the territory of the big Germany". The<br />

European countries were divided. But Bush Sr said: ‘No, that<br />

is impossible, that we cannot accept.’ Helmut Kohl took also<br />

a very strong position: 'If the price for the reunification of<br />

my country is that my country should become neutral, then<br />

I refuse reunification.' President Bush and his Minister of<br />

Foreign Affairs Jimmy Baker, a very intelligent man, would<br />

solve the situation with Gorbachev face-to-face proposing<br />

a re-election scheme with Gorbachev, at that moment the<br />

first elected President of Russia. By influencing the supply<br />

and demand and subsequently the market prices of oil in<br />

collaboration with the oil producing countries in the Middle<br />

East, which also had a parallel impact on the Russian gas<br />

prices. Enabling Russia to create income by augmenting<br />

gas prices, Gorbachev would be able to invest, increase<br />

employment rates, build new companies, and finally be<br />

re-elected. In this scheme unified Germany would become<br />

a full member of NATO again.The first months the oil<br />

prices remained stable and on a rising level. But as from<br />

the fourth month oil prices started to decrease and even<br />

collapsing within six months going against Gorbachev’s<br />

naive reasoning. At that moment confidence in the Western<br />

partners was shattered and anti-American feelings were<br />

nurtured. It is difficult for Russia to trust Americans. That<br />

lack of trust was handed over from Gorbachev to Jeltsin and<br />

finally to Putin. I think that Germany and France, together<br />

with the BENELUX, should improve our contact again to<br />

improve our relationship and build trust.<br />

The new French President Macron has created the basis for<br />

a renewed relationship with President Putin. Our Belgian<br />

Prime Minister, Charles Michel, has been in the Kremlin<br />

recently (March 2018) and was treated with great respect.<br />

These are positive signs but it should result in an outcome<br />

soon.<br />

Barbara Dietrich

Wallpaper, detail, watercolor<br />

© Lieve Van Stappen<br />









The <strong>World</strong> is changing. In which direction are we<br />

evolving and what do you think is the right way<br />

forward?<br />

22<br />

First of all, before I answer your questions, we have to<br />

make an analysis of the world as it is now, before we can<br />

speak about where we are heading for. If there are two<br />

words that characterize the current period, these words<br />

are uncertainty and anxiety. And not only in Western<br />

Europe: you have the same feelings all over the world. This<br />

feeling is much more present now than it was one year<br />

and a half ago, because the continuous discourse of the<br />

American President contributed heavily to this renewed<br />

and accentuated feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. But it<br />

already existed before. What are the main reasons for this<br />

uncertainty?<br />

The first and most actual reason, are the events that are<br />

happening around trade and the so-called trade war.<br />

Without going into detail, the measures that are taken<br />

now do not have a great impact on international trade.<br />

Only 1.5% of GDP for the upcoming ten years. You have<br />

to relate this number to the 10% growth the economy will<br />

have in the upcoming ten years. It is not marginal but you<br />

really have to relativize. There is an impact on investment<br />

because investment depends on a climate of trust: certainty<br />

or uncertainty. Today uncertainty rules.<br />

Most people are worried and concerned. Some are<br />

anticipating a worsening of trade measures. But until<br />

now, the harm done is not that big. In the thirties when<br />

there was also a trade war, exports decreased with almost<br />

60% in just a few years’ time. Now the pace of growth is<br />

slowing down, but this doesn’t mean we experience an<br />

overall decrease of world trade, but it affects the feeling of<br />

uncertainty.<br />

A second point that creates uncertainty is the migration<br />

crisis. Migration is part of globalization. I will share with<br />

you some perspectives. The absolute number of migration<br />

coming via Turkey, via Libya and from the Mediterranean<br />

as a whole to Europe, is one quarter of what it was two<br />

years ago. So the fear of a massive inflow of migrants is<br />

not followed by the statistical figures. We created ‘Fortress<br />

Europe’ whether you like it or not. Europe is protecting<br />

its borders much more effectively than a few years ago,<br />

apart from the humanitarian side of all these measures we<br />

took. But in perception migration is considered by many<br />

of our citizens all over Europe as the main topic. It is also<br />

high on the political agenda in every member country<br />

and considered a threat to our civilization, our culture,<br />

our social security, our jobs… Rightly or wrongly. But this<br />

sustains a huge factor of uncertainty. The answer that<br />

European countries give to it, is precisely protecting much<br />

more effectively the external borders. Same situation in<br />

the United States, where its main symbol is the wall built<br />

between the United States and Mexico, not just built by<br />

President Trump, but also by his predecessors. Migration<br />

is all over the Western <strong>World</strong>, in the European Union<br />

and the United States, a major topic. Uncertainty. Again<br />

the answer is what we called a few years ago ‘Fortress<br />


Herman Van Rompuy<br />

A third factor of uncertainty is populism. We have to<br />

look at this phenomenon in a very lucid way, seeing all<br />

the aspects. Populism is changing the political landscape,<br />

is creating huge tensions in society: what we call<br />

polarization, going even to racism and installing enemy<br />

thinking. Populism is creating deep cleaves in our society.<br />

But is it a danger for Europe? Yes and no. In Italy, after<br />

one week with the new government, the Italians said: ‘We<br />

will not leave the European Union, we will not leave the<br />

Eurozone.’ Madame Le Pen, after her major defeat in the<br />

French elections, said: ‘We can realize our program within<br />

the European Union.’ When you look at the governmental<br />

agreement in Austria, the European chapter is still quite<br />

a traditional European chapter, which doesn’t mean it is<br />

strongly pro-European. But it is mainstream European<br />

and not creating worries on the European Project. After<br />

Brexit there is a change in populism. While the public<br />

opinion is more in favor of EU membership than before<br />

Brexit. People don’t want to add instability to an already<br />

unstable world. The support for EU membership increased<br />

dramatically after Brexit. And even so populists want to<br />

remain popular. So they weigh all this, that is why they are<br />

not challenging the European Project as such and the Euro<br />

Area in particular.<br />

Does that mean that populism is no danger? No. Because<br />

governing such a divided society is much more difficult<br />

than when we keep consensus around key values in our<br />

society. We have to keep that in mind. There is one<br />

particular aspect that is not often emphasized: populism<br />

is on the right side of the political spectrum as far as<br />

migration, identity and culture is concerned (what we<br />

called social-cultural factors), but is on the left on socialeconomic<br />

matters. Because a populist party doesn’t<br />

want to become unpopular in cutting social benefits or<br />

decreasing wages or pensions. In general they are against<br />

austerity, against fiscal consolidation. At the end, they<br />

make our economies less competitive on the global scale.<br />

Looking at populism from different angels remains a<br />

reflection of uncertainty and anxiety and is a worry<br />

for other parties and countries because it is creating<br />

political volatility and political instability and makes the<br />

European Union and member states much more difficult<br />

to manage.<br />


24<br />

Another threat for the upcoming years is the high level<br />

of private and public debt. I often say that a financial<br />

crisis is bound to happen. We don’t know when and we<br />

don’t know how. But the overall level of debt of 225%,<br />

public and private debt speaking in global terms, is so<br />

high that the situation is threatening, not tomorrow and<br />

not the day after tomorrow but in medium or long term<br />

perspective. Wolfgang Schäuble, when he left his office<br />

as Minister of Finance in Germany, mentioned this as<br />

his main concern for the upcoming decades. We know<br />

the consequences of a financial crisis in the aftermath of<br />

the 2008 crisis. Maybe it will not even be in my lifetime,<br />

but we have to be very careful and vigilant. Because the<br />

public and private debt level is not only high but it has<br />

increased since 2008 with 12% of GDP, especially in<br />

China and the United States. In Europe, we conducted<br />

the policy of austerity and control in many countries<br />

in comparison with China and the US. In China, some<br />

action has been taken but it is a factor of uncertainty.<br />

Geopolitical rivalry also plays a role. Not between Russia<br />

and the United States. With all respect to the great<br />

country that Russia is, but today they represent 3% of<br />

the world economy, the United States 15%, and China<br />

even more, when we make the comparison in what we<br />

technically call ‘Purchasing Power Parity’. When you<br />

make a comparison between the Russian and the Chinese<br />

economy, it is almost a factor from one to six. When<br />

I speak about geopolitical rivalry, economically and<br />

politically speaking, it is between the USA and China.<br />

But the question is: is there really that kind of rivalry?<br />

Because our Chinese Friend tends to underestimate the<br />

domestic factors that are inspiring or motivating the<br />

policies of President Trump. President Trump’s first<br />

concern is domestic, his first concern is to show to his<br />

core voters that he is defending the United States in the<br />

world. That is why he is taking action against China, and<br />

also against the European Union.<br />

Unfortunately, the United States have not many friends<br />

anymore in the world making life even difficult to their<br />

closest allies: Canada, Japan and the European Union.<br />

Even if we consider the main motivation of the United<br />

States, of its new administration, related to domestic<br />

goals, it still is perceived as a rivalry between two main<br />

players. And in the Western <strong>World</strong>, the feeling is created<br />

that in this rivalry not only the United States but the<br />

Western <strong>World</strong> are on the losing side. The balance of<br />

power is shifting, more in the direction of Asia than in<br />

the direction of the Atlantic. This leads in ‘Good Old<br />

Europe’ to questioning, ‘Where are we heading for?’,<br />

‘What is our future?’ and ‘What is the place of the<br />

European Union in all this?’<br />

One of the answers to all these issues, trade, migration,<br />

geopolitics, is not less Europe but even more European<br />

cooperation and integration. And that is one of the<br />

paradoxes: at the moment when the European Project is<br />

challenged, when so-called Eurosceptical or Euronegative<br />

parties are on the rise, at that very moment a clear<br />

analysis of the situation shows that to give the right<br />

answer to all those challenges — and I ‘forgot’ in a way<br />

to speak about cyber-security, terrorism, etc. — you can’t<br />

solve those problems anymore on the national level.<br />

When we lived through the trade war between the United<br />

States and the European Union, it was not Macron or<br />

Merkel who concluded an agreement with the United<br />

States, it was the European Commission. This is one of<br />

the great evolutions: the European Institutions showed<br />

their relevance.<br />

I was recently in China during the European Union-China<br />

Summit, and the conclusions were really surprising:<br />

on the Chinese side they promised to reinstall a level<br />

playing field for our traders and for our investors because<br />

there were problems and discriminations. We also made<br />

gestures, so the conclusions were rightly balanced. But<br />

they dealt with the problem together with the European<br />

leaders, the President of the European Council and the<br />

President of the European Commission. China also<br />

notices how important the EU Institutions are in such<br />

a period of uncertainty. So one of the answers is more<br />

European integration and cooperation.<br />

We have recent examples, simply to emphasize and<br />

to underline what I just said. Even the new Italian<br />

government is asking for more banking union, and asking<br />

for more solidarity in the migration issues. Viktor Orban<br />

was meeting Salvini, but they have on migration totally<br />

different opinions. They agree on protecting the external<br />

borders, but everybody is agreeing on this. We don’t<br />

need Orban or Salvini to agree on this. But the divisive<br />

issue between Italy and Hungary is solidarity. The Italian<br />

populists are asking for more Europe. And I am not<br />

telling this for the sake of the argument because it is<br />

based on facts and on declarations.

On defence for instance, we are making huge progress.<br />

After the declarations of President Trump, after the<br />

annexation of the Crimea, confronted with the unstable<br />

situation in the Middle East, European countries<br />

concluded: ‘We have to do more to defend ourselves.’ And<br />

Merkel said: ‘We have to take our fate into our own hands.’<br />

And that is why we set up this ‘Permanent Structured<br />

Cooperation’, what we call ‘PESCO’. 25 countries<br />

are participating. We thought only a few of them would<br />

participate and on a number of very concrete projects. We<br />

are far from a European army but it is about convergence<br />

in many military domains: on purchases of devices, on the<br />

repartition of the roles between armies, on research and<br />

development with aid of the European Commission…<br />

The complex situation is requesting more European<br />

cooperation in the midst of rising Euroscepticism. A<br />

paradox. My advice is not to start a crusade for more<br />

Europe, because then you will have all kinds of reactions.<br />

But we should move on to work on a very concrete basis of<br />

different topics, going in one direction: more cooperation<br />

and integration.<br />

I believe as well that this is what we need. We have<br />

to look to each other, to have empathy with each<br />

other and see what we can do together and how we<br />

can help each other. Here in Brussels, Belgium and<br />

Europe, we are strong. Europe stands for Peace.<br />

We should be proud that we have Europe and we<br />

must be pro-European. And we can be patriotic but<br />

not too much: we must find the right balance.<br />

In the same line of reasoning, we have to show the<br />

European citizens that Europe is not only needed but<br />

that Europe can also protect better against threats, real<br />

threats or perceived threats: unemployment, unstable<br />

jobs, mass illegal migration, terrorism, climate change,<br />

all kinds of dumping and even threats on our borders —<br />

especially important for Central and Eastern European<br />

countries. We have to protect people better. Of course<br />

also cooperation of member states is needed for this, but<br />

without Europe it will not work, without more European<br />

cooperation and in some domains more European<br />

integration it will not work.<br />

Herman Van Rompuy<br />


The scale of problems is becoming too global and too<br />

international. But then we have to perform, we have to<br />

deliver. People need to feel that they are much better<br />

protected by Europe. We are doing a lot, in all those<br />

domains. I can give you for each domain a kind of<br />

summary of all that we did. But the problem is that it is<br />

at this stage not convincing enough. Because the crises<br />

of the Eurozone and the refugees were so traumatic for<br />

many people. You could have lost all your savings in the<br />

banking crisis and in the Eurozone crisis. Imagine that<br />

there was an implosion of the banking system.<br />

26<br />

Imagine that the Euro would have collapsed. This was<br />

at certain moments a real threat, not only dramatic but<br />

also traumatic. The same occurred with the refugee<br />

crisis: at a certain moment we had the perspective that<br />

not only 1.5 million people could come to Europe, but<br />

several millions. And people were showing solidarity in<br />

the beginning of the refugee crisis but there are limits<br />

to our solidarity. And the perspective that millions<br />

would come was too much for almost all people. So we<br />

showed our generosity and solidarity but at a certain<br />

moment, we considered that there are limits to that kind<br />

of feeling. This created in both the Eurozone crisis and<br />

refugee crisis, such traumas in public opinion that even<br />

if we show today results in all the domains I mentioned,<br />

these are considered not enough and not sufficiently<br />

convincing. It is up to us politicians to work very hard<br />

to convince people even more, because the argument of<br />

peace is a major argument for our generation but it is not<br />

enough for the younger generation.<br />

I want to come back to Great Britain. In United Kingdom<br />

the younger generation voted overwhelmingly in favour<br />

of ‘Remain’. The youth should have gone to the ballot<br />

boxes. Too many stayed at home. The older generation in<br />

England — not in Wales, not in Scotland, not in Northern<br />

Ireland and not in London — voted against membership of<br />

the European Union. And precisely that older generation<br />

has known the war. And the young generation that didn’t<br />

know the war, voted in favour.<br />

So our younger generation — independent from the<br />

argument of war and peace — are pro-European: and<br />

that is for me, in all the problems we have, an element<br />

of hope. Peace lost its attraction on the continent for<br />

younger people as an argument for Europe. But they see<br />

that their colleagues in Britain, British youngsters, found<br />

other reasons to believe in the European cause.<br />

Barbara Dietrich and Herman Van Rompuy<br />

They lost the referendum for now, with a very small<br />

margin: 48% against 52%. And if there is tomorrow a<br />

new referendum, the final result of a referendum could<br />

be just the opposite. What happened in Brexit is very<br />

sad and disappointing. It is a political amputation of the<br />

European Union. In 2060 the United Kingdom will be<br />

the most populated country in Europe, having the most<br />

inhabitants and leaving Germany and France behind,<br />

especially Germany that will lose a lot of its population.<br />

But younger people want to stay. This is the very first<br />

time that the older generation took away the future of a<br />

younger generation. We were always told that we have<br />

to work for our children and grandchildren. But in this<br />

case the older generation is working against the will and<br />

interests of the younger generation. It is quite surprising<br />

and even astonishing.<br />

Barbara Dietrich and Maarten Vermeir

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ASEM<br />






On 18 and 19 October, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang joined<br />

other leaders of ASEM members for the 12 th ASEM Summit<br />

in Brussels. The theme of this summit “Global Partners<br />

for Global Challenges” is highly relevant. In this age of<br />

multiple challenges, China is committed to working with<br />

other countries in Asia and Europe to send a strong signal<br />

of upholding multilateralism and to forge a robust ASEM<br />

partnership.<br />

Asia and Europe are the cradles of Oriental and Western<br />

civilizations. Both have witnessed the splendid episodes of<br />

world history and human progress. More than two thousand<br />

years ago, Asia and Europe were connected by the ancient<br />

Silk Road, which led to mutual learning, exchanges and<br />

interactions. Twenty-two years ago, ASEM was born in the<br />

broader context of globalization. Over time, the mechanism<br />

has grown into an important platform for Asia and Europe<br />

to engage with each other for greater mutual understanding<br />

and cooperation.<br />

Asia and Europe need to build stronger consensus. Since<br />

its inception, ASEM has weathered through some major<br />

challenges, like the 9/11 attacks and the global financial<br />

crisis, testifying to its great resilience and the unwavering<br />

commitment to cooperation. As anti-globalization and<br />

protectionist sentiments threaten to come back, our world<br />

is mired in a greater sense of instability and uncertainty. It<br />

is more important than ever for ASEM members to come<br />

together, think in long terms, and take coordinated actions<br />

to resist unilateralism and uphold multilateralism.<br />

28<br />

ASEM stands for the spirit of multilateralism and openness,<br />

and the commitment to seek dialogue and partnership<br />

rather than confrontation and alliance. For years, ASEM<br />

members have endeavored to advance trade and investment<br />

liberalization and facilitation, promote sustainable<br />

development, build an open world economy, and bring<br />

forward global governance reform. Despite great cultural<br />

differences, ASEM members have drawn strength from<br />

such diversity and bring their citizens closer to each other<br />

through dialogue and communication. ASEM’s success<br />

sheds light on a simple yet powerful message: openness leads<br />

to progress, and cooperation benefits all. Protectionism leads<br />

nowhere, and zero-sum game dooms to fail.<br />

H.E. Zhang Ming Ambassador of China to the European Union and<br />

Barbara Dietrich

Asia and Europe need to unleash greater potential. Many<br />

Asian and European countries have increased input in<br />

connectivity and made good progress. China has put<br />

forward the Belt and Road Initiative, and the EU has<br />

released a strategy for connecting Europe and Asia.<br />

To increase Eurasian connectivity, apart from bilateral<br />

partnerships, ASEM as a multilateral mechanism has a<br />

crucial role to play as well. We need to strive for early<br />

harvests in such priority areas as trade and investment<br />

facilitation, sustainable development, digital economy, and<br />

people-to-people exchanges. We could also explore more<br />

opportunities in such future-oriented areas as clean energy,<br />

ecological protection, smart technology and urbanization.<br />

respect for such differences. For this to happen, cultural<br />

exchanges and communication are critically important.<br />

Thanks to the widespread use of information technology,<br />

people-to-people exchanges could be much more diverse,<br />

engaging and convenient than before. We must act together<br />

to ensure that our cooperation is always of the people, by<br />

the people and for the people.<br />

At the upcoming summit, China stands ready to join<br />

hands with other ASEM members to add to the sense of<br />

togetherness and the spirit of partnership, and make a<br />

positive contribution to more substantial cooperations<br />

between Asia and Europe.<br />

Asia and Europe need to harness the strength of people.<br />

The 53 ASEM members vary from one another due to<br />

different historical and national conditions. Yet, the longterm<br />

development of ASEM would not be possible without<br />

(The author is Ambassador Extraordinary and<br />

Plenipotentiary and Head of Mission of the People’s<br />

Republic of China to the European Union.)<br />

ASEM<br />










30<br />

I have taken up my duties as Austrian Ambassador for<br />

the Kingdom of Belgium and NATO in January this year.<br />

The second half of 2018 was already marked as the time<br />

for Austria’s EU-council presidency. Thus it was clear that<br />

Europe and the European Union will play a considerable<br />

part of my duties, although the council work itself will be<br />

dealt by the Permanent Representation and its officials from<br />

all parts of the Austrian administration.<br />

For Austria, this presidency will be the third one, after 1998<br />

and 2006, and it is certainly not comparable to the previous<br />

presidencies. Not only has the institutional framework<br />

changed after the Treaty of Lisbon, with a president of the<br />

European Council and High Representative for Foreign<br />

and Security Policy, but also because Europe finds itself in<br />

a very challenging international environment. Within the<br />

European Union, we see serious discussions among member<br />

states. The migration crisis and, before that, the financial<br />

and economic crisis, have left their marks, and we have<br />

to deal — for the first time in the history of the European<br />

integration process — with a member state that wants to<br />

leave the EU.<br />

As a medium sized EU-member state, we have to raise all<br />

forces within the administration to accomplish our tasks.<br />

So far, Austria chaired more than 500 preparatory meetings<br />

in Brussels, Luxemburg and Strasbourg and has already<br />

hosted roughly half of all the meetings planned in Austria.<br />

In total, there will be more than 200 meetings in Austria.<br />

In Salzburg the Heads of States and Governments met<br />

on 18/19 September, more than ten informal Meetings of<br />

Ministers have already taken place or will be due soon.<br />

From the start it was clear that we will have certainly<br />

a much more challenging semester than during our<br />

previous presidencies. As we are faced with a demanding<br />

environment for the Council Presidency with Brexit, the<br />

start of the negotiations for the next Multiannual Financial<br />

Framework, which entails the future focus and priorities<br />

of the EU, geo-political developments and unfortunately<br />

also internal discussions — it was clear that we have to<br />

communicate to our citizens that the EU also delivers on its<br />

promises. The motto of the Austrian presidency, “A Europe<br />

that protects”, relates to all three priorities.<br />

Security and the fight against illegal migration, securing<br />

prosperity and competitiveness through digitalization, and<br />

stability in the European neighbourhood, with a clear EU<br />

perspective for the countries of South Eastern Europe.<br />

At the same time it is tantamount to secure the unity of<br />

the EU. The EU-council presidency puts Austria in the<br />

spotlight, both here in Brussels and in the rest of Europe. At<br />

the same time, citizens in Austria become more aware of the<br />

EU, be it through the topics that Austria has to deal with<br />

as presidency, or through the many high level meetings that<br />

Austria hosts in different parts of the country.<br />

This half year also provides an occasion to put Austria in<br />

the spotlight here in Brussels. Known for its cultural life<br />

and its cultural events, Austria will be represented by very<br />

interesting and high profile cultural events here in Brussels.<br />

To name just a few: a big exhibition on the influence of<br />

the painter Gustav Klimt on contemporary artists all over<br />

Europe, titled “Beyond Klimt”, will be shown at the Bozar<br />

until the end of January 2019. Renowned orchestras,<br />

notably the Wiener Philharmoniker, but also our leading<br />

orchestra for contemporary music, the Klangforum, as well<br />

as the Wiener Symphoniker give concerts, complemented by<br />

a variety of cultural events in Brussels, covering literature,

Barbara Dietrich and H.E. Elisabeth Kornfeind<br />

theatre, visual arts and dance. The Austrian Cultural Forum<br />

Brussels has come up with an interesting program, which<br />

we hope will create interest and inspiration. It helps that EU<br />

institutions have declared 2018 as the Year of the European<br />

Cultural Heritage. There could be no better motto for us to<br />

show that a political idea and vision needs the emotional<br />

conviction that culture, and cultural exchange can give.<br />

The focus of Austrian government policy lies on European<br />

cooperation, in foreign policy but also in advancing the<br />

common market. Located in the center of the continent,<br />

Austria has a long tradition as a bridge builder between<br />

East and West — a tradition we are very much aware of until<br />

today. Austria has a strong regional structure and — the<br />

nine provinces, the “Bundesländer”, play an active role in<br />

European affairs and contribute to a better understanding of<br />

the EU on a regional and local level. In this respect, there<br />

are some parallels with Belgium, and its strong regions,<br />

cities and communities.<br />

Being ambassador to Belgium is a very satisfying job,<br />

as there are so many positive ties which can be further<br />

developed. Not only do we share a common history, for<br />

example under Empress Maria Theresia, whose 300 th<br />

birthday was celebrated in Austria last year, and who has<br />

founded important institutions especially in education,<br />

science, arts and culture . The structure of our economies<br />

is comparable — relying on small and medium-sized<br />

enterprises — and we have strong economic ties. The trade<br />

and services volume has reached about 5,6 billion €, and<br />

more than 570,000 Belgians visited Austria last year.<br />

There is a vibrant cultural exchange as well. Last year,<br />

a large exhibition in Vienna was dedicated to Peter Paul<br />

Rubens, and. on Oct 1st, a major exhibition on Peter<br />

Breughel the Elder, on the occasion of his 450 th anniversary<br />

of his death, will be opened at the Kunsthistorisches<br />

Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) by His Majesty King<br />

Philippe and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.<br />

Both exhibitions underline the role of these outstanding<br />

painters as truly European artists, and the European<br />

cultural heritage.<br />

Let me conclude by expressing my hope that the Austrian<br />

presidency can contribute that the European Union<br />

will emerge stronger and well prepared for the current<br />

challenges. On the bilateral level, increased cooperation<br />

between Austria and Belgium will benefit the people of<br />

our countries, and contribute to stability and prosperity in<br />

Europe.<br />

Interview with Barbara Dietrich, CEO <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong><br />





Sri Lanka’s strategic location is its key asset.<br />

On the South Western coast, it is located in very<br />

close proximity to the world’s busiest sea-lane in<br />

the Indian Ocean connecting maritime traffic from<br />

Europe, Africa and Asia.<br />

On the Northern coast, it is only a dozen kilometers<br />

away from the vast Indian subcontinent. At its Southern<br />

extremity, there is no landmass in a straight line all the<br />

way up to the South Pole. Thus from ancient times to the<br />

present day, Sri Lanka has been the meeting point and<br />

entreport between East West trade.<br />

Today with the economic rise of China, India and East<br />

Asia, Sri Lanka is a direct beneficiary in multiple ways.<br />

Our close and friendly ties with all our neighbours are a<br />

great fillip. It has already become a transshipment hub with<br />

two major ports. Its tourism industry is benefitting from<br />

the rising economic prosperity of the people of Asia. With<br />

a highly educated population, the country is fast becoming<br />

a knowledge hub and an attractive place for BPO and<br />

financial services. We now have two international airports,<br />

which are facilitating the country to become an important<br />

regional transit hub.<br />

stable and functioning democracy with historical ties to<br />

many European countries, we share common ideals and<br />

work together at the international level to promote these<br />

values. We have a very fruitful cooperation with the EU<br />

on issues like migration, where many of our people, who<br />

sought refuge here decades ago, are now returning to Sri<br />

Lanka in significant numbers. Europe remains a popular<br />

destination for many of our students for higher education<br />

and so we continue to promote academic exchanges between<br />

our universities. As Sri Lanka also has a unique and diverse<br />

culture, our music, dance and cuisine are actively promoted<br />

to strengthen the synergies.<br />

Renewable energy is on the worldwide priority<br />

list related to the sustainability of our globe and<br />

climate change. How do you see the evolution in<br />

Sri Lanka’s strategy and challenges related to this<br />

situation?<br />

As Ambassador of Sri Lanka, what are<br />

the main focus points for you today in<br />

Brussels-Bilateral agreements, Economic<br />

Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy and Education?<br />

32<br />

The European Union is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner.<br />

The EU GSP+ facility has given us duty free access for<br />

over 7000 products to the EU market and our exports to<br />

the EU are significantly increasing. At the same time, it is<br />

diversifying. My focus continues to be to promote trade<br />

and investment as well as tourism. Sri Lanka’s significant<br />

peace and stability as a tourist and investor friendly<br />

destination has helped in this process. At the political<br />

level our endeavour has been to broaden and intensify our<br />

dialogue with the European Union on many issues. As a<br />

Juan Torrents President FEMOZA The <strong>World</strong> Free & Special Economic<br />

Zones Federation, H.E. E. Rodney M. Perera Ambassador of Sri Lanka,<br />

Barbara Dietrich CEO <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>, Monique De Decker-Deprez<br />

Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka

Aerial view of Colombo, Sri Lanka modern buildings with coastal promenade area.<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

Whilst our main source of power generation is hydro<br />

powder, coal and petroleum are the two main commercial<br />

energy supply sub-sectors in Sri Lanka. Biomass is also<br />

emerging as significant form of commercial energy.<br />

The government continues to increase the capacity of<br />

renewable energy generation in the country, with a view<br />

to enhancing sustainability in the energy sector. The<br />

construction of Uma Oya, Moragahakanda and Broadlands<br />

hydropower plants are in progress adding more power to the<br />

national grid by 2019.<br />

Small-scale hydropower, biomass including dendro power,<br />

biogas and waste, solar and wind power are replacing<br />

dependency of fossil fuel for power generation. In addition,<br />

other NRE resources such as wave energy and ocean<br />

thermal energy are also being explored. The Ministry<br />

of Power and Renewable Energy has launched a new<br />

community based power generation project titled 'Soorya<br />

BalaSangramaya' (Battle for Solar Energy) in collaboration<br />

with Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA),<br />

Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity<br />

Company (Private) Limited (LECO) to promote the<br />

setting up of small solar power plants on the rooftops<br />

of households, religious places, hotels, commercial<br />

establishments and industries. It is expected to add 200 MW<br />

of solar electricity to the national grid by 2020 and 1000<br />

MW by 2025 through this intervention. Under this program,<br />

the consumers will have options to generate and use<br />

electricity in their premises. In case of electricity in excess<br />

of their requirements, they can sell that to the national<br />

grid or bank it for later use. According to the electricity<br />

usage the customer can select a preferred option from the<br />

following three schemes: Net Metering, Net Accounting and<br />

Micro Solar Power Producer.<br />

‘RiviBalaSavi’ loan scheme was introduced in 2017 to<br />

provide concessionary loans to households through the<br />

banking sector to setup rooftop solar power PV panels.<br />

A project has been initiated to convert public sector<br />

buildings to solar rooftop power producers. Under this<br />

project, 10KW and 20KW solar rooftop systems were<br />

provided free for 13 schools, 77 hospitals and four<br />

government institutions.<br />

‘RiviAruna’ project commenced in 2017 to convert religious<br />

premises to rooftop solar power projects by providing solar<br />

panels free to selected religious places. Accordingly, 135<br />

solar systems have been installed in religious places.<br />


e shared by us all. In what way will your country<br />

take part in this initiative and what are the main<br />

opportunities for Sri Lanka?<br />

Elephant in Sigiriya lion rock fortress, Sri Lanka.<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is rooted in<br />

the ancient Silk Road. It focuses on the Asian,<br />

Arabian and European continents, but is also<br />

open to all other countries. All countries, from<br />

Asia, Arabia, Europe, or the Americas, can be<br />

international cooperation partners of the Belt and<br />

Road Initiative. The pursuit of this initiative is<br />

based on extensive consultation and its benefits will<br />

Sri Lanka is a major player in the BRI as it was a major<br />

component of the ancient Silk Road. BRI offers a ‘winwin”<br />

and sustainable development opportunity for us. The<br />

Chinese-built Hambantota Port, which is at mid-point in<br />

the shipping route from Asia to Europe is one of the major<br />

BRI initiatives. The Government and the Sri Lanka Ports<br />

Authority entered into a concession agreement to further<br />

develop the Hambantota port with the aim of developing<br />

the country as a maritime hub. Given the fiscal constraints,<br />

the government needs to further encourage private sector<br />

participation in economic infrastructure development,<br />

especially for the efficient operation of transportation,<br />

telecommunication and port services, while ensuring the<br />

quality of such infrastructure and healthy competition<br />

among private sector participants. The Colombo Financial<br />

City is another BRI initiative, which is under construction<br />

just outside the Port of Colombo. It will become a major<br />

hub for financial services, investment and also serve as a<br />

conference and business meeting venue.<br />

34<br />

Nine Arches Bridge from above, Sri Lanka<br />

© Shutterstock

Silhouettes of the traditional fishermen at the sunset near Galle in Sri Lanka.<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

We are similarly developing our airports and highways to<br />

increase connectivity that will enhance trade economic<br />

development of all regions of the country.<br />

On a parallel track, we are negotiating Free Trade<br />

Agreements with other countries. A FTA with Singapore<br />

was concluded earlier this year and several others are under<br />

negotiation.<br />

business interactions and regular travel between their<br />

home country and adopted country. I believe that common<br />

ground has to be rooted in shared values. This is the only<br />

way trust can be built for a healthy relationship. Already<br />

many Europeans have demonstrated a significant interest in<br />

Buddhism as a way of life that is compatible with European<br />

culture. These are significant strengths that can be built<br />

upon and where the Diaspora can enrich European societies.<br />

We see the BRI initiative as a significant opportunity for<br />

Sri Lanka’s economic development.<br />

The diversity in Europe today, defined by a<br />

continuous Diaspora for millennia, is dying to find<br />

a common cultural ground for the European Union.<br />

With everything mentioned above, could you create<br />

and propose a cultural framework that nurtures this<br />

longing for connection in between Europe and<br />

Sri Lanka?<br />

If you have other topics (tourism) that you would<br />

like to address to our readers, do not hesitate to<br />

elaborate these.<br />

Sri Lanka is a popular tourist destination for European<br />

tourists because of the diversity of Sri Lanka’s multitude of<br />

attractions: from the best beaches to the cool mountains,<br />

the historical cities with eight UNESCO <strong>World</strong> Heritage<br />

Sites, excellent safari parks and rainforests with the high<br />

diversity of fauna and flora.<br />

We definitely want our Diaspora community to integrate<br />

into their adopted countries whilst continuing to enrich<br />

Europe with Sri Lankan culture. I believe the cultural<br />

framework has already been set in place by the Diaspora<br />

communities themselves through cultural exchanges,<br />

Sri Lanka is particularly popular with European tourists and<br />

each year the arrivals continue to increase with many repeat<br />

visitors.<br />

Barbara Dietrich<br />





Kyrgyz Republic has a rich history in the<br />

Old Silk Roads, but most of that history is<br />

still a secret for Europeans<br />

What is your country doing to disclose these hidden<br />

secrets to the West? Manas Kumbez, Tash-Rabat<br />

caravanserai (IX th century) Burana Tower, Mount<br />

Suleiman, Uzgen architectural complex,<br />

Shah-Fazil mausoleum these are really treasures<br />

to be discovered by the Europeans — how can we<br />

promote these new touristic destinations? Is there<br />

need for more investments in the tourist industry —<br />

what are the opportunities?<br />

Kyrgyzstan indeed has a rich historical past associated with<br />

the Great Silk Road. The customs and culture of the Kyrgyz<br />

people have absorbed the culture of different nations, and<br />

there are also a lot of borrowings in the national language of<br />

the Kyrgyz people.<br />

You are absolutely right that such objects as Tash-Rabat,<br />

Burana Tower, Manas Kumbez, Shakh Fazil Mausoleum<br />

and others are the historical heritage of Kyrgyzstan of those<br />

times and that these treasures were closed to Europeans<br />

for various reasons. Being part of the Soviet Union and<br />

the iron curtain between the countries of the West and the<br />

USSR played big role in it. After the collapse of the Soviet<br />

Union and obtaining independence, Kyrgyzstan started to<br />

make active attempts to open up to the world the hidden<br />

treasures, both historical and natural.<br />

In 2012 Kyrgyzstan adopted the Law, according to which<br />

country unilaterally established visa-free regime for citizens<br />

of 45 countries, including most European countries to come<br />

for a short stay up to two month without getting visa and<br />

simplified visa regime for citizens of 67 countries, which<br />

allows to easily obtain a longer period visa.<br />

In recent years Kyrgyzstan introduced and launched the<br />

“Electronic visa system”, that allowed people from all<br />

over the world, to apply for Kyrgyz visa and get it within 3<br />

business days, without need to find and go to embassy or<br />

consulate, and adopted the provision, according to which<br />

citizens of most countries were exempted from registration<br />

procedures on mutual basis for up to 90 days.<br />

Regarding assistance in promoting tourism and investment,<br />

I want to note that the development of tourism in general<br />

needs a range of activities and the Kyrgyz Republic certainly<br />

needs the development of tourism management and tourism<br />

infrastructure. Kyrgyzstan, having historical cultural values<br />

and a natural landscape that is attractive for tourists, is still<br />

learning how to show and present it. At the same time, the<br />

It is important to say that Kyrgyzstan is primarily interested<br />

in the development of tourism and makes maximum<br />

efforts to promote it by creating comfortable conditions<br />

for tourists, creating a favorable visa environment in the<br />

country for EU citizens, improving infrastructure, and<br />

working to open direct flights between the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

and EU countries.<br />

36<br />

H.E. Asein Isaev Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan with Barbara Dietrich

Aerial view over rooftops and mosque in Osh city, Kyrgyzstan<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

tourism sector in the Kyrgyz Republic is a direction with a<br />

high “giveback”, given the rising number of coming tourists.<br />

At the same time, the country has a huge potential, which<br />

is confirmed by the fact that the flow of foreign tourists<br />

is increasing markedly, as in other much more developed<br />

countries that have all the conditions for this.<br />

Kyrgyzstan is constantly working on improving the legal<br />

environment for entrepreneurs involved in the organization<br />

of tourism services and it is also important to state that<br />

great attention is paid to the rule of law.<br />

Currently, a large number of travel companies, including<br />

European ones, operate in the country. For example,<br />

according to official data of the National Statistics<br />

Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Netherlands is the<br />

leader in Foreign Direct Investments in the field of tourism,<br />

whose share in 2017 was more than 60%.<br />

An important international event in popularizing the culture<br />

and history of Kyrgyzstan are the <strong>World</strong> Nomad Games.<br />

This year, the Nomad Games were held for the third time,<br />

having received great fame in the world. The WNG allowed<br />

to reach a wider public from the EU, which now plans to<br />

visit Kyrgyzstan in the future and learn more about its<br />

history and attractions.<br />

In addition, the Kyrgyz Republic annually participates in<br />

various fairs and exhibitions dedicated to tourism. There is<br />

an extensive advertising campaign through the media, the<br />

work of diplomatic missions and consular offices.<br />

Kyrgyz Republic occupied a very strategic<br />

geographical position on the ancient trade routes,<br />

and was embracing the cultural achievements of<br />

East and West. Your country was the bridge that<br />

connected the East and the West. Three branches of<br />

the ancient caravan — 7000 km — route had passed<br />

through the territory of Kyrgyzstan, namely, the<br />

Pamir-Alai, south and north, which runs through<br />

Tien-Shan and Pamir high mountain passes. Does<br />

your country now also plays a new role in the new<br />

Silk Roads that China is promoting through its One<br />

Belt One Road policy? What are the main projects<br />

to give your country a regional role — leaving behind<br />

its isolation as a landlocked country? Can you<br />

document your country’s new Silk Road plans.<br />

Yes, the current territory of Kyrgyzstan served as the main<br />

bridge on the giant trade route connecting the East and<br />

West. Located on the Great Silk Road, Kyrgyzstan was the<br />

crossroad of trade and cultural traditions between China,<br />


38<br />

Iran, India, the Arabian Sea and the Western world.<br />

I have to say that the Great Silk Road never stopped<br />

to function as the connection bridge between East and<br />

West, because trading always remained between Western<br />

and Eastern countries and some routes are still used in<br />

Kyrgyzstan as highways.<br />

As before, Kyrgyzstan maintains trade and economic<br />

relations with neighboring countries through its territorial<br />

location. Kyrgyzstan occupies an advantageous geographical<br />

position. Our country is a part of the Great Silk Road, and<br />

in a new format it is a road to economic prosperity for all<br />

who take part in its development.<br />

There are projects such as TRACECA that are aimed at<br />

strengthening economic relations, trade and transport<br />

communication in the regions of the Black Sea basin, South<br />

Caucasus and Central Asia, which is also considered as the<br />

modern Great Silk Road.<br />

The BRI project, initiated by China, is certainly of great<br />

interest, since China opens up direct trade with the EU<br />

countries. China considers Kyrgyzstan as its important<br />

strategic partner and, with the entry of the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

to the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015, China has the<br />

opportunity to discover the markets of all the countries<br />

participating in the EAEU. This situation clearly shows a<br />

trend associated with economic integration. The regional<br />

role of our country is to provide territory for the transit<br />

of goods from China to other countries, where the main<br />

interest is territorial. Also the Central Asian region itself has<br />

a huge export potential and currently there are good positive<br />

integrational processes going in the region that will possible<br />

lead to development of production and export to the markets<br />

along the Great Silk Road. I want to say that it is a good<br />

opportunity to strengthen internal ties in the region.<br />

Important projects for Kyrgyzstan have been and are<br />

being implemented. The construction of an alternative<br />

North-South road is underway, over a hundreds of roads<br />

in the capital are being repaired, as many other industrial<br />

and infrastructural projects. With the revival of the Silk<br />

Road, the amount of such objects and construction sites<br />

in Kyrgyzstan will grow. This is a chance not only to raise<br />

our own economy, but to embark on a path of sustainable<br />

development for decades ahead<br />

Your country has still large development potential<br />

in terms of renewable energy — especially<br />

hydropower electricity. How will your government<br />

promote this sector?<br />

Since Kyrgyzstan is a country capable of producing<br />

electricity at lower cost, the hydropower issue is a priority<br />

for the country. The Kyrgyz Republic is committed<br />

to maintaining the ecological environment and thus<br />

hydropower, being one of the most environmentally friendly<br />

and safe ways to produce electricity will remain relevant.<br />

I can provide some official statistical data on the<br />

hydropower potential of the Kyrgyz Republic.<br />

The total hydropower potential of the Kygryz Republic is<br />

142.5 billion kWh and the percentage of the used potential<br />

is only 10%.<br />

Only on the Naryn river can be built 8 cascades of<br />

hydropower stations and the total installed capacity of<br />

prospective cascades is 6450 MW.<br />

As it can be seen from the mass media, the presence of<br />

foreign companies is increasing interested in supplying<br />

equipment, as well as creating conditions for the<br />

construction of hydroelectric power stations.<br />

The state promotes the sector by giving it the priority<br />

status, as well by creating favorable conditions for foreign<br />

investment and the involvment of the world community to<br />

environmental safety issues. Kyrgyzstan is also a regular<br />

participant in various international conferences related to<br />

the safe production of electricity.<br />

What is your governments main statement and<br />

strategy to promote Foreign Direct Investment<br />

(FDI) — what sectors and how can foreign<br />

companies mitigate risks; amongst others political<br />

ones?<br />

Kyrgyzstan is the land of boundless opportunities with<br />

rich natural resources and great potential. Only for 27<br />

years of independence, Kyrgyzstan managed to achieve the<br />

democratization of social and political life, liberalization<br />

of doing business conditions, foreign trade activities,<br />

membership in international organizations and unions.<br />

Kyrgyzstan has provided to the entrepreneurs freedom of<br />

trade, opened up the opportunities for the development of<br />

production and access to international markets, as well as to<br />

its internal market. Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan has advantages<br />

in terms of investment attractiveness on a number of<br />

factors, as implementation of a program of market reforms<br />

and macroeconomic stabilization, it actively works on the<br />

privatization of telecommunications, energy and transport

sectors, full-fledged free trade regime, free money exchange<br />

system and unrestricted movement of capital, liberal<br />

investment regime, where all sectors of economy are open to<br />

investors.<br />

Mining, manufacturing, tourism and processing industry<br />

sectors are more attractive for investments. There are numerous<br />

large mining and processing enterprises operating in the Kyrgyz<br />

Republic. In the meantime, according to international experts,<br />

with a relatively small area and good geological exploration,<br />

mineral resource potential is used poorly.<br />

Thus, under the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, foreign<br />

investors enjoy the national treatment applied to individuals<br />

and legal entities of the country. Legislation provides<br />

for a broad scope of rights and guarantees to foreign<br />

investors, including guarantees of export and repatriation<br />

of investment, property, and information out of the Kyrgyz<br />

Republic, guarantees of protection against investment<br />

expropriation and coverage of losses incurred by investors,<br />

guarantees of income use and freedom of monetary<br />

transactions, and others.<br />

Since investments are a major prerequisite for economic<br />

development in the Kyrgyz Republic, investment legislation<br />

of the country is quite liberal.<br />

The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which<br />

all other laws must conform, including the laws directly<br />

or indirectly regulating investment in the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

such as the “Law on Licensing”, the “Law on Joint-Stock<br />

Companies”, the “Law on Mining”, the “Law on Free<br />

Economic Zones in the Kyrgyz Republic”, the Tax Code,<br />

the Land Code, the Customs Code, the Civil Code, the<br />

“Law on Public-Private Partnership in KR”. Nonetheless,<br />

the principal law governing investment is the “Law on<br />

Investment in Kyrgyz Republic”.<br />

Subject to its legislation, the Kyrgyz Republic provides the<br />

following guarantees to foreign investors:<br />

• national treatment of business activities, equal<br />

investment rights of domestic and foreign investors, no<br />

intervention into the business activities of investors,<br />

protection and restitution of infringed rights of<br />

investors in accordance with the legislation of the<br />

Kyrgyz Republic<br />

• export or repatriation of profit gained on investment,<br />

proceeds of investment activities in the Kyrgyz<br />

Republic, property, and information, out of the<br />

Kyrgyz Republic<br />

• protection against expropriation (nationalization,<br />

requisition, or other equivalent measures, including<br />

Yurts in Kyrgyzstan<br />

© Shutterstock<br />


action or omission on the part of authorized<br />

government bodies of the Kyrgyz Republic that has<br />

resulted in seizure of investor’s funds or investor’s<br />

deprivation of the possibility to use the results of<br />

their investment). In exceptional cases involving<br />

public interest, investments may be expropriated with<br />

concurrent state guarantees of appropriate coverage of<br />

damage incurred by the investor<br />

• the investor’s right to freely use the income derived<br />

from their activities in the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

• the freedom to invest in any form into objects and<br />

activities not prohibited by the legislation of the Kyrgyz<br />

Republic, including the activities subject to licensing<br />

• freedom of monetary transactions (free conversion of<br />

currency, unbound and unrestricted money transfers;<br />

should provisions restricting money transfers in foreign<br />

currency be introduced into the legislation of the<br />

Kyrgyz Republic, these provisions will not apply to<br />

foreign investors, with the exception of cases where<br />

investors engage in illegitimate activities (such as money<br />

laundering)<br />

• free access to open-source information<br />

• the right to: establish legal entities of any organizational<br />

and legal form provided by the legislation of the Kyrgyz<br />

Republic; open branches and representative offices<br />

within the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic; select any<br />

organizational and managerial structure for the business<br />

entities, unless a different structure is explicitly required<br />

by law for the given organizational and legal form of a<br />

business entity; acquire property (with the exception<br />

of land plots), shares, other securities, including<br />

governmental securities; participate in privatization of<br />

state property, establish associations and other unions; hire<br />

local and foreign employees subject to legislation of the<br />

Kyrgyz Republic; and engage in other investment activities<br />

not prohibited by legislation in the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

• recognition by public authorities and officials of the<br />

Kyrgyz Republic of all intellectual property rights of<br />

foreign investors<br />

• in the event of amendments to the Law of the KR<br />

on Investments, or the tax legislation of the Kyrgyz<br />

Republic or the nontax payments legislation, the<br />

investor and the investee who meet the statutory<br />

requirements have the right, during 10 years from the<br />

date of signing the stabilization agreement, to choose<br />

such conditions as may be most favorable to them for<br />

paying taxes including value added tax but excluding<br />

other indirect taxes, and nontax payments (except fees<br />

and charges for public services) in the manner provided<br />

by the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic. The procedure and<br />

conditions for applying stabilization regime to tax and<br />

nontax legal relationships are established by the laws of<br />

the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

• other guarantees specifically provided in bilateral and<br />

multilateral international treaties on the promotion and<br />

protection of investment, to which the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

is a party.<br />

The <strong>World</strong> Bank states that the Kyrgyz Republic<br />

will need to diversify its economy. However only<br />

7 percent of the land area is arable, the rest<br />

consisting of glaciers, mountains and pastureland<br />

or steppe that support livestock grazing. Further<br />

the country’s natural resources — comprising<br />

minerals, mainly gold, and water for hydropower<br />

generation — are also limited. What sectors are<br />

priority sectors for your government?<br />

Yes, to realize the full growth potential the economic<br />

activities of the country need to be diversified. But I have<br />

to point that Kyrgyzstan’s vast natural resource reserves<br />

are used poorly at the moment. The hydropower potential<br />

of the country is used only for 10%, and less than 5% of<br />

significant potential for many types of natural minerals is<br />

being developed currently. So there is a good perspective in<br />

this direction for many years ahead.<br />

40<br />

Musicians play local traditional instruments, in Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan.<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

But as I said, the economic activities have to be diversified<br />

and currently along with tourism, the priority sectors in the<br />

economy are the agriculture, mining and light industry, the<br />

service sector, as well electric power industry. Kyrgyzstan<br />

has a huge potential in the sector of transport and<br />

infrastructure, as the Kyrgyz Republic is striving to attain

Golden eagle trainer holds his eagle during eagle hunter games in Issuk Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

the status of an international transport hub. It is important<br />

to note that all sectors of the economy of the Kyrgyz<br />

Republic have potential and are open for investments.<br />

Yes, that is true that most of the country consists of mountains,<br />

glaciers and pastureland. But in the modern changing world,<br />

where present advances in all sectors of economy give vast<br />

opportunities, our country has needed resources and potential<br />

for sustainable development. Kyrgyzstan is working on building<br />

an open and transparent state, raising life standard of citizens,<br />

as well as improving the business environment in the country<br />

through digital transformation. The ambitious project called<br />

“Taza Koom” (Pure community) is aimed at promoting its<br />

digital economy as a new engine of growth — ranging from<br />

digitizing the delivery of public services to broadening<br />

connectivity to promoting digital entrepreneurship.<br />

The location advantages, which include low labour and<br />

electricity costs, abundant hydropower resources, good<br />

weather conditions for agriculture, attractive landscapes<br />

for tourism and overall competitive taxation and trade<br />

preferences and of course the human resources are<br />

preconditions for vast opportunities for foreign investments<br />

and sustainable economic growth.<br />

More than 10 percent of the Kyrgyz population are<br />

migrant workers, mostly in Russia. Do you see this<br />

as a sustainable income for your economy and what<br />

is Government policy regarding this?<br />

Yes, that is right that the money transfers of our fellow<br />

citizens who work abroad is a crucial part of the country’s<br />

gross domestic product.<br />

As foreign trade policy is based on market liberalization,<br />

issues related to labor migration are the planned<br />

development of our foreign trade — trade in services. The<br />

role of the government in creating migration policy is<br />

closely tied to the historical and cultural aspects, current<br />

integration processes within the EAEU. The entry of<br />

the Kyrgyz Republic into the EAEU constituted the<br />

institutional base of the current migration policy of the<br />

Kygryz Republic, which is expressed in the cancellation of<br />

the work permits and other related documents. Accordingly,<br />

such favored conditions within the framework of economic<br />

integration have a positive effect on the stability of the state<br />

income from labor migrants.<br />

Barbara Dietrich<br />








I was recently accredited as Ambassador to Belgium and<br />

Luxembourg and my aim is to maintain and develop as<br />

much as possible the relations with these countries at all<br />

levels and at the same time — to make Moldova better<br />

known in the area. My country is independent since<br />

1991. With a rich history tracing back to ancient times,<br />

the Republic of Moldova is home to traditions, culture,<br />

diverse, authentic tasty food, natural products, generous and<br />

welcoming people.<br />

On the territory of the Republic of Moldova one can find<br />

a special concentration of historical and archeological<br />

monuments which have a cultural and historical value not<br />

only at the national level, but also in the general context of<br />

human European values. For those never visiting Moldova,<br />

it is a country of colours, with hot summers, cold snowy<br />

winters, colourful springs and flavoured autumns.<br />

of Moldova, one can fully enjoy everything we have to offer.<br />

And you know an important detail? Moldova is amongst the<br />

countries with fastest speed of mobile internet in the world.<br />

The Republic of Moldova has a rich cultural heritage<br />

which may be of great interest to tourists, approximately<br />

140 cultural heritage sites may be included in the tourist<br />

circuit. The earliest visible remains of the built heritage are<br />

Geto-Dacian sites and Roman fortifications. The remains<br />

of medieval fortresses, archaeological complexes such as<br />

Orheiul Vechi, cave monasteries, nobles’ mansions and<br />

peasant houses offer a diversity of visitor attractions.<br />

Chișinău, the capital city, features a good number of<br />

cultural heritage monuments, fine examples of Domestic<br />

architecture from the 19 th and 20 th centuries.<br />

Relatively small, the Republic of Moldova is at the<br />

crossroads of routes that shaped modern Europe, creating<br />

the perfect balance between geoghraphical and cultural<br />

East and West. Home to a population of 3,5 million<br />

people, Moldova is a harmonious place for diverse cultures,<br />

being the area settled by many people throughout history,<br />

resulting in a rich mix of cultural, religious, architectural,<br />

and culinary traditions.<br />


What is so special about Moldova? It’s undeniable the<br />

people! You will find them genuine, friendly and warm,<br />

especially when going to the countryside.<br />

If you are thinking about safety, Moldova is a safe country<br />

to travel an is an ideal place for tourists who want to<br />

have a short escape from the typical European cities and<br />

42<br />

considering that it doesn’t take long to travel to every corner<br />

H.E. Lilian Darii<br />

© Embassy of Moldova

© Anatolie Poiata<br />


Did you know that Moldova has two of the biggest wineries<br />

in the world? The cellars of the "Milestii Mici" Winery were<br />

registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest<br />

wine collection in the world, with a collection of 1.5 million<br />

bottles. The bottles are stored in 55 km of underground<br />

galleries. The first bottle was stored in 1968, and new vintages<br />

are added each year.<br />

The Wine cellars of "Cricova" Wine Company are known<br />

worldwide due to its huge labyrinths, exceeding 120 km in<br />

length.<br />

Over the centuries Moldova has gained rich traditions of<br />

growing grapes and wine production. If you look on the<br />

map, Moldova is shaped as a bunch of grapes situated<br />

between Ukraine and Romania, in the Black Sea basin,<br />

where the vine originates.<br />

The country has a fragmented relief, with low hills, sunny<br />

plateaus and plains, crossed by a lot of streams which flow<br />

into the two big rivers, Prut and Dniester. Moldova has<br />

112 thousand hectares of vineyard and 3 historical wine<br />

regions: Valul lui Traian, Stefan Voda and Codru. There are<br />

142 wineries in the Republic of Moldova, of which 23 have<br />

facilities to receive visitors. Here tourists can experience and<br />

learn about the complex production processes. It is amazing<br />

to enter in those underground cellars looking actually like<br />

towns (!), with a length of more than 100 km with wine<br />

storage facilities, wine processing factories, production<br />

processes of sparkling wine, red, white, rose wines, divin,<br />

heres, etc. To celebrate Moldova's rich winemaking<br />

traditions, which date back to the 15 th century, each year,<br />

<br />

© Anatolie Poiata<br />

during the first weekend in October at the end of the grape<br />


Wine Festival <br />

© Anatolie Poiata<br />

44<br />

harvest, in the capital of Moldova, Chisinau, takes place the<br />

wine festival, officially named "National Wine Day".<br />




The Republic of Moldova has 87 museums with rich<br />

collections of art. The folklore has a strong basis of<br />

Dacian-Latin origin and its customs are specifically defined<br />

by means of music and dance, oral poetry and prose,<br />

mythology, rites, popular theatre. There are over 880 folk<br />

music groups in the Republic of Moldova, 22 theatres.<br />

Carpets are considered works of art in Moldova,<br />

representing an expression of national creativity and<br />

identity. The carpet weaving technique from Romania<br />

and Moldova is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural<br />

Heritage starting December 1 st , 2016.<br />

I am very proud to say that the tradition of "Mărțișor"<br />

is of particular significance in Moldova. "Mărţişor" is<br />

called the March month, but it is also a symbolic object<br />

representing two threads of wool — one white and the<br />

other red, twisted together, tied as a talisman to the neck,<br />

hands or to the coat of people. "Mărţişor" is being made<br />

on the eve of the feast, and on the 1 st of March they are<br />

offered as a gift, with wishes of health and happiness.<br />

The "Mărţişor" feast is an example of cultural vivacity of<br />

a long-standing tradition. The symbol of the "Mărţişor"<br />

is made every spring, worn until the first messengers of<br />

spring — the flowering trees or the first storks. "Mărţişor"<br />

symbol is a part of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage<br />

of humanity.<br />


Moldovans widely celebrate traditional music and dance.<br />

There are hundreds of songs following the tempo of<br />

traditional dances such as "hora" and "sîrba". Dances<br />

are typically performed in a circle with the dancers<br />

holding hands or linking arms while dancing in a counter<br />

clockwise direction.<br />

Renowned National Academic Ensemble of Folk Dance<br />

"Joc" is the oldest folk dance ensemble of Moldova,<br />

created in Chișinău in August 1945.

© Anatolie Poiata<br />

Over the years, the ensemble of dances has participated<br />

in more than seven thousand concerts and international<br />

festivals, being awarded several medals and diplomas,<br />

among them the 1 st place at the 4 th <strong>World</strong> Festival of<br />

Youth and Students of 1953.<br />


and cultural European space. At the same time, Moldovan<br />

market is opening even more for European partners and<br />

vice versa. In this regard, for us, as a diplomatic mission<br />

abroad it is of utmost significance to built connections<br />

amongst people from Moldova and EU countries as well<br />

as to make Moldovan products known on the European<br />

market.<br />

Aiming at the membership of the EU and identifiying itself<br />

with European values, the Republic of Moldova is on a way<br />

of gradualy and surely advancing on a path of ambitious<br />

reforms in line with its national objective of European<br />

integration.<br />

To this end, we have a very important roadmap in the form<br />

of the provisions set out in the Association Agreement<br />

with the EU (signed in 2014). This important cooperation<br />

mechanism with the EU provides the Republic of Moldova<br />

with needed instruments on the path of advancing with<br />

ambitious set of reforms aimed at transformation and<br />

modernization of the country.<br />

It is important to note that due to successful armonization<br />

of legislation and as a result of the implemented reforms,<br />

the Republic of Moldova gets closer to political, economic<br />

We value the special relation we have established with<br />

EU as a whole and individually EU member states on the<br />

political, social, cultural and economic dimension.<br />

As an indicator of the signifcance of partnership with<br />

the EU, we can mention that in the beginning of the<br />

implementation of the Association agreement, EU become<br />

the most important economic partner of Moldova. 68,5% of<br />

the exports are directed to the EU countries and 51% of the<br />

imports are generated by the EU member states (data for<br />

January-June 2018).<br />

Following a determined path of European integration, the<br />

Government of the Republic of Moldova looks and works<br />

towards a future in the family of the European Union.<br />

Sharing the history and European values, Moldova is aiming<br />

at a future aligned with its European partners and friends.<br />



Home to fertile and rich soil, the Republic of Moldova is<br />

well known for its tasty agricultural products as well as<br />

wine production. Strategic geographical positioning of the<br />

Republic of Moldova, transforms the country into a bridge<br />

between East and West. In the Global Location Trends<br />

Report 2017 Moldova ranks number six in the world in<br />

terms of the number of jobs created in relation to the<br />

population, reaching the newest destination for emerging<br />

investments.<br />

The Republic of Moldova meets incredible conditions for<br />

doing business. Still an unknown place for investments<br />

and growing a business, Moldova offers a competitive<br />

environment. To capitalize on its strategic geographical<br />

position, over the last few years, the Government of the<br />

Republic of Moldova has stepped up its regional integration<br />

efforts, promoting an open economic policy. Thus, the<br />

legal framework has been strengthened, several laws on<br />

the regulation of foreign trade, competition, protection of<br />

industrial property rights, etc. have been adopted.<br />

According to the "Doing Business 2018" report, Moldova<br />

is positioned 44 th out of 190 analyzed economies. We have<br />

succeeded in significantly increasing starting a business,<br />

protecting minority investors and registering property. At<br />

the same time, we have good results in the field of paying<br />

taxes (heading 32) and cross-border trade (heading 35).<br />



The Republic of Moldova has signed free trade<br />

agreements with the EU, CIS and Turkey (in force since<br />

1 November 2016) and is a member of the Central<br />

Free Trade Agreement CEFTA (since 2007) and <strong>World</strong><br />

Trade Organization (WTO), which allows the companies<br />

operating in Moldova to access almost 1 billion potential<br />

consumers.<br />

Moldova has signed bilateral trade-economic cooperation<br />

agreements with 30 countries, bilateral agreements on<br />

mutual promotion and protection of investments — with 44<br />

countries, bilateral agreements to avoid double taxation and<br />

prevent tax evasion — with 49 countries.<br />

At the moment, Moldova is in an active process of<br />

negotiations on the signing of the Free Trade Agreement<br />

with the People's Republic of China.<br />

It is important to mention that the legislative provisions<br />

adopted by Moldovan authorities are in line with the<br />

international legal framework, especially with those of<br />

the European Union. This process will continue, as the<br />

harmonization of legislation is the key to success in<br />

implementing DCFTA commitments. Signed and ratified,<br />

the agreement involves liberalizing trade in goods and<br />

services, free movement of labor, lower taxes, reduction of<br />

technical and non-tariff barriers, abolition of quantitative<br />

restrictions and harmonization of Moldovan legislation<br />

with the EU.<br />

46<br />

In April 2016, the National Strategy for Investment<br />

Attraction and Export Promotion for the period 2016-2020<br />

was approved and seven priority economic sectors were set<br />

up at national level: the information and communication<br />

sector, manufacture of machinery and equipment<br />

(automotive), administrative and support service activities,<br />

manufacture of machinery and parts, manufacture of<br />

textiles, clothing and footwear, electrical equipment and<br />

food and agriculture. The existence of major investment<br />

projects and the expected flow of new strategic investments<br />

contributed to the Government taking additional actions<br />

to protect investors. In this context, the Council for the<br />

promotion of projects of national importance, chaired<br />

by the Prime Minister, was created. The main aim of<br />

the Council is to ensure the beneficial realization in the<br />

Republic of Moldova of investment projects of national<br />

importance, which influence the country's economy and<br />

ensure a stable social and economic development of<br />

Moldova.<br />


The Republic of Moldova has one of the most competitive<br />

tax systems in the region. From this perspective, there are<br />

49 operational tax treaties on avoiding double taxation<br />

with other jurisdictions. The general Corporate Income<br />

Tax rate is 12%, Value Added Tax is 20% and Social<br />

Security Contributions of 23%. It should be noted that<br />

corporate tax may be reduced by half or more if a company<br />

is resident in the Free Economic Zone. There are other<br />

incentives for businesses worth mentioning: there is no<br />

minimum capital requirement at the start of the business;<br />

incentives for IT employment — partial exemption from<br />

income tax and reduced social contribution; employers will<br />

not pay taxes on the amounts spent on food, transportation<br />

and employee training; companies importing raw materials<br />

receive a holiday for VAT and customs duty if they<br />

subsequently export the final product within 180 days.



One of the attractive features of the Republic of Moldova’s<br />

economy are the opportunities for the foreign investors<br />

offered by the Free Economic Zones, Industrial Parks and<br />

IT Parks — which are an innovation for the Republic of<br />

Moldova. Free Economic Zones are parts of the customs<br />

territory of the Republic of Moldova, economically<br />

separated, strictly delimited on their entire perimeter, which<br />

allow certain types of preferential business activities for<br />

domestic and foreign companies. Currently, Moldova has 7<br />

Free Economic Zones, being allocated proportionally in the<br />

north, central and southern parts of the country.<br />

At the same time, the Republic of Moldova also has the<br />

Giurgiulesti International Free Port (the southern region),<br />

as well as the Free International Airport "Marculesti"<br />

(Floresti, the northern region), both of which have legal<br />

status almost similar to the free economic zones.<br />

The FEZ are known for the facilities they offer: the income<br />

tax imposed on residents' incomes is paid 50% of the rate<br />

established in the Republic of Moldova; companies are<br />

exempt from income tax for 3 years if they invest<br />

$ 1 million and are exempt for 5 years if they invest<br />

$ 5 million; goods imported into/exported from free<br />

economic zones are: exempt from import and export duties<br />

(customs duties); are exempt from excise duty; a zero rate<br />

of value added tax is applied. An important aspect is that<br />

the delivery of the goods to the free economic zones in<br />

the other parts of the customs territory of the Republic of<br />

Moldova are treated as exports.<br />


Another industrial platform offering a series of opportunities<br />

is the Industrial Park — a relatively new tool for Moldova,<br />

created in 2011. 10 projects have been launched for the<br />

creation and development of industrial parks in the northern,<br />

central and southern parts of the country: "Tracom" in<br />

Chisinau city, "Bionergagro" in Drochia city, "Cimislia" in<br />

Cimislia city, "Raut" in Bălţi city, "CAAN" in Străşeni city,<br />

"Edineţ" in Edineţ city, "Cavi Triveneta Divelopment" in<br />

Străşeni city, "Comrat" in Comrat city, "Durlesti" in Durleşti<br />

city, and "Cahul" in Cahul city. It is worth mentioning the<br />

Moldova IT park concept which represents an attractive<br />

environment for IT businesses — a consolidated single tax<br />

of 7% for residents. The IT Park provides an organizational<br />

platform with a set of innovative mechanisms and incentives<br />

for the IT industry, as well as a predictable and motivating<br />

regulatory framework to facilitate IT business management.<br />

The first IT Park "Tekwill" established in Chisinau, comprises<br />

100 resident companies with a turnover of over 1 billion lei.<br />

This mechanism has laid the foundation for a competitive IT<br />

industry in our country creating prerequisites for emigrated<br />

professionals and companies to return to the country<br />

producing jobs with competitive salaries. At the moment,<br />

there is envisaged a launching of 2 other IT Parks, in the<br />

northern and southern regions of the country.<br />



As important instruments that contribute to attract foreign<br />

investments and promote the exports of our country<br />

<br />

© Anatolie Poiata<br />


Moldovan authorities are focusing on economic diplomacy<br />

and trade missions abroad. Currently, the Republic of<br />

Moldova has 11 Trade Offices established in Russia,<br />

Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, China, Switzerland, Belgium,<br />

Poland, Germany, Italy and Turkey.<br />



<br />

© Anatolie Poiata<br />

48<br />

The Government of the Republic of Moldova is building<br />

on the efforts to create better conditions for business<br />

development by setting out as objectives 1) Improvement<br />

of the country’s road infrastructure, including road<br />

reparations/constructions; 2) Implementation of the<br />

DCFTA; signing the Free trade agreement (FTA) with<br />

China and FTA with EFTA (Norway, Switzerland,<br />

Liechtenstein, Iceland); 3) Strengthening the country’s<br />

energy security — Ungheni gas pipeline — Chisinau;<br />

Security of power supply / diversification of supply<br />

sources; Energy efficiency and use of renewable energy<br />

sources; 4) Bringing investments — IT parks, IT industry<br />

development; promoting tourism and economic diplomacy;<br />

5) Conducting regulatory reforms; 6) Improving<br />

communications systems — access to network; 112<br />

operationalization; Universal postal services.<br />

Moldovan Government is also advancing in creating<br />

attractive business conditions, being achieved thanks to the<br />

implementation of reforms in entrepreneurship activity.<br />

Among the most important is the Regulatory Reform<br />

2016-2017, which aims to optimize permissive acts and<br />

to implement the One Stop Shop solutions.<br />

Revision and optimization of permissive acts will<br />

contribute to the "Business: With Clear Rules"<br />

objective of the Moldova 2020 National Development<br />

Strategy. Another priority is the launch of the One Stop<br />

Shop for the management and release of permissive<br />

acts, assuming the full functionality of the information<br />

system and the issuing of at least 30% of the total<br />

number of permissive documents in 2018 based on the<br />

one-stop shop.<br />

Another important reform is the Reform of the state<br />

control of the entrepreneurial activity, which provides:<br />

Optimization of the number of institutions with<br />

control functions to 13 control bodies (under<br />

Government), and 5 independent regulators.<br />

Procedural reform involving minimum documents,<br />

maximum transparency and rights for entrepreneurs.<br />

The digitization of the control processes, which<br />

provides for the establishment of the State Register<br />

of Single Controls, transparency and predictability of<br />

the inspector's actions. Another important component<br />

of the reform of entrepreneurial activity is the<br />

simplification of the financial and statistical reporting<br />

process by developing and launching a unique reporting<br />

platform at the State Tax Inspectorate, the National<br />

Social Insurance House, the National Insurance<br />

Company in Medicine and the National Bureau of<br />

Statistics. It is also about setting up a Single Report.<br />



An interesting fact is that the Government of the<br />

Republic of Moldova approved the Regulation on<br />

Obtaining of Citizenship through Investment (Golden<br />

Visa Package), which regulates the minimum value and<br />

the way of contributing to the Public Investment Fund<br />

for Sustainable Development and Investment in one<br />

of the strategic development areas of the Republic of<br />

Moldova. Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova may<br />

be granted, upon request, to a foreign citizen or stateless<br />

person who knows and complies with the provisions<br />

of the Constitution, has good economic and financial<br />

reputation, presents no danger or risk to public order and<br />

state security, pays contributions to the Public Investment<br />

Fund sustainable development or has made investments in<br />

strategic development areas for 60 months.<br />





For those who have never visited Moldova I warmly extend<br />

this invitation to start the journey of discovery! At the<br />

same time, those who already had the opportunity to visit<br />

Moldova, we will be glad to welcome you again in the future !

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Issam El-Debs has been living in the Philippines<br />

for the past 40 years and the number of Syrian<br />

nationals living in the Philippines is estimated at<br />

8000, mostly engaged in investment opportunities or<br />

manufacturing businesses, and well-settled.<br />

50<br />

Apart from the economic migration a lot of Syrian students<br />

are doing their master degrees or following medicine,<br />

dentistry and engineering degrees in the best Philippine<br />

universities.<br />

As a Syrian I wish to express my personal points of view on<br />

the present situation in my country.<br />

Syrians feel thankful to Russia for its assistance to the<br />

Syrian Arab Army in its war against extremist terrorism,<br />

going into a direct confrontation against armed terrorist<br />

groups in the country and liberate territories in control<br />

by terrorist groups. I strongly believe Syria and Russia<br />

share the same goal of combatting global terrorism that<br />

is supported by the extremist Wahhabi ideology, which<br />

represents a danger to both our countries.<br />

Issam-El-Debs (4 th from left) came to the 12 th FICAC <strong>World</strong> Congress of<br />

Honorary Consuls — Belgian Senat Brussels © <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong><br />

There is always hope for peace in Syria and the region if we<br />

start by eliminating the extremist terrorist ideology that is<br />

spreading with the help of other stakeholders in our region,<br />

internally and externally. These are the short term goals to<br />

resolve the current crisis. But in parallel we need to achieve<br />

peace throughout the Syrian region.<br />

All parties have a role to play and raise efforts that could<br />

lead to peace in Syria and the region. This might cause<br />

a breakthrough in thinking and acting, far away from<br />

old traditional views and against favouring criminals or<br />

terrorists and their sponsors.<br />

Syria has to prepare several reconstruction plans, and<br />

many laws have been passed to prepare for this eventual<br />

reconstruction phase. The priority for participating in the<br />

reconstruction of Syria will be given to partner countries<br />

who have stood with Syria throughout this long crisis:<br />

Russia, Iran, China, as well as countries like India and<br />

Malaysia. The Syrian government has repeated that those<br />

who left their homes because of the actions of the terrorists<br />

are invited to come back to safe areas that have been<br />

liberated by the Syrian Arab Army. The government will<br />

do everything it can to provide the necessary means to live,<br />

secure a safe environment and create security. We will need<br />

Syrians to come back in this next phase to participate in<br />

the reconstruction of their country. Our children who have<br />

suffered but lived through this conflict and finally survived,<br />

will have the joined responsibility to rebuild this country<br />

step by step into a better Syria. This is the challenge we face<br />

and we need to prepare our youth for this.

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and inclusive, with a focus<br />

on learning and growing.<br />

Children settle in quickly<br />

and are very happy.”<br />

Claire who chose BSB Primary<br />

School for her daughter<br />

Your<br />

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To find out why, visit<br />

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The Second Eurasian Women's Forum took place<br />

in St Petersburg from 19 to 21 September 2018.<br />

The core events on its business programme were held<br />

in the Tavricheskiy Palace and the Parliamentary<br />

Centre, with individual meetings organised in the<br />

Universe of Water Museum Complex.<br />

The Forum was organised by the Federation Council and<br />

the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of<br />

the Commonwealth of Independent States with the support<br />

of a number of ministries and government agencies. The<br />

Forum enjoyed the support of the Roscongress Foundation.<br />

<br />

The highlight of the event was the plenary session entitled<br />

‘Women for Global Security and Sustainable<br />

Development,’ featuring an address by the President of<br />

the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. The head of the<br />

Russian state welcomed Forum organisers and guests.<br />

52<br />

© Roscongress Foundation

© Roscongress Foundation<br />

He noted that the reach of the Forum extended beyond<br />

the scope of this continent. “There are many excellent<br />

historical examples of women assuming responsibility<br />

for important decisions that shaped the fate of entire<br />

states and nations. In today's complex, rapidly changing<br />

world, women are energetically and successfully proving<br />

themselves in a variety of industries and playing an<br />

increasingly important role in strengthening peace<br />

and security and resolving critical socio-economic and<br />

humanitarian problems, which is absolutely natural for a<br />

woman,” the Russian President emphasized.<br />

According to him, the world and its states will only benefit<br />

from a surplus of women's success stories.<br />

The Second Eurasian Women's Forum brought together<br />

approximately 2000 politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists<br />

and public figures from 110 countries. Business sessions,<br />

panel discussions, business dialogues, thematic business<br />

breakfasts, expert and strategic sessions were held as part<br />

of the business programme. Discussions took place in<br />

three thematic areas: ‘Women for Global Security and<br />

Sustainable Development,’ ‘Promoting a Female Agenda:<br />

International Cooperation’ and ‘Global Initiatives in<br />

Women’s Interests and New Opportunities.’<br />

Forum participants focused particularly on special sessions<br />

organised by the United Nations Industrial Development<br />

Organization (UNIDO), UNESCO, the <strong>World</strong> Bank, the<br />

Women 20 sessions, the BRICS Women's Business Club,<br />

the APEC seminar and the presentation of a report by<br />

the <strong>World</strong> Health Organization. Successful cross-border<br />

business dialogues and thematic business breakfasts were<br />

held. Meetings between the business communities of<br />

Russia, France, Germany, India and China took place as<br />

part of the Women’s Forum. The Forum programme was<br />

further enhanced by the ‘Made in Russia: Exports Created<br />

by Women’ exhibition of projects spearheaded by female<br />

exporters, presentations of success stories, a volunteer<br />

marathon and a colourful presentation of collections by<br />

Russian female designers.<br />

Summing up the event, Speaker of the Federation Council<br />

Valentina Matvienko stressed that “the Forum had<br />

managed to work out measures to further expand the<br />

role of women in politics, the economy and the public<br />

service. We have got a common agenda, an understanding<br />

of existing problems, ways to solve them, and most<br />

importantly, a desire to work together,” the Speaker of the<br />

Federation Council said.<br />


According to her, the Forum’s goals were outlined in an<br />

outcome document that would be sent to heads of state,<br />

government, parliament, to the United Nations and other<br />

international organizations.<br />

The Forum is held every three years in St Petersburg on an<br />

ongoing basis. As part of the outcome document adopted<br />

at the Second Eurasian Women's Forum, it has been<br />

proposed that the next Forum be held in 2021 with the<br />

status of Global Women's Forum.<br />

eawf.ru<br />

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

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

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

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

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

54<br />

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

© <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>






Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council of the<br />

Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Galina<br />

Karelova held a briefing on the starting day of the<br />

Second Eurasian Women’s Forum.<br />

She answered questions from the media about the event<br />

and stressed that a large number of significant projects were<br />

created and implemented in the period between the first and<br />

second forums.<br />

the Media in Shaping the Modern Image of Women’s<br />

Leadership: Information for Peace and Sustainable<br />

Development’.<br />

Galina Karelova devoted special attention to the Global Rus<br />

Trade global e-commerce platform. She stressed that such<br />

projects involving consolidation and coordination create<br />

new opportunities for business development and help female<br />

entrepreneurs to find useful contacts and attain a new level<br />

in their work.<br />

Another important initiative was the creation of the<br />

Eurasian Women’s Community internet portal. Karelova<br />

pointed out that the project was developed after the First<br />

Eurasian Women’s Forum. During that Forum, Speaker<br />

of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko gave<br />

instructions to create a register of women’s non-profit<br />

organizations operating in Russia. Such a register was<br />

formed on the Eurasian Women’s Community internet<br />

portal.<br />

The website has evolved and is now a platform that<br />

contains women’s success stories and materials about<br />

projects that aim to support women’s initiatives.<br />

The team of the Eurasian Women’s Community<br />

Information Agency is involved in covering the Second<br />

EWF.<br />

Karelova said it is no coincidence that one of the event’s<br />

56<br />

platforms will be devoted to the theme ‘The Role of<br />

Galina Karelova<br />

© eawfpress.ru

© Barbara Dietrich<br />

The senator said she is convinced that the positive image of<br />

Russia overall in the eyes of foreign leaders of the women’s<br />

movement largely consists of impressions of the women<br />

living in the country, their desire for constructive dialogue,<br />

and the search for ways to peacefully settle differences.<br />

In addition, there will be more discussion platforms as<br />

well as new interactive formats. A number of international<br />

agreements will be signed during the second forum.<br />

In particular, Karelova highlighted the Forum’s youth<br />

platforms.<br />

During the briefing, Karelova also spoke about how the<br />

Second Eurasian Women’s Forum differs from the first<br />

one. This year, she said, the event will be attended by<br />

representatives of more than 120 countries compared with<br />

delegations from 80 countries in 2015.<br />

Answering a question from the media, Karelova said that a<br />

document would be adopted following the Second Eurasian<br />

Women’s Forum to highlight the most important focuses<br />

and determine priorities for coming years.<br />

<br />

© eawfpress.ru<br />







Your Excellency VALENTINA MATVIYENKO,<br />

Chair of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation,<br />

Your Excellencies,<br />

<strong>58</strong><br />

Ladies and Gentlemen,<br />

It is a great honor to be here with you today, in the<br />

presence of so many inspiring women who have contributed<br />

to great causes both in their countries and globally.<br />

Even though we are gathered today in this important event<br />

to talk about empowerment of women. I see many women<br />

here who have been instrumental in empowering the<br />

world.<br />

I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank<br />

Her Excellency Madam Valentina Matviyenko for her great<br />

leadership in advancing women empowerment throughout<br />

the world, and for organizing this exceptionally important<br />

forum and hosting us in magnificent St Petersburg in<br />

this great nation that was the first in the world in 1783<br />

to appoint a woman as Director of a National Science<br />

Academy (more than 100 years ahead of everyone else).<br />

This is a nation that truly values and reveres the<br />

contributions of its women. The great poet Nikolay<br />

Nekrasov paid tribute to the courage of Russian women,<br />

by a saying of women:<br />



“Women can stop a galloping horse and enter a burning hut”.<br />

Indeed, throughout history women have had the courage<br />

to step up and do what is necessary to safeguard our world.<br />

And what better way to safeguard our world than to work for<br />

peace and prosperity. In fact, when it comes to negotiating<br />

peace, the evidence is overwhelming:<br />

studies show that when women are involved in peace<br />

negotiations, the resulting agreement is 64% more likely<br />

to succeed and 35% more likely to last at least 15 years.<br />

When women lead the fight against extremism in their<br />

communities, it is more likely that conflicts will be resolved<br />

without violence.<br />

This is because women bridge divides and build dialog and<br />

trust. Women look at peace more holistically and understand<br />

its connection to development and prosperity for all!<br />

Peace is not an agreement — it is a culture. Women<br />

understand this very well, because it is Women who build<br />

cultures of peace, and it is women who are the centrifugal<br />

force that maintains peace.<br />

Building and sustaining such a culture requires women who<br />

lead as mothers; women who lead as sisters; and women<br />

who lead in every facet of life by doing the things that<br />

only women can do exceptionally well — change the world<br />

through tolerance and moderation.<br />

Indeed, women leaders contribute immensely to building<br />

the right culture for peace and development, but it is<br />

the combination of women and men working together,<br />

combining their talents and efforts that accomplishes what<br />

neither can accomplish separately.<br />

As a women leader in my country, the United Arab<br />

Emirates, I am proud of our strategic and lifelong<br />

partnerships with men. To me, peace is like a graceful eagle<br />

that needs both of its two wings; women and men, to soar<br />

high in the sky to reach its destination.

Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi with President Vladimir Putin<br />

Since the birth of my country in 1971, the mother of<br />

our nation, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak,<br />

President of the General Women’s Union, paved the<br />

way for UAE women to participate in all life aspects<br />

especially the political process and women’s accession to<br />

the Federal National Council. For decades, Her Highness<br />

has been a champion for women empowerment. As a<br />

direct consequence to Her Highness’ leadership, a real<br />

transformation has occurred: today in the UAE we have<br />

transformed from women empowerment to empowering the<br />

community by women.<br />

In 2016, the UAE in cooperation with the IPU was proud to<br />

host the Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament.<br />

The Summit concluded with the Abu Dhabi Declaration<br />

that underscores the role of women leaders and women<br />

members of society in overcoming the grand challenges of<br />

our time and of the future.<br />

In fact the Abu Dhabi Declaration is compatible with the<br />

Second Eurasian Women's Forum Declaration. They hold<br />

the same aspirations that we need to work hand in hand to<br />

achieve them.<br />

The UAE is home to a myriad of cultures and many<br />

religions, people coming from more than 200 nationalities<br />

from all over the world are living together in peace and<br />

harmony. Although it is located in a troubled region of the<br />

world, yet it is ranked number 2 in the world in safety and<br />

security by the <strong>World</strong> Economic Forum and Abu Dhabi,<br />

the capital of the UAE is ranked the safest city in the world<br />

among 338 cities of the world. Peace is inherent in our<br />

culture and sustainable development is one of our core<br />

principles for a prosperous society.<br />

Ladies and gentlemen<br />

When we worship the almighty we are engaging in a private<br />

relationship with him. The way we pray or the language<br />

we use is context. The substance is our internal spiritual<br />

link. But when we engage with each other, what governs us<br />

are the principals of human interaction: Peace, Mercy and<br />

Prosperity.<br />


Peace and prosperity have a common enemy, extremism.<br />

It leads to violence and terror.<br />

Tolerance is the antidote to radicalization. Antidote to<br />

populism and antidote to terrorism. Terrorism has no<br />

religion, My religion, Islam,… is about peace. Islam means<br />

peace. There is no such thing as radical Islam. The vast<br />

majority of Muslims around the world abhor terrorism<br />

and radical thought. We refuse to allow a small deranged<br />

minority to highjack our peaceful religion, or any other<br />

religion, and we ask our friends in the international media<br />

not to associate these terrorists in any way with a religion of<br />

peace, the religion of Islam.<br />

The fight against violent extremism is a shared responsibility<br />

for all of us. To win this fight, we all must pitch in, and<br />

work for peace together. To that end, the IPU-UN High-<br />

Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent<br />

Extremism (HLAG) recently put forward a program that<br />

promotes international parliamentary cooperation so that<br />

we can join forces and counter terrorism more effectively<br />

especially when it comes to legislations.<br />

disease and inventing revolutionary technologies that have<br />

changed the world. This disease called terrorism has many<br />

faces: poverty, ignorance, bigotry and intolerance. We<br />

can beat this disease but only through a comprehensive<br />

approach.<br />

We must eradicate the ideologies behind it. This will require<br />

empowering our youth with a culture of tolerance and<br />

moderation, providing them with a secured social and economic<br />

stability, and engaging them more in shaping their future.<br />

Our societies need to be empowered with the right cultural<br />

attitude that is based on respect for human rights and<br />

responsibility for humanity and there is no one better<br />

equipped than women to empower societies towards a<br />

cultural change that will potentially avert the great risks we<br />

are facing.<br />

Our planet will be at peace only when all of us truly win<br />

together. Women has always been the agents of change and<br />

transformation across ages. Women are not any more in<br />

need of power, We are the source of power, so lets change<br />

the world through the greatest power of all,<br />

Ladies and gentlemen,<br />

The soft power.<br />

Our generation must be as visionary and innovative in the<br />

fight on terrorism as we have been innovative in fighting<br />

Thank you<br />


60<br />

Speaker of the Federal National Council (UAE)<br />

Her Excellency Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi was<br />

elected Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC)<br />

on November 2015, becoming the first woman to preside<br />

over a parliament in the Arab world. Earlier, she made<br />

history as the first female member of the FNC in 2006,<br />

the first woman to become its Deputy Speaker in 2011<br />

and the first woman to chair an FNC meeting in 2013.<br />

Prior to her election as Speaker of FNC, she held the<br />

position of Director General at the Abu Dhabi Education<br />

Council (ADEC). Under her leadership, ADEC won two<br />

awards from the government of Abu Dhabi for excellence<br />

in government performance — for Best Knowledge<br />

Management and for Best Improvement in Performance.<br />

Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Amal Al<br />

Qubaisi has overseen several institutions in various<br />

key capacities. As an active member of the Abu Dhabi<br />

Executive Council, she was the first woman on the<br />

Council’s Executive Committee as well as Chair of its<br />

Social Development Committee. In addition, Dr. Al<br />

Qubaisi sits on the board of key institutions, such as the<br />

Family Development Foundation and the Environment

Agency — Abu Dhabi. Her Excellency also serves a jury<br />

panelist for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. HE has also<br />

served for several years as a board member of Zayed<br />

University<br />

For several years, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi has been<br />

representing the UAE at noted global forums and<br />

conferences, and has carried out official international<br />

assignments, mostly related to activities of the UNESCO<br />

<strong>World</strong> Heritage Center, United Nations and Inter-<br />

Parliamentary Union (IPU).<br />

A passionate campaigner for social and humanitarian<br />

causes including women’s rights, Dr. Amal was the first<br />

UAE woman member of the IPU and representative<br />

of the Arab Group in the Coordinating Committee of<br />

Women Parliamentarians. She has also been active on<br />

IPU’s Governing Council and Third Standing Committee<br />

on Democracy and Human Rights.<br />

In 2000, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi earned her Ph.D. in<br />

Architectural Engineering with Honours from the<br />

UK and holds the world’s only doctoral degree on the<br />

conservation of the UAE’s architectural heritage. With<br />

18 years of professional academic experience, she<br />

has served as faculty for six years at the Architectural<br />

Engineering Department at UAE’s College of<br />

Engineering. To her credit, she has received a number<br />

of honorary degrees from educational institutions<br />

worldwide, such as University of Sheffield, UK, and<br />

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Astana,<br />

Kazakhstan and Dublin City University in Ireland.<br />

Dr. Amal has published and written a number of<br />

research papers and studies that have drawn international<br />

recognition. Her work covers subjects as wide-ranging<br />

as the conservation of the UAE’s cultural and historical<br />

heritage, national identity, women-related issues such<br />

as motherhood and childhood, demographics and<br />

political development, political participation and women<br />

empowerment.<br />

Among the many accolades Dr. Amal has received over<br />

the years is the UAE Pioneers Award 2014, presented to<br />

her by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al<br />

Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE<br />

and Ruler of Dubai, for being the first Emirati woman<br />

elected to the Federal National Council.<br />

Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi<br />

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,<br />

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme<br />

Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has also<br />

conferred on her the Federation Personality Award for<br />

her political achievements at the national and local level.<br />

Some of her other distinctions include the 2008 Middle<br />

East Excellence Award of Women Leadership, the Abu<br />

Dhabi Award 2008, the Abu Dhabi Medal of Honor<br />

in 2009, and a special recognition in 2007 from Her<br />

Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the<br />

Nation, for being the first woman member of the UAE<br />

Federal National Council. Awarded the Excellence award<br />

for the best Speaker in the Arab world 2018.<br />

Finally yet importantly nominated for the Asian Business<br />

Leadership Forum (ABLF) Series ABLF Award 2018<br />

November, which is considered as one of highest<br />

accolades, which recognizes leadership influence that<br />

reaches beyond community, country and region. The<br />

ABLF recognized Dr. Amal as one of the most defining<br />

influencers of our time.<br />





Projects transforming<br />

the world<br />

62<br />

Marina Volynkina is the Rector of the Institute for the<br />

Humanities and IT (IGUMO), Head of the Eurasian<br />

Women's Community, Head of the all-Russian web-portal<br />

Global Talents. In addition, she is a Doctor of Juridical<br />

Science and a mother of three children.<br />

However, children should be in the first place here,<br />

as Marina Volynkina has many more than three of<br />

them. Whole life, all ideas and initiatives of this active,<br />

purposeful, forward-thinking, and self-confident woman<br />

relate to education and social projects. She is always<br />

open to communication and full of inner warmth. Her<br />

lifestyle presupposes setting global tasks, moving towards<br />

success, and summing up every day’s results with sincere<br />

pleasure.<br />

Since the beginning of her career, Marina Volynkina<br />

has been extremely hardworking. She was promoted<br />

from a legal adviser to a chief of a legal service in the<br />

baking industry and then worked as a lawyer. For more<br />

than 15 years, clients trusted Ms. Volynkina to resolve<br />

labour disputes, family conflicts, and problems related to<br />

household and inheritance. 15 years ago, after becoming<br />

the Rector of IGUMO, Marina set a task before her<br />

educational institution: IGUMO students must become<br />

real professionals upon their graduation. How was that<br />

possible? The only way to achieve that was combining<br />

studies with specialised practical training.<br />

“Today the notion of ‘authorial school’ is known by<br />

many educationalists. However, there is no ‘authorial<br />

higher education institution’ yet. In fact, IGUMO is a<br />

unique educational institution. It actively develops many<br />

authorial educational technologies. The scientists have<br />

proved that knowledge becomes outdated quicker today.<br />

It is important to both provide students with theoretical<br />

knowledge and teach them to build communication,<br />

independently find, select, and digest information and<br />

apply it in everyday life. Innovative institute-based<br />

projects are aimed at developing such qualities and<br />

skills”, said Marina Volynkina.<br />

The project of the Faculties of Design and Photography<br />

titled Days of Contemporary Art (DOCA) resulted<br />

in an IGUMO-based contemporary art exhibition. It<br />

features artists and architects from different countries.<br />

Global Talents project is a free internet platform of<br />

supplementary education for schoolchildren from all<br />

regions of Russia. Thanks to it, school students take part<br />

in contests, exchange knowledge, and find like-minders.<br />

By now, the web-portal unites over 25 thousand users.<br />

IGUMO students and lecturers organise events and<br />

supervise contests. In 2014, the President of Russia<br />

Vladimir Putin supported Global Talents project.<br />

The project contributes to bringing up the students’<br />

high responsibility, true values, and sound spiritual<br />

development.<br />

“When my students and I understood that the need to<br />

do good became essential, that it was both pleasant<br />

and useful, we decided to take on a new project. This<br />

is how the Eurasian Women’s Community news agency<br />

appeared”.<br />

The EWC is the only independent social mass media<br />

of federal coverage founded on the basis of a higher<br />

education institution. It is aimed at promoting socially<br />

responsible journalism. All its publications are positive<br />

and motivating. The EWC avoids ‘gutter press’ behaviour<br />

and criminal incidents. Our journalists, translators,<br />

and photographers form the image of modern Russian<br />

women and demonstrate the new role of women in the<br />

world transformation including women-creators, women-

Second Eurasian Women's Forum in St Petersburg<br />

© eawfpress.ru<br />

leaders, women-entrepreneurs, and women as public<br />

figures. The EWC shares about talents, personal traits<br />

and life attitudes of women often neglected by media<br />

today.<br />

According to Marina Volynkina, the news agency<br />

team had an important task to break old stereotypes<br />

concerning the image of women, remedy the lack of<br />

positive information about women’s achievements in<br />

media, and prevent equating any women’s activity with<br />

radical feminism. The website is full of women’s success<br />

stories for readers to understand that positive journalism<br />

not only has the right to exist but also must support the<br />

information balance in society, allowing people to believe<br />

in a brighter future.<br />

By 2018, the EWC published over 1000 original articles<br />

and had over 1.5 million online visitors. It has its official<br />

English version. Location coverage of our readers is<br />

more than 100 countries. 38% of readers are from<br />

Russia, 25% — from Europe, 23% — from Asia, 14% —<br />

from the USA. But Marina Volynkina does not stop on<br />

the attained.<br />

“Initially our task was to change the image of Russian<br />

women. Today, one of our global goals is to share about<br />

women worldwide, motivate them to fulfil their potential,<br />

prevent war threats, make children happy, keep their<br />

families together, and make our world a better place. In<br />

IGUMO, we teach students to use the ability of media<br />

to influence worldviews and feelings of people in order<br />

to breed humanistic thought forms. As a result, we make<br />

people free of stereotypes, mutual mistrust, and aggression<br />

and direct them to mutual understanding, support,<br />

constructive dialogue for the sake of their individual and<br />

social stability in general.”<br />

Negative content in Russia’s media can harm people’s<br />

mind and spirit. That is why, as the moderator of an<br />

open debate on the role of women in positive media at<br />

the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum, Ms. Volynkina<br />

touched upon the balance of negative and positive<br />

content. Information consumed by people may be<br />

compared to food: it can give energy or cause intoxication.<br />

“People’s apathy or aggression is the reaction of what<br />

their brains were fed by newspapers and TV”, said<br />

Tatyana Chernigovskaya, well-known neuroscientist<br />

and psycholinguist. Elena Makarova, Editor-in-Chief of<br />


Second Eurasian Women's Forum in St Petersburg <br />

© eawfpress.ru<br />

Geometry of Destiny Magazine, called on journalists to<br />

responsibly approach what they write and foresee what<br />

effect their information may cause.<br />

Marina Volynkina and her institute have become a<br />

compass that guides people around. They teach how to<br />

love what you do and inspire people.<br />

64<br />

Minimising the amount of toxic information will free<br />

space for healthy and inspiring content. Opponents<br />

of socially responsible journalism believe that media<br />

are business and negative news are sold better. Larisa<br />

Rudakova, President of MediaLine Publishing House,<br />

believes that the growth of corporate media broadcasting<br />

mostly positive news is a good counterargument.<br />

Most readers of social, corporate, and news media are<br />

women able to smooth things over. Women’s leadership<br />

in media will give the world a positive impulse. Barbara<br />

Dietrich, Editor-in-Chief of the DIPLOMATIC WORLD<br />

Magazine, believes that the future of journalism goes hand<br />

in hand with constructive international diplomacy.<br />

The EWC team provided coverage of the Second EWF.<br />

Marina Volynkina believes that now her students have<br />

mastered the new journalism. The Rector applies<br />

acquiring knowledge through mind and heart to the<br />

education system in IGUMO. One may say that<br />

For Marina Volynkina, the notions of ‘woman’, ‘spirit’,<br />

‘child’, ‘creativity’, and ‘education’ are closely interrelated.<br />

IGUMO Faculties constantly cooperate.<br />

“As a leader, I adhere to the concept of doing good.<br />

So I teach all our students. I have always wanted to do<br />

something special to benefit not only myself but people<br />

around, to attract their interest, and surprise them.<br />

My Candidate’s and Doctor’s theses were dedicated to<br />

innovations. All my life is about innovations and constant<br />

search for ideas!”<br />

Marina Volynkina believes that progressiveness and energy<br />

of teachers, their personal desire to improve the world are<br />

essential in upbringing the new generation. Her students<br />

are thirsty for knowledge. Isn’t it the manifestation of a<br />

real talent?<br />

Text by Tina Stankevich<br />

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov

Assisted living<br />

nearby Sterrebeek’s golf<br />

Carefree independent living in service flats<br />

Time for you and your comfort<br />

www.sterea.be - +32 2 313 33 33 - info@sterea.be<br />

CRC_05954_Adv_<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>_Assistentiewoning_B230x300mm_UK.indd 1 20/02/18 14:52<br />






66<br />

As Ambassador of Sri Lanka, what are today the<br />

most important focus points and priorities for you<br />

in Paris?<br />

Maybe I can start answering this question with a strategic<br />

point of view first. Sri Lanka is a neutral country in the<br />

world of geopolitics. We basically stay neutral because<br />

we are friends with Pakistan, we are friends with India,<br />

we are friends with China, we are friends with Russia,<br />

we are friends with America, we are friends with the EU.<br />

And also, Asia has grown during the last 9 years. Nobody<br />

can actually know how big the growth of Asia is. For<br />

example, every year about hundred million people climb<br />

out of poverty to a middle status. So the last 9 years, nine<br />

hundred millions came out of poverty. It is a huge, huge<br />

growth. And all this happened without great declarations<br />

that we were going to create hundreds of millions new<br />

jobs. It just happened.<br />

And Sri Lanka is also part of this Asian phenomena. We<br />

also have tripled our GDP in the last 8 years. We have also<br />

added 30 000 hotel rooms, and another 60 000 unofficial<br />

hotel rooms. If you go out of Colombo, people with the<br />

means have built a nice, clean room with air conditioning<br />

and a nice, clean bath room. So they rent this out from<br />

their home, like a bed and breakfast. We have 60 000<br />

rooms like that throughout Sri Lanka. All this happened<br />

in the last 8/9 years and Sri Lanka is a very small country.<br />

Asia has known a gigantic growth, and this is also the case<br />

for Sri Lanka: we are importing more cars than ever. We<br />

are becoming the next big city in Asia. In other words:<br />

you have Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and the<br />

next big city is Colombo. So this is how the whole world<br />

is positioning it. That is why China is building a whole<br />

new financial city in Colombo like in Dubai: 500 acers of<br />

land in the Ocean, right next to Colombo. It is going to<br />

be a new city. And Sri Lanka also is redesigning Colombo<br />

City because Colombo is an old city: during the British<br />

colonial days Colombo was a very small area. But the<br />

city has overgrown with about 3 more million people all<br />

around it. So we are expanding the Colombo metropolitan<br />

region and we are developing with a new metro system,<br />

new shopping malls, new schools and entertainment and<br />

zoning it with the high tech for manufacturing outside<br />

the city now. And the Parliament moved to outside<br />

Colombo City, to another region. So this whole region is<br />

encompassed in this new modern ‘Colombo Megapolis<br />

Program’. And to build under this program proper<br />

facilities and infrastructure for the next hundred years, we<br />

are going to need at least 90 billion dollars. So that means<br />

we are going to build a new train system and underground<br />

train system, transport hubs, shopping malls, hospitals,<br />

more highways, more parks, more education centers,<br />

universities. Such constructions are going along with a<br />

considerable economic growth.<br />

But as you know, Sri Lanka is a very pretty island.<br />

Everybody expect Sri Lanka to be a Paradise. I give you<br />

just a few numbers and you will understand. Because<br />

Sri Lanka is an island and the ocean is around, we have<br />

dolphins and whales as wildlife in the ocean, right next<br />

to Sri Lanka coast. And then we have elephants in the<br />

middle of the country. So this is one of the few places<br />

where you have all the big mammals in one place. And<br />

the migratory birds, they come in the Winter from all<br />

over the world to the north of Sri Lanka where they make<br />

nests and new babies and in the Summer they fly back to<br />

Europe. This is a first migration. The same happens with<br />

the butterflies. There are 300 different types of butterflies<br />

and 150 different types of fruit growing in Sri Lanka. So<br />

it is like a Paradise. It was a natural Paradise long time<br />

ago. But now with the plastics and the new buildings all<br />

over, people need to structure properly, zone and manage<br />

it properly and regulate properly. So that is why we are<br />

implementing this new, modern Colombo Megapolis<br />

Program. In this way Sri Lanka will stay cleaner.

President Macron and H.E. Buddhi Athauda<br />

Sri Lanka has also one of the oldest government rules<br />

about taking care of the environment. About 2000 years<br />

ago, the Sri Lankan King declared to the people that the<br />

land and the trees and the rivers don’t belong to humans<br />

and that humans are only custodians of these things. So<br />

you only should use what you want and leave the rest for<br />

the future. So we are raised with the idea, very strong in<br />

our culture and DNA, that we always want to be clean to<br />

the world. Keep it clean, don’t pollute it. So only the last<br />

20/30 years, things got really dirty now: we have a lot of<br />

plastic and chemicals and fertilizers. All these chemicals<br />

are destroying our atmosphere and the environment, also<br />

with a huge impact coming from automobiles imported<br />

in Sri Lanka. With the industrious revolution in Europe,<br />

there were in Germany at a certain time no fish in the<br />

rivers. Now they have cleaned it and fish are back in the<br />

river. Before this happens to Sri Lanka, we are trying to<br />

make it the right way.<br />

Sri Lanka’s agenda is set from my point of view as<br />

Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France, Spain, Portugal,<br />

Monaco and Andorra with Plenipotentiary powers on<br />

the one side, from a bilateral relations point of view,<br />

and on the other side as Ambassador to UNESCO. I am<br />

appointed to a lot of multilateral agencies like UNESCO<br />

and I am also on the Board of UNESCO. Recently, I<br />

got elected to be in the global committee for intangible<br />

cultural heritage. This is very dear to a country like ours.<br />

Intangible culture is something people don’t think of but<br />

these are dying sometimes in some cultures. They are<br />

going away, so it is nice to register these things and keep<br />

it safe or at least take inventory. One day people would<br />

know these manners or habits, way of living, practices,<br />

entertainment, games, etc. Many things you can do under<br />

the intangible culture heritage. Medicine practice could<br />

also be cultural. We are meeting again in that committee<br />

in a couple of months. Like all the cultural heritage<br />

sites recognized by UNESCO all around the world, the<br />

intangible culture is the next big thing coming up.<br />

I am giving you this background before I tell you what we<br />

are trying to do with France as Ambassador. With this<br />

growth and with this impact, Sri Lanka wants serious<br />

and deep relations with all blocks of geopolitical players.<br />

For example, here we have the EU as one group. Then<br />

you have China as one group, India as another group,<br />

America as another group, in Asia you cannot of course<br />

forget Japan. When we do things, we share our projects.<br />

For example, maintaining transparency and accountability<br />

which we organized in the country after a difficult period<br />


68<br />

in Sri Lanka. The city subway system we are developing<br />

in Sri Lanka is another example. Then we have a port,<br />

we have an airport, we have oil tanks. There are different<br />

economic clusters with new strategic partners. For<br />

example, we have given our port to China and we have<br />

given our petroleum bunker system and an airport to<br />

India. China is now also engaged in building that new city<br />

for us.<br />

Now, what is missing in this picture is Europe’s role in<br />

Asia. Asia has known such strong growth, but Europe or<br />

America has not yet benefited from this growth. They are<br />

so cautious and risk-averse that most of their companies<br />

didn’t go to Asia and enjoyed the growth. Asian brands<br />

came for Asia and then also came to Europe and America.<br />

But you don’t find Apple buildings or many other brands<br />

in Asia. Something is missing in this formula where<br />

Europe is Europe and then America is over there, but Asia<br />

is growing. But now suddenly people have realized that we<br />

should join Asia and enjoy the growth and have a better,<br />

integrated relationship.<br />

This is why I am also pursuing a deeper relationship<br />

with the countries given to me. We are also strategically<br />

planning to give some of our projects to Europe, especially<br />

France, Portugal and Spain, Monaco and Andorra. I can<br />

only talk about the countries to which I am appointed as<br />

Ambassador of Sri Lanka. I cannot talk about the work<br />

of my colleague ambassadors of Sri Lanka. So we are<br />

allocating strategically some projects to France, Spain,<br />

Portugal, Monaco. And the good thing is: they also want<br />

to be a part of Asia. When I speak to President Macron I<br />

can see — and also from his speeches I noticed — that he<br />

wants to be part of Asia’s growth. And that will benefit<br />

France and Asia.<br />

France has great technologies. Some other countries<br />

have branded themselves as engineering partners, but<br />

France has everything. People underestimate this: they<br />

have aerospace engineering groups, high-tech agriculture<br />

and various other highly developed technologies. End of<br />

the day, in agriculture the productivity per acer return<br />

is very important. Countries like the Netherlands,<br />

France, Spain are very big in agriculture. We are working<br />

with them because our target is to increase agriculture<br />

productivity by 1700 % in the years to come. We can get<br />

there by changing a few habits we have. We see that out<br />

of this 100 billion opportunities we have in Sri Lanka, at<br />

least 5 billion should be given to my region. That is 5%<br />

and 5 billion worth of projects. France is a very big deal<br />

and for everybody 5 billion is a very big deal. We have a<br />

reason to work well together. We have reason to deepen<br />

our friendship because the modern world is all about<br />

economic diplomacy.<br />

I was specially elected as Ambassador to France because<br />

France and Sri Lanka have had more focus on culture all<br />

this time, but not in an economic way. It is very poorly<br />

done. But France is a center for fashion, center for<br />

perfumes and center for top brand clothing and Sri Lanka<br />

is also one of the biggest players in these fields. We are in<br />

the top ten for garment industry. We have the world’s best<br />

gem stones. The world’s best blue sapphire comes from Sri<br />

Lanka. And the best cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka: no<br />

country has that cinnamon. That is why some countries<br />

came to colonize Sri Lanka because of this specific plant.<br />

And when you use real cinnamon, it has not the bad<br />

effects of other, somehow similar plants. So the perfume<br />

industry, garment and fashion industries, gem stones are<br />

important in Sri Lanka. Ceylon tea is even distributed<br />

worldwide. We are also into gloves manufacturing,<br />

especially rubber gloves manufacturing.<br />

And it is not only gloves we make out of rubber because<br />

we have a lot of rubber plantations. Recently we focused<br />

in IT. The most of the world stock markets — nobody<br />

knows this — run on Sri Lanka software: London and<br />

New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, Chicago Board of<br />

Trade and 17 other countries run their stock market with<br />

our software. The London Stock Exchange bought one of<br />

these software companies and they moved headquarters to<br />

New York and Boston. But these are run by Sri Lankans.<br />

And most of the travel related software behind the scenes<br />

is still run by Sri Lankans. So we are a unique country<br />

from that point of view. These are the sectors that we<br />

are targeting for the world: IT, gem stones, garment and<br />

fashion industry and of course tourism.<br />

We are going to build a beautiful country. Indians and<br />

Pakistanis and Bangladeshis can take a one hour flight to<br />

Sri Lanka and have the best honeymoon or best vacation,<br />

a 2 billion people market, right next to us. This is why<br />

China is investing in Sri Lanka: we are going to be the<br />

next big thing. Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok,<br />

Colombo. And at this stage our real estate is still cheap<br />

right now. So Sri Lanka is one of the best places to put<br />

money down now because if China finished building the<br />

city, prices will rise. I don’t speak about the coming three

months, but about a perspective of 5 years. And the real<br />

estate market is all about buying low and selling high, like<br />

the stock exchange market. When it becomes expensive it<br />

is too late to buy. So it is now particularly interesting for<br />

the real estate market to buy hotels and office buildings<br />

because tourism in Sri Lanka has increased with 500 %<br />

over the last 8 years. We had about 450 000 tourists and<br />

now we are framing that we might get 2.5 million tourists.<br />

That brings us smoothly to our second question.<br />

What is the position of Sri Lanka towards the<br />

New Silk Road between Europe and China,<br />

towards the Belt and Road Initiative?<br />

Prince Albert of Monaco and H.E. Buddhi Athauda<br />

Just a few years ago, all the top business magazines and<br />

popular magazines all over Europe and America were<br />

writing: ‘China is building a New Silk Road.’ When I<br />

meet top business people in France, they react more<br />

positively about the Belt and Road Initiative and if they<br />

see that China has done already the background check of<br />

a business or industry in the context of the Belt and Road<br />

Initiative, then they have confidence about this company<br />

or sector. So it is great. All this time it looked bad, now<br />

suddenly they are complementing us. I am glad we have<br />

taken a closer position to China as a trading partner. And<br />

all the ships that come from China, pass Sri Lanka before<br />

they come to Europe. So Sri Lanka is going to be a huge<br />

shipping port in the coming years. Now 30 000 ships pass<br />

through Sri Lanka. Therefore Sri Lanka has a role to play<br />

in taking care of the Indian Ocean, to make and keep<br />

the Indian Ocean clean and safe. We don’t want ships to<br />

dump oil in the Ocean, we don’t want ships to throw their<br />

trash in the Ocean. So it is a process of strengthening<br />

our coast guard and I like France and the EU to help us<br />

in building a really good coast guard network with an<br />

emergency communication and control center, with a<br />

Prince Albert of Monaco and H.E. Buddhi Athauda<br />


70<br />

proper radar. So we could send our ships and rescue for<br />

emergencies. If there are oil spills we can take care of it.<br />

If there are people sinking, committing piracy or being<br />

victim of piracy, we can take care of it. If there is damage<br />

on a ship, we can go and help them. We are in the process<br />

of building a great coast guard and I think to maintain<br />

our independence we need countries like India and many<br />

other great countries, to help us build this coast guard.<br />

What do you think about the evolutions in<br />

Renewable Energy and the world-wide fight<br />

against Climate Change?<br />

I think that the world should know that the renewable<br />

energy industry is a very important aspect of the UN<br />

Climate Agreement of Paris. Globally almost every<br />

country has agreed to reduce the pollution and emission.<br />

I won’t repeat all the details here, that would take us too<br />

long. Out of that, renewable energy is a very important<br />

component and that should be a 3 to 4 trillion dollar<br />

global economic impact with the change towards<br />

renewable energy. With that we are going to create a lot of<br />

jobs. We are going to get a huge amount of pollution out<br />

of our way. And we can make energy so much cheaper.<br />

Research on this topic has shown that three components<br />

are very inefficient in this world now: funding the energy,<br />

the regulatory framework — globally we don’t have a<br />

standard regulatory framework — and technology. If<br />

financers investing in energy in different countries have a<br />

same standard set of regulations or regulatory framework,<br />

investors can operate in Africa, Asia, South America or<br />

Europe much more easily. Right now there are so many<br />

unknown facts in investment, that this is where the magic<br />

is now. So I am advocating to the world: let us build a<br />

standard platform for a regulatory framework where we<br />

can cut down the costs. The same thing for financing.<br />

And if we can have more efficiency in technology to the<br />

right market, at the right place, at the right occasion, you<br />

can also reduce costs. So if we can bring efficiency in<br />

these three categories, we believe that we can reduce the<br />

cost of a power plant about 40 % or more. That is a huge<br />

amount. So that is my global concept for you. Regarding<br />

Sri Lanka, we have a royal decree of 2000 years old about<br />

how we should save our environment and look after the<br />

world. We are only the custodians. With this cultural<br />

attitude and related policy culture, we have all the right<br />

thinking and frameworks for building further our beautiful<br />

island as explained above. We are also part of the Paris<br />

Agreement. We are definitely making our effort to build<br />

renewable energy power plants as much as we can now.<br />

At one time we had a lot of hydro but this has limitations,<br />

and therefore we are now focusing on solar and wind.<br />

What are your ideas on a common, cultural<br />

ground or framework for which the European<br />

Union is dying to formulate and to find there the<br />

necessary support in the present context?<br />

I think the way to look at culture is not to unite culture<br />

but to appreciate each culture separately, because then you<br />

really taste it. When you have two kinds of different cake:<br />

a carrot cake and a strawberry cake. You don’t mix the two<br />

cakes together. If you do that, you are ruining the whole<br />

thing. The same with cheese cake and apple pie. You eat<br />

your cheese cake separately: so fantastic! Then you ate<br />

your apple pie separately, like that. These cultures are so<br />

beautiful and so rich, I would not mix it at all. You should<br />

keep it so preciously.<br />

Actually, people who get to travel around the world, they<br />

have a different mentality than people who are uneducated<br />

and don’t get to travel. And most of the trouble in the<br />

world are caused by this uneducated group because they<br />

can be brainwashed and for some person’s interest they<br />

can be manipulated. I wish everybody could go around<br />

the world an spend a few years in different cultures. How<br />

rich you become! I have travelled all over the world and<br />

it is amazing to see the difference in mentality when you<br />

have not been exposed to another culture. This cultural<br />

question is important. UNESCO has a big role to play and<br />

I think with the Asian growth UNESCO has not kept up<br />

with the size and capacity. As modern Ambassadors we<br />

are pushing UNESCO to a new ground and a new level of<br />

expansion and new level of mission. We also just have a<br />

new Secretary-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, who<br />

is also a French lady: she herself is a symbol of different<br />

cultures, she has mixed French and North-African origin.<br />

We have to think as Google, as Apple, as I-Phone. When<br />

you think of a larger, faster growth in an always bigger<br />

world, UNESCO is becoming smaller and smaller: almost<br />

insignificant. I am very embarrassed to tell you and you<br />

can quote me on this: Harvard University has a 179 billion<br />

dollar saving account — they can live on interest — and<br />

poor, little UNESCO has 500 million dollar every year<br />

and they are worrying about how to make the pay-roll.<br />

It is a shame. 190 countries are members and Harvard

University doesn’t have any country member, only the<br />

student’s tuition is paid and they manage to raise funding.<br />

So UNESCO has lost the way of fund raising but they<br />

have such a respected brand name. I think we are going<br />

to reintroduce UNESCO in a much more focused way<br />

and UNESCO is going to be a part of the world because<br />

UNESCO is the symbol and the leader, the catalyst and<br />

the vision for education, culture and science. Three main<br />

subjects. In fact there should be three UNESCO’s. It<br />

became a bit confusing when Communication went out,<br />

but we are leaders in these three fields.<br />

As part of this big next step for UNESCO, we are not<br />

only going to train the students to learn a trade. They<br />

should also be taught about how to live in society, how<br />

to respect women, how to raise a confident child. We are<br />

going to take them away from that bad broken family cycle.<br />

This broken family phenomena is probably the biggest<br />

problem in the world I think, because other problems we<br />

can give a proper solution. The Broken Family has many<br />

reasons: sometimes the father doesn’t know how to talk<br />

to kids, sometimes he is a hot tempered person getting<br />

mad and beating up the children or the wife in front of<br />

the children or the sisters in front of their brothers, with<br />

as consequence that these young men later in life don’t<br />

respect women. There is a big problem if the children<br />

don’t experience the love, kindness, mindfulness and<br />

compassion. It is almost a Buddhist thing. At these ages,<br />

children learn always something from their parents. I<br />

am spearheading therefore a very strong push to that.<br />

I am going to set up a model school very soon. Global<br />

companies are joining me to support this initiative. So we<br />

are very excited and we have all the components in place<br />

in UNESCO. Now we are going to build the first one very<br />

soon.<br />

Indeed. From all sides comes also the question<br />

for a geopolitically rightly thinking diplomatic<br />

platform, a think tank considering respectfully<br />

and sustainably the needs of the others, a think<br />

tank not only occupied with the rights of people<br />

but also with their duties. Humans have rights<br />

and also duties.<br />

In the near future, H.E. Buddhi Athauda and <strong>Diplomatic</strong><br />

<strong>World</strong> are going to cooperate and join forces in order<br />

to present such ideas on Values, the Breakdown of the<br />

Broken Family and Common Cultural Ground through<br />

book publications and a lectures tour around Europe and<br />

the <strong>World</strong>, raising funding for these common projects;<br />

they will join forces in order to advocate the creation for<br />

a think tank to support, defend and disseminate further<br />

these ideas.<br />

The 39 th session of UNESCO’s General Conference<br />

elected Audrey Azoulay as Director-General of UNESCO,<br />

succeeding Irina Bokova. She took office on 15 November<br />

for a four-year term.<br />

A graduate of France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration<br />

and of the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques, she holds a<br />

diploma in Business Administration from the University of<br />

Lancaster (UK).<br />

Having worked in the sector of culture since the start<br />

of her professional career, Audrey Azoulay has notably<br />

focused on the funding of French public broadcasting and<br />

on the reform and modernization of France’s film support<br />

system. She has also served the European Commission<br />

providing her expertise on issues concerning culture and<br />

communication.<br />

https://en.unesco.org/director-general<br />

Barbara Dietrich and Maarten Vermeir<br />



Enjoy a unique eating experience<br />

Distinctive dishes made with innovative techniques<br />

Innovative culinary concepts by topchef Marc Clément<br />

Various works of art by renowned artists are integrated symbiotically<br />

Easily accessible large parking lot<br />

Innovative gastronomy<br />

You will be cooked for by top chef Marc Clément, who has certainly earned<br />

his stripes in the world of gastronomy. The dishes are prepared using innovative<br />

techniques based on Marc’s latest passion.<br />

The Bistronomy team serves affordable gastronomic delights in the form of<br />

fresh, distinctive creations that will surprise even the most refined palates.<br />

In short, gastronomy with a nod to the future.<br />

Opening times<br />

Open from Monday to Saturday (from 6 pm on Saturday).<br />

Monday & Tuesday from 6 pm by reservation for groups of<br />

20 people or more.<br />

Sunday closed.<br />

Info & reservations<br />

www.thebistronomy.com<br />

02 263 01 31<br />

Indringingsweg 1, 1800 Vilvoorde<br />

Topchef Marc Clément<br />





Innovation is not an empty buzzword. On the contrary, it is a necessity to be able to really make a difference.<br />

To grow. To become more profitable. To differentiate from your competitors.<br />

The world is changing rapidly: virtual money, 3D printing, nano and biotechnology, behavioural economics, autonomous driving cars,<br />

drone technology, etc.<br />

You are also no doubt aware of the phenomenon of ‘disruption’. Innovation comes in shocks. It changes us, as people and as customers;<br />

it changes markets, regulations, property rights, cooperation, competition & services.<br />

It offers opportunities, but it also creates threats.<br />

And what will be the impact of those megatrends ?<br />

All of this leads companies and organisations to some key questions:<br />

• Will my company become and innovation leader or a victim ?<br />

• What will my company, customer, employee, market and product look like over time ?<br />

• Will my company still exist ?<br />

• What should my strategy for the future look like ?<br />

• How do I start the necessary changes ?<br />

The professional workshops at Living Tomorrow are practice oriented and customized. You see, hear, feel and do; in short, you “experience”<br />

the future of your company or organization.<br />

(suitable for B2B, B2C of B2B2C)<br />

There are 3 types of innovation sessions, tailored to your needs and expectations:<br />






WHAT ?<br />

The Inspiration Tour is much more than just a guided tour at Living Tomorrow.<br />

Your visit is prepared in collaboration with an Innovation Coach. Thus,<br />

we can access a selection of hundreds demonstrated innovations, tailored to<br />

the needs of your organisation and employees.<br />

We take you behind the scenes of these developments. How did these innovations emerge ? What<br />

insights do they deliver ? What feedback do we receive ?<br />

They are a source of inspiration to prepare your organization for the market of tomorrow.<br />


During the personalised Inspiration Tour through Living Tomorrow you will experience tomorrow’s<br />

environment in which your company or organisation will operate. We speak a clear language<br />

based on real-life cases.<br />

It is a way to offer your employees and customers an interesting foresight on the road to tomorrow.<br />


1,5 hour<br />

“Inspiring location, dedicated and enthousiastic coach and real-time future inspiration”<br />

Marketing Manager Belgian Banking Industry<br />


WHAT ?<br />

You want more than just an Inspiration Tour ?<br />

The Future Trends Session puts innovation in a broader perspective. The Inspiration Tour is preceded by<br />

an energetic Future Trend presentation.<br />

This presentation by an Innovation Manager at Living Tomorrow is completely tailor made for your organization, the purpose of the day,<br />

and the level of the participants.<br />

The session starts with a 1.5 hour interactive exploration of the megatrends of the future and the impacts they will have on your organisation.<br />

What is your strategy map of tomorrow ? Who will be your customers ? Which technologies will play a role ?<br />

Living Tomorrow offers in these Future Trends Sessions 20 years of experience and feedback from hundreds of collaborations and millions<br />

of visitors. The participants receive interactive assignments that will bring the experience during the subsequent Inspiration Tour<br />

to a higher and more personalised level.<br />


Participants return home with insights into the megatrends of tomorrow, their impact on your organisation, and the analysis of case<br />

studies that they discovered during this half-day.<br />



3 to 4 hours<br />

“The Future Trends Session is an excellent source of inspiration. The alliances, the tools and the practical<br />

examples in the tour are very useful food for thought in the session to shape innovation in your own<br />

organisation.”<br />

General Manager Dutch Retail Company<br />


WHAT ?<br />

Are you looking for a full-day offsite on innovation ? Than this workshop<br />

format is the right one for you.<br />

It consists of 3 parts:<br />

1. The Future Trends Session tailored to your business and formatted and prepared in line<br />

with the goals you have in mind for that day.<br />

2. The interactive Inspiration Tour provides, in a relaxing way, countless new ideas.<br />

3. During the Innovation Workshop the group of participants is divided into small teams and<br />

they will actively work with all the knowledge and insights the gained from the previous two<br />

parts. This workshop takes place under the close supervision and faciliatation of our experienced<br />

Innovation Managers.<br />

They offer the right tools to search through ‘idea generation’, for innovative opportunities. The<br />

ideas are then ranked according to several criteria. Lastly, new value propositions and business<br />

models are created through ‘break out’ sessions with your employees.<br />


The workshop is the best investment in the case that you want to take a head start in innovation ‘bootcamp-style’ with your team(s),<br />

customers and stakeholders. It is a healthy mix of fun, relaxation and top education; no boring theory, but always linked to practice, to<br />

tomorrow, and to Living Tomorrow with its innovation center of 3500m². It’s all about sharing knowledge with other partners and receiving<br />

feedback from countless visitors. We stand for innovation and the future!<br />


6 hours<br />

“This innovation workshop was a day above any expectations. I already have strongly recommended a visit<br />

to many people in my network”<br />

Country Manager Scandinavian Pharma Company<br />


info@livingtomorrow.com<br />

www.livingtomorrow.com<br />

+32 2 263 01 33<br />

Indringingsweg 1, B-1800 Vilvoorde<br />






This delegation was part of a large-scale plan<br />

aimed at improving the healthcare system in<br />

Uzbekistan. Initiated by a Presidential Directive,<br />

working Committees like this one were to study the<br />

experience of countries with advanced healthcare<br />

systems. Israel was one of the chosen countries.<br />

On July the 23 rd , prior to the arrival of the Uzbek delegation,<br />

a meeting was held in Brussels at the Embassy of Uzbekistan<br />

to the Kingdom of Belgium, initiated by Barbara Dietrich,<br />

CEO and owner of <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> Magazine.<br />

H.E. Ambassador Dilyor Khakimov hosted the meeting<br />

together with the Embassy's First Secretary, Babur Sabirov,<br />

and Barbara Dietrich from DW. Sheba Medical Center was<br />

represented by Ulrike Haen from the International Public<br />

Affairs Division, and Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, Director of<br />

the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian<br />

Response.<br />

Two main subjects were discussed during a working luncheon:<br />

1. Development of ties in tourist medicine including<br />

sending patients from Uzbekistan for treatment at Sheba<br />

2. Development of a plan of action in terms of Sheba's<br />

involvement in the improvement of the medical system<br />

in Uzbekistan, i.e. by targeting the fields that need and<br />

can be improved in the various medical specialties<br />

(either in hospitals, HMO's or else), as well as possible<br />

visits by Sheba specialists to develop programs and<br />

strategies in Uzbekistan or bring medical staff from<br />

Uzbekistan to Sheba.<br />

76<br />

Uzbekistan Delegation to Sheba<br />

© Sheba Medical Center

Contract signing: Gulnara Vil'evna Urmanova Uzbekistan Deputy Minister of Health,<br />

H.E. Said Rustamov Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Israel, Michal Raviv-Reisman Director SMC International Division<br />

© Sheba Medical Center<br />

Upon return from Brussels and pursuant to a request from the<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Sheba International, a special<br />

3-day educational visit program was put together for this first<br />

Uzbek delegation.<br />

During their visit with Sheba Medical Center's International<br />

Department, the delegation got to know Sheba as Israel's<br />

leading hospital and learned to understand the Israeli<br />

healthcare system through lectures, meetings, tours and<br />

discussions. Within the framework of a potential collaboration<br />

between Sheba International and the Uzbek Ministry of<br />

Health, the ministry will profit from the know-how and<br />

experience of Sheba.<br />

At the end of the visit and in the presence of the Ambassador<br />

of Uzbekistan to Israel, Sheba International and the Ministry<br />

of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed an MOU<br />

in which both sides declared their intention for future<br />

collaboration in regard to any reform plan implemented in the<br />

healthcare system of Uzbekistan.<br />

Furthermore, the Deputy Minister of Health stated that<br />

the Uzbek Health Committee will not visit other previously<br />

selected countries because they found everything they were<br />

looking for at Sheba Medical Center in Israel.<br />

Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of the Sheba Medical<br />

Center, welcomed the delegation and voiced his personal<br />

belief in regard to medicine serving as a bridge between<br />

people and nations who have one common interest: help<br />

people in need! Prof. Kreiss offered the Uzbek delegation<br />

all the help and assistance they wish to receive from Sheba<br />

International.<br />

The delegation was comprised of the Deputy Minister of Health<br />

of the Republic of Uzbekistan, head of the delegation; the<br />

Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Chamber of the Parliament<br />

of Uzbekistan; from the office of the President of Uzbekistan —<br />

the leading consultant from the department for legal support of<br />

reforms; additional representatives from the Uzbek Ministry of<br />

Health and representatives from private sectors.<br />

Brussels Embassy of Uzbekistan: Dr. Elhanan Bar-On,<br />

Ulrike Haen Sheba, Barbara Dietrich CEO <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>,<br />

H.E. Dilyor Khakimov Ambassador of Uzbekistan © <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong><br />





German Friends of Sheba recently held a gala in<br />

honor of the hospital’s 70 th anniversary which was<br />

hosted by Germany’s first lady, Elke Büdenbender<br />

at Bellevue Palace, the home she shares with<br />

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s president.<br />

Director General of Sheba Medical Center, Professor<br />

Yitshak Kreiss and his wife Inbal were there, along with<br />

Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, and Jeremy<br />

Issacharoff, Israel’s Ambassador to Germany.<br />

The First Lady, a judge in Germany, spoke about Sheba’s<br />

accomplishments in the region “Tonight we are all united by<br />

the wish to honor and support a hospital that does great and<br />

marvelous things — and has been, for 70 years… A hospital<br />

like this is a shining example for all people in the region,<br />

and it gives hope that peaceful coexistence, as practiced in<br />

Sheba, will be possible one day in the future.”<br />

Woman for Peace: Eva-Luise Köhler Former First Lady of Germany,<br />

Elke Büdenbender First Lady of Germany, Barbara Dietrich, CEO<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>, Christina Rau Former First Lady of Germany<br />

and Peace Dove by Ulrike Bolenz<br />

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

78<br />

Nicole Staudinger German Sheba Friends Board Member, Isaac (Bougie) Herzog Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Michal Herzog, Dirk Gaedeke Vice-<br />

Chairman of the Sheba Friends Board, Eva Luise Koehler Former First Lady and Honorary President of the Board, Elke Buedenbender First Lady, Prof.<br />

Yitshak Kreiss Director General Sheba Medical Center, Imbal Kreiss, Christina Rau Former First Lady and Honorary Board Member; Ada Cegla Director<br />

International Public Affairs Sheba Medical Center, Israeli ambassador to Germany H.E. Jeremy Issacharoff with wife Laura Kam and daughter Ella<br />

© Sheba Medical Center




The “Columns of Peace” by the German-Belgian artist, Ulrike<br />

Bolenz, symbolises the most fundamental of the core aims<br />

of the European Union — uniting and reconciling nations<br />

and peoples within Europe. Reminding us that our continent<br />

has been torn apart many times over the centuries by very<br />

destructive wars, particularly during two <strong>World</strong> Wars in the<br />

twentieth century, these Columns call for the preservation<br />

of peace, individual freedoms and shared values, and respect<br />

for cultural diversity, alongside efforts to promote economic<br />

growth, employment and a better quality of life for all<br />

Europeans. The Council of the European Union, bringing<br />

together the members’ heads of state and government, plays<br />

a key role in assuring these goals. Thus, these Columns of<br />

Peace will be loaned to each country in turn as it assumes the<br />

six-monthly rotating Presidency of the Council, starting with<br />

the Presidency of Bulgaria in January 2018 — and now in the<br />

Austrian Ambassador Residence in Brussels.<br />

The artist placed beautiful images of joyful, laughing women<br />

at the core of her Columns, because mothers embody love<br />

for their children, while teaching them kindness, moral<br />

values and courage. In essence, Ulrika Bolenz is telling us<br />

that women — as mothers — are to be treasured for bringing<br />

each child to appreciate the joys of life and the precious<br />

values of harmony, peace and cooperation among nations,<br />

peoples, cultures and religions.<br />

Austrian Ambassador — Residence in Brussels<br />

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





Denis Mukwege is known for his practice of<br />

reconstructive surgery for women victims of war<br />

rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.<br />

The Panzi Hospital, designed to allow women to deliver<br />

safely in 1999, is rapidly becoming a rape clinic as Kivu sinks<br />

into the horror of the Second Congo War (1998-2003) and<br />

his mass rapes. This "war on women's bodies", as the doctor<br />

calls it, continues today. "In 2015, there was a noticeable<br />

decrease in sexual violence. Unfortunately, since the end of<br />

2016-2017, there is an increase ", he confided in March.<br />

Already awarded in Europe, the United States and Asia<br />

for its action, serious and sweet launched in 2014 a male<br />

feminist movement, V-Men Congo. Since 2015, while<br />

the DRC sinks into a political crisis enamelled with<br />

violence, The Man who repairs women, as described in<br />

a documentary on his fight has denounced repeatedly<br />

the climate of oppression and narrowing of the space of<br />

fundamental freedoms in his country.<br />

This first Nobel Prize ever awarded to a Congolese has<br />

sparked a wave of joy and national pride in the largest<br />

country in sub-Saharan Africa.<br />

The association GFAIA is happy for the Nobel Peace<br />

Prize 2018 awarded to Dr. Denis Mukwege this Friday,<br />

October 5, 2018 with Nadia Murad and warmly<br />

congratulates him.<br />

Since the introduction of the candidacy, until this<br />

memorable day, nearly 5 years have passed! We would like<br />

to thank Mr André Flahaut, who received us at the time,<br />

accompanied by Dr Denis Mukwege, and who supported<br />

this application on behalf of the Kingdom of Belgium.<br />

Mission accomplished for the GFAIA.<br />

80<br />

Barbara Dietrich and Denis Mukwege<br />

© <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>


The Legion of Honour the highest award of the French<br />

Republic<br />

• UN Human Rights prize (New York, December 10,<br />

2008)<br />

• Olof Palme Prize (Sweden, 2008)<br />

• African of the Year (Nigeria, January 2009), awarded<br />

by Daily Trust<br />

• Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by the French<br />

government (Kinshasa, November 2009) by French<br />

Ambassador Pierre Jacquemot.<br />

• Van Heuven Goedhart-Award (June 2010) from<br />

the Netherlands Refugee Foundation (Stichting<br />

Vluchteling)<br />

• Honorary Doctorate by the faculty of medicine at<br />

Umeå University, (Sweden, June 2010)<br />

• The Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan<br />

(October 2010)<br />

• The King Baudouin International Development Prize<br />

(Brussels, May 24, 2011) by the King of Belgium<br />

Albert II.<br />

• Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Civil<br />

Society (New York, September 22, 2011) by President<br />

Bill Clinton.<br />

• The 2011 Deutscher Medienpreis (German Media<br />

Award) in Baden Baden Germany (February 2012)<br />

• Officier de la Légion d'Honneur Française (Panzi, July 8,<br />

2013) brought to Bukavu by the First Lady of France<br />

Valérie Trierweiler and the Minister of Francophonie<br />

Yamina Benguigui.<br />

• Civil Courage Prize (October 15, 2013)<br />

• Human Rights First Award (August 5, 2013)<br />

• Right Livelihood Award (September 26, 2013);<br />

• "Prize for Conflict Prevention" by the Fondation<br />

Chirac (Paris, October 10, 2013) honored by the<br />

presence of 2 French Presidents Jacques Chirac and<br />

François Hollande<br />

• Honorary degree from Université catholique de<br />

Louvain in Belgium (February 3, 2014) along with<br />

Lawrence Lessig and Jigme Thinley<br />

• The Hillary Clinton Award in Washington DC<br />

(February 26, 2014) at Georgetown University for<br />

Advancing Women in Peace and Security along with<br />

the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs<br />

William Hague<br />

• The Inamori Ethics Prize from the Case Western<br />

Reserve University Inamori Center for Ethics and<br />

Excellence (October 1, 2014)<br />

• Solidarity Prize received from Médecins du Monde<br />

and the Saint-Pierre University Hospital in Brussels<br />

(October 16, 2014)<br />

• The Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought,<br />

received from the European Parliament in Strasbourg<br />

(November 26, 2014)<br />

• Harvard University Honorary degree as Doctor of<br />

Science. Boston, Massachusetts (May 28, 2015)<br />

• Gulbenkian Prize. Lisbon, Portugal (July 16, 2015)<br />

• Women for Women International "Champion for Peace<br />

Award". New York (November 10, 2015)<br />

• Prix Héros pour l'Afrique (Hero for Africa). Brussels,<br />

Belgium (January 18, 2016)<br />

• University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Renfield<br />

Foundation Award for Global Women’s Health.<br />

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (March 24, 2016)<br />

• Fortune Magazine 35 th <strong>World</strong> Greatest Leader of 2016.<br />

USA (March 2016)<br />

• Four Freedoms Award Laureate for the Freedom<br />

From Want, by the Roosevelt Institute in New York<br />

and Franklin D. Roosevelt Stichting. Middelburg,<br />

Netherlands (April 21, 2016)<br />

• Scandinavian Human Dignity Award Laureate, by the<br />

Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers & Committee.<br />

Stockholm, Sweden (October 14, 2016)<br />

• Seoul Peace Prize, Seoul, Korea (October 6, 2016)<br />

• Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People (2016)<br />

• University of Edinburgh Honorary Degree of Doctor<br />

of Medicine, Scotland, United Kingdom (December 1,<br />

2017)<br />

• University of Angers (French: Université d'Angers)<br />

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Medicine, Angers,<br />

France (January 23, 2018)<br />

• University of Liège (French: Université de Liège)<br />

Honorary Degree Doctor Honoris Causa Liège,<br />

Belgium (September 20, 2018)<br />


RUSSIA<br />



In order to sketch a geopolitical assessment of Russian foreign<br />

policy since the 2000s, the prerequisite is to seek to position<br />

oneself from Russia’s point of view. In geopolitics, this means<br />

trying to understand the issues that affect Russia from its<br />

geographical position, and thus put Russia, the largest country in<br />

the world, at the center of the geopolitical map.<br />

82<br />

We will focus on geopolitical and geostrategic issues although<br />

the economic aspect is equally important. Due to its<br />

geographical position, Russia is a central element of security<br />

in Europe, as well as throughout Eurasia. Its territory is<br />

contiguous with all major crisis zones in the world.<br />

After the end of the Cold War, Russia had to deal with a<br />

deteriorated geopolitical situation. Russia, after the dissolution<br />

of the USSR where it occupied a central position, suffered<br />

a consequent loss of strategic territories. Its territorial<br />

regression brought it back to a situation prior to that of<br />

Catherine II of Russia in the eighteenth century. Part of its<br />

population found itself scattered in new states adjacent to<br />

Russia.<br />



WORLD<br />

Russia had hoped to find a place in the common European<br />

home after the collapse of the USSR, but on an equal footing<br />

with the other European nations. This vision has failed, after<br />

the insistence of EU governments and NATO member states<br />

to “westernize” Russia and only offer it a secondary role in the<br />

Euro-Atlantic area.<br />

NATO enlargement, the Kosovo war and the Color<br />

Revolutions in the countries of the former USSR, in particular<br />

the latest regime change in the Ukraine, have persuaded<br />

Russia that the objective of Western governments is to push<br />

it back to its mainland. The invasion of Iraq, the intervention<br />

in Libya, as well as the attempted regime change in Syria, also<br />

convinced Russians that their security interests are not taken<br />

into account.<br />

The Russian reaction to its marginalization since the fall of<br />

the USSR has manifested in four phases since Vladimir Putin<br />

became Russian President (first term: 31 December 1999 — 26<br />

March 2000 and then until 7 May 2008):<br />

• the fight against the oligarchs starting in the 2000s, with<br />

the iconic step against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-boss of<br />

the Yukos oil group,<br />

• the takeover of Gazprom state-owned company<br />

allowing the Russian State to control its resources and<br />

infrastructure with the gas crisis in 2006 and 2009 with<br />

Ukraine,<br />

• the second Chechnya war in 1999 as President and<br />

Russia-Georgia war in 2008 as Prime Minister under the<br />

presidency of Dimitri Medvedev,<br />

• finally the crisis in the Ukraine in 2014 and the intervention<br />

in Syria under the presidency of Vladimir Putin.<br />

The year 2007 is also that of Russia’s come-back at the<br />

international level. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia<br />

confirmed Russia’s suspension of the implementation of the<br />

Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) signed in<br />

1990 and adapted in 1999, which limited military deployments<br />

on the continent. This was done in response to the American<br />

missile shield project and the unilateral exit of the US from the<br />

ABM treaty in 2002.<br />

On the occasion of his speech at the 43 rd Munich Conference<br />

on October 2nd 2007, Vladimir Putin denounced the extension<br />

of the Atlantic Alliance to Russia’s borders, contrary to the

promises made by the Secretary General of NATO, Manfred<br />

Woerner on May 17 th 1990, who assured that there would be<br />

no NATO extension towards the East, guaranteeing security<br />

to the Soviet Union, although this was not written down in a<br />

treaty.<br />

After the initial disappointment and in response to the various<br />

crises, Russian initiatives such as the intervention in Georgia,<br />

Syria, and Ukraine to regain control of its fate surprised<br />

Westerners.<br />

As Russia’s emblem, the double-headed eagle, suggests,<br />

Russians seek to remain a power pole according to a<br />

multidirectional Eurasian strategy. Their goal is to remain<br />

a vital state in the space previously occupied by the former<br />

USSR for their security and prosperity and to be heard in<br />

Eurasia and globally.<br />

Russia was implicated in the Georgia, Ukraine and Syria<br />

conflicts because its territory is geographically contiguous<br />

with all areas of global tensions. Russia, like any state, seeks to<br />

protect its security and prosperity. Therefore it seeks to defend<br />

its security in its priority areas of interest.<br />

At a global level, Russia is also actively involved in promoting<br />

a multipolar world in the context of globalization which<br />

is more and more becoming a conflict over allocation of<br />

geopolitical spaces.<br />

The aim is above all to challenge the unipolar Euro-Atlantist<br />

project under US leadership. Russia, on the opposite, seeks<br />

to promote a multicentered world so that it has a say in its<br />

priority areas of interest at regional level, in particular. It is<br />

not a question of recreating a power equivalent to the USSR,<br />

nor is it of restoring a bipolar world. Russia has neither the<br />

means nor the ambition for that. It is simply seeking a better<br />

geopolitical balance.<br />

Russia considers that the expansion policy of the Atlantic<br />

Alliance supported by the United States and its allies is<br />

aimed at encircling it. Russia’s geopolitical priority objective<br />

was therefore to loosen its encirclement by the Atlantic<br />


84<br />

Alliance. This objective is, at least temporarily, achieved. In<br />

the case of Georgia and Ukraine, their chances of joining<br />

the Atlantic Alliance are in the long term questionable. The<br />

frozen conflicts in Georgia, as well as the recognition of the<br />

independence of Abkhazia and North Ossetia by Russia, but<br />

also the independence of Transnistria in Moldova equally<br />

prevent an extension of NATO.<br />

As far as Ukraine is concerned, it is an identity issue of the<br />

Russian nation because Ukraine was the location of the first<br />

emergence of Russia as a State before the Mongol invasion,<br />

and was later a part of the territory of Tsarist Russia, and<br />

after that, part of the USSR, before its independence after<br />

the dissolution of the USSR. The conflict in Donbass and the<br />

annexation of Crimea by Russia also block the expansion of<br />

NATO.<br />

According to Russia’s point of view, Crimea’s return to Russia<br />

is perceived as legitimate reunification.<br />

From the geostrategic point of view, it allows Russia to secure<br />

a privileged access to the Black Sea with total control of the<br />

port of Sebastopol. The Black Sea is the strategic access route<br />

for Russia to the Mediterranean, and therefore the warm seas.<br />

This port allows Russia to counter its encirclement by the<br />

NATO missile defense system (coupled with that of the United<br />

States) and NATO bases in the Black Sea.<br />

As far as Syria is concerned, Russia made the correct<br />

diagnosis from the start and interpreted Arab revolutions<br />

as a series of geopolitical conflicts that might endanger the<br />

stability not only of Russia but also that of all Eurasia. Russian<br />

intervention helped prevent a regime change in Syria and<br />

avoid a domino effect with a spread of Islamist threat in the<br />

Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as on Russian territory.<br />

At the economic level, on the other hand, Russia’s size is<br />

modest and remains much smaller than that of the European<br />

Union as a whole. Arms expenditure is also well below that of<br />

NATO and the United States in particular. This imposes limits<br />

on the power of Russia, which is often exaggerated.<br />

Russia has thus managed to influence the evolution of world<br />

geopolitics towards a more multicentric world.<br />

Russian President Vladimir Putin has widely been re-elected<br />

in the 2018 elections and this massive plebiscite stresses that<br />

the Russian nation has come together like no other nation in<br />

Europe, which demonstrates a failure of the attempt to divide<br />

Russians by sanctions and isolation policy.<br />



Russia’s "unilateral" Westernization and the practice of<br />

sanctions to constrain its geostrategic decisions have failed.<br />

The crisis between the EU and Russia is not a sub-element<br />

of the EU’s external relations but is an issue that touches<br />

upon the aims of the European project. The geopolitical<br />

regression of the EU with Brexit, and the EU-Russia crisis are<br />

opportunities to reform the European project.<br />

A rapprochement with Russia would allow Europeans in the<br />

European Union to diversify their alliances, and to promote<br />

a multicentred world. The European project therefore needs<br />

a strong and stable Russia, as a pillar of the multipolar world<br />

in which Europe as a whole will have more weight in the<br />

global geopolitical balance. However, it is illusory to believe<br />

that relations between the EU and Russia can return to the<br />

situation before the Ukrainian crisis, Russia will never accept<br />

its integration into a Euro-Atlantic area as a subordinate<br />

element. It will not abandon its Asian orientation because the<br />

emerging geopolitical center of gravity of the world is Eurasia.<br />

The rapprochement with Russia would also be useful for<br />

the EU in order to be connected to the Chinese Silk Road<br />

project. It would be wise for Europeans to take distance from<br />

the Sino-American tension, whose main stage will remain far<br />

from the most sensitive priority areas for European interests.<br />

A moderating alliance with Russia and a reformed EU would<br />

play the role of a moderating alliance to avoid an American-<br />

Chinese confrontation or condominium. Russia, as well as the<br />

EU have an interest in the stability of its western, eastern and<br />

southern flanks.<br />

Russia serves as a useful balancing power in the context of a<br />

global equilibrium policy. It is also the energy and commercial<br />

hinterland of the European Union. The possibility of a<br />

strategic partnership between the European Union and Russia<br />

must therefore be safeguarded on the basis of a common<br />

belonging to European civilization.<br />

The German and French governments have recently shown<br />

signs of openness. A new European security architecture with<br />

Russia is the goal announced by the French president, while<br />

the German government’s coalition treaty names Europe from<br />

Lisbon to Vladivostok as a political goal. The future will tell if<br />

the opportunity will be seized.<br />

Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann


THREAT OF „WAR“?<br />

Indeed, President of the United States Donald<br />

Trump introduced a completely new way of<br />

diplomacy, very frankly stating his “America First”<br />

doctrine. However, on this sudden and put on hold<br />

for now threat of trade war with the European<br />

Union, EU, is Trump the only one to blame? Who<br />

came up first with the idea of tariffs or similar<br />

obstructions?<br />

It’s especially the big US tech conglomerates like Microsoft,<br />

Apple, Google and Amazon who dominate European IT<br />

and internet markets, making huge profits while paying<br />

almost zero taxes in Europe. Therefore, the idea of a special<br />

VAT, designed for US conglomerates with gross revenues of<br />

over €50 million was born. Well, it’s not a duty, it’s a tax,<br />

however, the result is pretty much the same. It’s not in place<br />

yet, but the idea has been discussed for a while and we can<br />

be sure this was watched very carefully in the US, both by<br />

corporations and authorities.<br />

It makes no difference, that it was not designed as a tariff<br />

and that it is meant to overcome the disadvantages caused<br />

by an unharmonized tax system within the EU. Google, for<br />

instance, has its European headquarter in Ireland where it<br />

is taxed for all its European revenues. It has chosen Ireland<br />

because it had been promised extremely low tax rates. The<br />

formerly poor country draws a huge benefit from it because<br />

Dieter Brockmeyer<br />

of the creation of jobs and infrastructure investments, while<br />

partner countries in the EU are left with nothing.<br />

Moreover, the General Data Protection Regulation has been<br />

installed to put a leech on hungry data collectors from the<br />

US. It increases costs for Facebook and Google for their<br />

European operations, yes, but it also backfires especially<br />

on smaller companies and startups within Europe that are<br />

slowed down in developing market innovations. The new<br />

e-privacy directive expected to be in place next year, is going<br />

to make it worse for both, international companies acting in<br />

the EU and local ones. Big US players can act around this<br />

easily and can count on — more or less open — support from<br />

their government.<br />

From the outside perspective all that matters are authorities<br />

installing obstructions preventing US companies from acting<br />

as freely as before or, at least, that it will be more expensive<br />

for them to do so. Of course, there is a big difference in the<br />

orchestration of the Trump administration. But it is not so<br />

easy to blame only one side for the new direction. The talks<br />

starting now to completely nix tariffs and state subsidies<br />

within the two trade blocks are a step in the right direction.<br />

However, it’s a complicated issue with open ends. Independent<br />

of these talks the EU should solve its internal and structural<br />

problems by reforming the Union, something that’s been<br />

overdue for a while. A harmonized tax system for instance is<br />

hard to accomplish, considering the current state of the union.<br />

However, it would make it easier also to respond to trade war<br />

threats — not only from the Trump administration. This would<br />

take away arguments from those in favor of a trade war which<br />

would consequently harm the entire globe.<br />


FEMOZA<br />






OBOR — One Belt One Road or China’s new<br />

silk roads can create a global interconnected free<br />

economic trade and manufacturing spaces and a new<br />

network for the sharing economies of tomorrow!<br />

86<br />

In 2013 — China’s President Xi Jinping has launched the<br />

One Belt One Road project — involving 60 countries in<br />

a transcontinental, 1 trillion $ funded project. OBOR<br />

embraces 70% of the world population, 55% of world GDP<br />

and 75% of the world’s energy reserves ! Aim: launching the<br />

maritime and land routes connecting the Asian continent<br />

with Europe.<br />

At the operational level, a financial vehicle — the AIIB —<br />

the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was launched.<br />

For its communication with the EU — China created its<br />

own political platform CEEC 16+1 comprising of 11 EU<br />

member states and 5 Balkan states. This forum is now a<br />

driving force to expand and finance the Silk Road network<br />

into the EU. Femoza hopes that Europe’s TEN-T trans-<br />

European networks will be integrated in this planetary<br />

vision on communication, manufacturing and logistics.<br />

Femoza is convinced that this new multimodal<br />

infrastructures will revive the idea of a global<br />

interconnected network for free trade and manufacturing<br />

with free economic zones forming its backbone. Some here<br />

in Europe are announcing a new Hanseatic league concept.<br />





The construction of cross-border optical cables and other<br />

communications trunk line networks may add an additional<br />

transport modus to these infrastructures.<br />

Today value chains between supply and production; between<br />

manufacturing and distribution to the end-clients; such<br />

chains encounter multiple bottlenecks. These are amongst<br />

others the slow speed at which goods now travel, the custom<br />

clearance inefficiencies and inconsistencies, the costs of<br />

delays caused by labour and logistic delays and finally the<br />

lack of visibility of the status of goods along the transport<br />

corridors.<br />

Through a digital silk road infrastructure including a single<br />

unified customs system and effective methods of tracking<br />

the products on board; the new transport networks could<br />

become intelligent and become part of the integrated<br />

manufacturing and logistics chains.<br />




Humanity has encountered 3 industrial revolutions. These<br />

changed the human work component for the production<br />

of goods fundamentally. The first industrial revolution<br />

was the one of steam-powered mechanical manufacturing<br />

facilities that took place by the end of the 18th century.<br />

The general use of electrically-powered mass production

© Femoza<br />

technologies at the beginning of the 20th century, became<br />

the second industrial revolution. A further automation of<br />

manufacturing came through the third industrial revolution<br />

that began around mid-1970s, through the widespread<br />

integration of electronics and information technology (IT)<br />

in factories. In total, these three industrial revolutions took<br />

roughly two centuries to develop.<br />

Now we have entered with digital infrastructures, internet<br />

of things, artificial intelligence, big data and data-analysis,<br />

blockchain, smart contracts into the 4 th industrial<br />

revolution. It will have the biggest disruptive impact on<br />

the old economies ever and that will change the way we<br />

produce, consume and live on our planet.<br />




Free Economic zones should transform themselves<br />

into digital free zones that have the state-of-the-art<br />

infrastructures and capacities that are needed to empower<br />

this 4 th industrial revolution in production and logistics.<br />

All of this may solve the old problems like lack of speed<br />

in the warehousing operations, the inconsistent capacity<br />

planning along manufacturing and distribution value chains.<br />

It will allow decentralized and fully customized production<br />

of goods that will be delivered from multiple shared<br />

manufacturing sites directly, on demand, to the end<br />

consumers; these fully integrated value chains will be all<br />

time visible, interconnected and transparent through digital<br />

ledger technologies.<br />

The Free zones should in this way form a global<br />

interconnected space network for free manufacturing and<br />

distribution — with a standard global custom system based<br />

on blockchain and smart contracts.<br />





The Forum organised by the UN-UNCTAD will take<br />

place from 22 to 26 October 2018, at the Palais des<br />


© Femoza<br />

88<br />

Nations in Geneva. FEMOZA is a co-organiser of the<br />

session Special Economic Zones: Opportunities and<br />

Challenges, that will take place on Friday, 26 October<br />

2018. But also some special session on blockchain<br />

transformation will be part of the forum.<br />

(http://worldinvestmentforum.unctad.org)<br />

The 2018 Forum will feature over 50 sessions, including<br />

three summits, five ministerial roundtables, ministersbusiness<br />

executives dialogues, several multi-stakeholder<br />

dialogues on special themes, a variety of parallel events<br />

and award ceremonies. Over 5000 high-level participants,<br />

representing investment-development stakeholders<br />

worldwide will be present. FEMOZA has an observatory<br />

status at UNCTAD.<br />


For <strong>Diplomatic</strong> world the 4 th industrial revolution opens<br />

perspectives for the new Eurasia continent, that extends<br />

from North Sea to Pacific ocean; where peoples and cultures<br />

in the 3 major political jurisdictions the Eurasian Economic<br />

Union, the EU and China live in peace and harmony and<br />

develop numerous synergies between each other.<br />

Through the 4 th industrial revolution a meeting point between<br />

the East (inspired by communist and Confucian thinking)<br />

and the West (socially corrected market economy) can be<br />

created. This will open new windows of opportunities to<br />

work out new visions for the promotion of growth; within<br />

a broadly supported social model and an environmentally<br />

sound platform: a new model for the future of humanity.

Wallpaper, watercolor<br />

© Lieve Van Stappen<br />



ANTWERP IN 2020 ?<br />

SEPTEMBER 27 TH , 2018, WAS<br />



Three organisations signed a memorandum for<br />

cooperation on the future Diamond Silk Road train<br />

Antwerp-Shanghai.<br />

FEMOZA the <strong>World</strong> federation for Free Economic Zones<br />

is a non-for profit organisation with its seat in Geneva. The<br />

organisation has an observer statutus at UNCTAD and<br />

UNIDO — two organisations that are part of the United<br />

Nations. Also <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> was one of the signatories.<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> world combines diplomacy — journalism with<br />

a strong focus on moving our planet towards more peace,<br />

cooperation and cultural exchange. The third organisation is<br />

the Chinese community of Antwerp, through EFTCC — the<br />

European Federation of Traditional Chinese Culture. Ludo<br />

Van Campenhout — Vice-Mayor of the City of Antwerp<br />

was the guest speaker and underlined the importance for<br />

Antwerp of the project. Antwerp is an open door to the<br />

world and will connect citizens from various countries like<br />

Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and China through the<br />

Diamond Express train. The next Antwerp city Government<br />


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

will hopely take this ambition high on its strategic<br />

international agenda.<br />


The organisers stress that Antwerp Central is today<br />

considered one of the most beautifull stations in the<br />

world. This is confirmed by several international rankings.<br />

The historical monument that was ordered by King<br />

Leopold II has been transformed from a dead-end station<br />

to a through station and that is a real masterpiece of<br />

engineering and architecture. The station is now one<br />

of the most important transitpoints on Europe’s high<br />

speed train network; with fast and easy connections<br />

to Amsterdam - Paris - London and Cologne. This<br />

gives Antwerp Central Stations a trumpcard: its direct<br />

catchment area is nearly 30 mio citizens and can be<br />

compared to Shanghai, Antwerp’s sister city.<br />

In addition Antwerp is the entrance door to the<br />

International Silkroad — connecting the Atlantic and Pacific<br />

Ocean. Every week the Port of Antwerp receives containers<br />

through the maritime silk roads; but also over land<br />

Bloctrains from China arrive in nearly 13 days (compared to<br />

35 days by sea).<br />

But as the China Government policy of One Belt One Road<br />

comes into reality by fast and easy connections on the<br />

ground: new Silk Roads are giving us a brand new feeling<br />

of the one continent on which we live here: EuroAsia: a<br />

conglomerate of peoples, cultures, countries that extends all<br />

the way from the Atlantic till the Pacific ocean. FEMOZA,<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> and EFTCC want to invite citizens<br />

all over that one Eurasia continent to meet, to greet, to<br />

exchange views, cultures, education, innovation by travelling<br />

on the planned Antwerp-Shanghai Diamond Silk Road train.<br />




In 1722 the Antwerp merchant Johan Alexander<br />

van Susteren founded the Oostendse Compagnie. This<br />

company was the emanation of the heroic involvement of<br />

Antwerp on the old Silk Roads. This Antwerp company<br />

was the first one on our European continent to develop<br />

the old historical maritime Silk Road with China. The<br />

company imported at its highlight even more than <strong>58</strong>% of<br />

all traded tea from China to Western Europe. A unique<br />

Palace on the Meir was built by van Susteren. The Palace<br />

on the Meir in Antwerp, still exists in its original form and<br />


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

92<br />

was symbolically choosen by the 3 organisations to sign<br />

their memorandum.<br />

Another name to remember is the Belgian banker<br />

Naegelmaeckers who from 1898 till 1917 operated nostalgic<br />

luxury trains. His ‘Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-<br />

Lits” operated the world famous luxury trainhotel on the<br />

Transsiberian Express, bringing passengers from Moscow all<br />

the way to Vladivostok.<br />




The first Diamond Silk Road train will make use of<br />

the historical Trans-Siberian Express. That will make<br />

the train extremely attractive as it will connect citizens<br />

from Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk, Moscow, Yekaterinburg,<br />

Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Ulan Bator and Beijing. A<br />

fascinating journey on sleeping trains that can be done in<br />

less than a week. The initiators of the project hope that a<br />

dialogue can be started between the Peoples Republic of<br />

China, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the<br />

EU to even work out a special single “Silk Road Visum”<br />

dedicated to this train journey.<br />

The chairman of Russian Railways, Oleg Belozerov, and<br />

the general director of China Railway Corp signed on<br />

June 8 this year a Memorandum of Understanding on<br />

the organization of high-speed rail freight transport on<br />

China-Russia-Europe axis.<br />

The ceremony took place in a Beijing-Tianjin high speed<br />

train, where the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and<br />

President of China, Xi Jinping attended. So Eurasia train<br />

travel will soon be next generation high speed and it is<br />

important that not only goods but also citizens will be able<br />

to use this new super infrastructures.<br />



China and Europe share the same railway track width —<br />

standard gauge or 1435 mm. But Russia’s railway space<br />

has a broader track width: 1520 mm. Spain has developed<br />

a unique technology whereby trains can continue their<br />

journey over both railway networks. Talgo technology<br />

allows the wheels to glide over their axis and adopt to<br />

different railway gauges. China as well as Russia have today<br />

Talgo trains — and these trains could be used to make the<br />

Antwerp-Shanghai railway line operational.

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





The signing of the Memorandum at the Palace on the Meir<br />

took place in presence of a important diplomatic delegation<br />

from several countries. Moreover the AWDC — Antwerp<br />

<strong>World</strong> Diamond Centre gave in its speech the full support<br />

to the project. And also the Russian world leading diamond<br />

mining company Alrosa was prominently present in support<br />

of the event. Antwerp has been the heart of diamond<br />

trade worldwide for more than 500 years! 84% of all rough<br />

diamonds and 50% of all cut diamonds find their way to the<br />

city. Shanghai is China’s diamond capital and the sister city<br />

relationship between both cities is therefore a precious one!<br />


The Belgian National Railways have authorised the<br />

placement of a unique sculpture of the Sino-Belgian artist<br />

Shufen on the plus 1 platforms of the railway station. That<br />

sculpture is a strong sign for the peace, friendship and<br />

harmony that we want to create on the new EuroAsian<br />

continent. It is a hand of hospitality between the 2 friendship<br />

cities Antwerp and Shanghai and forms an invitation to bring<br />

the dream of the Diamond Silk Road train into reality.<br />

The organisers will look for an international party Silk<br />

Road Party weekend with active participation of the Silk<br />

Road capitals Berlin-Warsaw-Minsk-Moscow and Beijing.<br />

These Silk Road parties in the stations should take place<br />

simultaneously and aired online via internet streaming into<br />

one EurAsia Silk Road Party for its citizens. To go into next<br />

steps the signatories to the Memorandum want to set up an<br />

international Diamond Silk Road foundation.<br />

This project is only possible with people who believe<br />

in disruption, who can think “out of the box”, who are<br />

innovative and most of all who believe in our new continent<br />

EurAsia that extends from Atlantic till Pacific Ocean. These<br />

were the very first words of Freddy Opsomer at the signing<br />

ceremony.<br />

Freddy Opsomer served some years as mediator between<br />

Belgian’s National railway company and the City of<br />

Antwerp.<br />




New 60-acre redevelopment project,<br />

LABIOMISTA, slated to open in 2019 in Belgium.<br />

Established by artist Koen Vanmechelen,<br />

LABIOMISTA to feature large-scale public park,<br />

research facilities, and the artist’s studio.<br />

Internationally renowned conceptual artist Koen Vanmechelen<br />

is breathing new life into the city of Genk, Belgium — once a<br />

major mining center — with a 60-acre redevelopment project.<br />

Called LABIOMISTA — which means “the mix of life” — the<br />

project will feature an entrance and orientation building<br />

designed by acclaimed Swiss architect Mario Botta; a Research<br />

& Study Forum, located in a newly redesigned 1920s villa;<br />

the Cosmopolitan Culture Park, a sustainably redeveloped<br />

grassland that will serve as home to a wide range of animals<br />

and invite the public to engage with the environment and its<br />

inhabitants; and the artist’s 53,000-square-foot private studio,<br />

also designed by Botta. Each of the project’s components<br />

is inspired by Vanmechelen’s wide-ranging practice, which<br />

is guided by an artistic and scientific engagement with<br />

biocultural diversity and its impact on the creation of more<br />

resilient and sustainable communities. This fall marks a<br />

midway point to the project’s completion, which is slated to<br />

open in June 2019.<br />

LABIOMISTA brings together, at one site, the different<br />

threads that comprise Vanmechelen’s work, while also<br />

creating a new platform for dialogue and innovation. His<br />

practice is best encapsulated in such “living art” initiatives<br />

as the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP).<br />

94<br />

Interior view, The Battery, LABIOMISTA - Studio Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Kris Vervaeke

Launched 20 years ago, the CCP is a crossbreeding program<br />

through which the artist naturally breeds chickens from<br />

different countries, diversifying the flock’s gene pool<br />

and in doing so increasing its fertility, immunology, and<br />

aesthetic variety. The project has become a driving force for<br />

Vanmechelen, spurring similar projects around the world —<br />

most recently in Ethiopia — as well as collaborations with<br />

scientists and leaders from a spectrum of fields to examine<br />

the importance of diversity to building resilience, shifting<br />

outlooks on the environment, the relationships between<br />

nature and culture, and community development.<br />



The selection of the site in Genk also further builds on<br />

these ideas, as LABIOMISTA sits atop a former coal<br />

mine that was later transformed into a now defunct zoo.<br />

Economically and ecologically scarred, the location offers<br />

an ideal opportunity for an intervention that will at once<br />

rehabilitate the natural landscape and stimulate economic<br />

growth in this region. With support from local government<br />

as well as private stakeholders, and in collaboration<br />

with Flanders and Limburg Tourism, LABIOMISTA is<br />

being developed as a public-private partnership between<br />

Vanmechelen and the city of Genk. Discussions are also<br />

already underway for a further development focused on<br />

cultivating locally-sourced dining options in and around<br />

LABIOMISTA, to support further economic and social<br />

growth in the area.<br />

“The examination of the ongoing development of our<br />

societies and cultures feels particularly pressing today.<br />

My vision is that LABIOMISTA will foster discussions<br />

across a wide range of people — from the public to artists<br />

to scholars — about how we can create more diverse,<br />

sustainable, resilient, and engaged communities, and also<br />

about our relationships to the other living creatures with<br />

which we share the earth. It is exciting to bring together the<br />

various aspects of my work into a centralized hub, and to<br />

see what new ideas and projects can be born from it,<br />

in this region and far beyond,” said Vanmechelen. “I’m also<br />

inspired and enthusiastic about the collaboration with the<br />

leadership of the city of Genk, who share my vision for a<br />

new kind of community and have boldly signed on to have<br />

an artist redevelop this vital site and area.”<br />


The Studio, also known as The Battery, is situated at the<br />

southern end of the site, with proximity to the road and<br />

<br />

© Florian Voggeneder<br />

Koen Vanmechelen (b. 1965) is an internationally<br />

renowned conceptual artist based in Belgium. He<br />

employs a diversity of approaches to his crossdisciplinary<br />

practice, from painting and sculpture, to<br />

video and installations, to drawing and glasswork, in<br />

addition to his living art initiatives.<br />

Across the last decade, Vanmechelen has collaborated<br />

with scientists from different disciplines. His research<br />

and work earned him an honorary doctorate from the<br />

University of Hasselt in 2010, and the Golden Nica<br />

Hybrid Art award in 2013. His ongoing investigations,<br />

with the support of project partners, led to the<br />

creation of the Open University of Diversity, which<br />

invites people from different fields of study and<br />

practice to engage in a dialogue and new projects that<br />

examine ideas of diversity.<br />

Vanmechelen has shown in major institutions across the<br />

world, including The National Gallery London, Victoria<br />

and Albert Museum (London), Museum Kunst Palast<br />

(Düsseldorf), Venice Projects (Venice), Muziekgebouw<br />

aan ‘t IJ (Amsterdam), Museum of Art and Design<br />

(New York), Pushkin Museum (Moscow), Serlachius<br />

Museum (Manttä) and across Belgium, including at the<br />

Verbeke Foundation, Watou, Museum M and Z33. In<br />

2015, he participated in the Havana Biennale, where<br />

his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project was responsible for<br />

reintroducing an extinct species of chicken back to Cuba.<br />


Exterior view, The Looking Glass, The Battery, LABIOMISTA - Studio Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Philippe van Gelooven<br />

views of the Cosmopolitan Culture Park to the north<br />

and the Research & Study Forum to the west. Inspired<br />

by Vanmechelen’s artworks — which in addition to his<br />

“living art” projects include paintings, drawings, sculpture,<br />

installation, and video works — Botta designed a steel frame<br />

building, clad in black brick, and punctuated by 20-foot-high<br />

windows that draw light deep into the structure’s core. The<br />

Studio has three levels and an open, spacious interior, with<br />

polished concrete floors throughout.<br />

The western end of the building is elevated, creating a series<br />

of open-air spaces punctuated by structural columns. These<br />

spaces — which will be open to the public — showcase some<br />

of Vanmechelen’s 2D and 3D installations and works, and<br />

also feature an enclosure for the Red Jungle Fowl — the<br />

primary progenitor of the domestic chicken. The main level,<br />

which runs the length of the building, includes spaces for<br />

art-making and gathering as well as for rotating displays of<br />

Vanmechelen’s work. The second floor serves primarily as<br />

office and storage spaces, and features a balcony that wraps<br />

the interior perimeter, offering sightlines down onto the art<br />

— and art-making — on the main floor. The eastern end of<br />

the building has a third, ground-floor level storage area.<br />

96<br />

The Studio also features a multi-story greenhouse on its<br />

western side entitled The Looking glass, which houses a<br />

number of bird species, including hornbills, toucans, and<br />

Collective Memory, marble © Koen Vanmechelen, LABIOMISTA<br />

© Philippe van Gelooven


Exterior view, Incubated <strong>World</strong>s, Addis Ababa (ET), 2018 © Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Goele Schoofs<br />

In April 2018 a unique poultry facility opened in<br />

Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Incubated <strong>World</strong>s is<br />

an artwork and research center at once, a combined<br />

effort of internationally acclaimed Belgian artist Koen<br />

Vanmechelen and two ILRI livestock geneticists; Tadelle<br />

Dessie and Olivier Hanotte. More than a scientific<br />

facility, Incubated <strong>World</strong>s is about harnessing diversity<br />

to promote new types of unity and harmony. It reveals<br />

art and science as valuable partners in addressing global<br />

challenges of sustainable food systems.<br />

The unique genetic diversity of the Cosmopolitan Chicken<br />

Project is brought to Ethiopia in Incubated <strong>World</strong>s, where<br />

the CCP will be crossed with an Ethiopian-grown chicken<br />

breed, researched and selected by the Ethiopian Institute<br />

of Agricultural Research and ILRI for its productivity and<br />

local preference. The crossbred chicken will be named<br />

the ‘African Ethiopian Planetary Community Chicken’,<br />

“It represents the merger of the global with the local,<br />

the world with the community”, says Vanmechelen,<br />

“This crossbreeding project is part of a quest to balance<br />

diversity with productivity. It is at once art, research and<br />

development project.”<br />

and offers a model for more sustainable and resilient<br />

food systems. ACGG Project Leader, Tadelle Dessie:<br />

‘Incubated <strong>World</strong>s brings diversity and ever-changing<br />

combinations back to Ethiopia, the place where life in<br />

myriad forms began and flourished. It demonstrates to<br />

the world that difference can be a thing of beauty and<br />

something that society needs to survive. Ethiopia, being<br />

one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, is an apt<br />

location for this facility’.<br />


Honoring the beauty and value of diversity, Koen<br />

Vanmechelen’s artwork Book of Genome was added to<br />

the collection of the National Museum of Ethiopia. It is<br />

significant that these books find a home in the National<br />

Museum of Ethiopia, being the cradle of civilization and<br />

the home of Lucy; the world’s most well-known fossil<br />

from the early hominids.<br />

Incubated <strong>World</strong>s brings a fresh perspective to the<br />

collaborative ILRI-led African Chicken Genetic Gains<br />

project, which is working to increase the productivity<br />

of smallholder chicken farming in Africa and is<br />

supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.<br />

Crossbreeding genetically rich and diverse birds with<br />

locally grown chickens that were selected and developed<br />

for productivity, enriches and diversifies genetic lines<br />

Installation view, Genome Books, DE-CODE (video), Incubated <strong>World</strong>s,<br />

Addis Ababa (ET), 2018 © Koen Vanmechelen © Goele Schoofs<br />




Exhibition view, It's About Time, Serlachius Museums, Manttä (FI), 2018 © Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Sampo Linkoneva<br />

It’s About Time, Vanmechelen solo exhibition at the<br />

remarkable Serlachius Museums in Finland, offered an<br />

in-depth retrospective overview into the unique territory<br />

Vanmechelen’s art occupies on the edges of art and<br />

nature. It presented striking and monumental artworks<br />

inside the Serlachius main exhibition space, with his<br />

famous breeding program for chickens and pigs outside<br />

across the grounds of the park.<br />

Curator Timo Valjakka; “Key concepts in Vanmechelen’s<br />

art are diversity, fertility, identity, domestication, dedomestication<br />

and human rights. A deeply ethical artist,<br />

his work is concerned about the state of the Earth<br />

and a sustainable future for all species. He seeks both<br />

symbolically and concretely to open perspectives into a<br />

future where people do not exploit nature or each other<br />

but live in a state of balance. As an artist he is motivated<br />

by the desire to change the world, not by the power to<br />

possess it.”<br />


Mario Botta and Koen Vanmechelen in the architect's studio, Mendrisio (CH), 2014<br />

several varieties of turacos. A large enclosure, positioned<br />

atop the building, also provides a habitat for a pair of<br />

Steller’s Sea Eagles. A glass void in the ceiling at the core of<br />

the building allows for views into the Eagles’ environment.<br />

The design for the 53,000-square-foot Studio is a<br />

direct outgrowth of Botta’s long-standing friendship<br />

with Vanmechelen, and his strong understanding of<br />

Vanmechelen’s vision to unite experiences of nature and<br />

culture. Although primarily not a public facility, visitors to<br />

LABIOMISTA will be able to walk around and through the<br />

open-air spaces and greenhouse, and also get views to the<br />

Eagles housed above.<br />



Visitors will enter LABIOMISTA through an entrance<br />

structure, titled The Ark, located at the southwestern end<br />

of the site, and which is also designed by Botta. A dramatic,<br />

modernist archway of black bricks, steel, and polished<br />

concrete, the structure will include 2,500 square feet of<br />

interior space and serve as a welcome area for visitors,<br />

providing them with information about the overall site<br />

and Vanmechelen’s practice. The Ark will also include<br />

installations and works of art by Vanmechelen, a shop, and<br />

the offices for LABIOMISTA’s site manager.<br />

Interior view, The Battery, LABIOMISTA - Studio Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Kris Vervaeke<br />

From this entrance, visitors will be directed toward the<br />

Research & Study Forum, where they can learn more about<br />

the activity that takes place at LABIOMISTA. Situated within<br />

a beautifully renovated 1920s villa that originally belonged<br />

to the owner of the coal mine, the Forum will serve as the<br />

home base for the Open University of Diversity, a think tank<br />


Exterior view, The Battery, LABIOMISTA - Studio Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Philippe van Gelooven<br />

100<br />

founded by Vanmechelen in 2011 to explore the intersections<br />

of science and art, particularly as it relates to questions of<br />

diversity, fertility, immunology, resilience, and sustainability.<br />

It will, over time, provide overnight accommodations for<br />

scientists, scholars, and curators, who wish to conduct<br />

research at LABIOMISTA or use its library and archives.<br />

Here, the public can experience installations that provide<br />

further details about the animals and ecosystem developed<br />

in the Cosmopolitan Culture Park, as well as some of the<br />

ongoing scientific inquiries and dialogues that relate to<br />

different aspects of the redevelopment. Visitors can also<br />

view some of the archives on the site’s coal mining history,<br />

the genome data for the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, and<br />

additional works of art by Vanmechelen.<br />


The Cosmopolitan Culture Park will be the largest<br />

component of LABIOMISTA, encompassing the majority<br />

of the 60 acres. Animals at the Park will include camels,<br />

dromedaries, ostriches, llamas, emus, nandus, and alpacas.<br />

Together these animals will enable Vanmechelen — and<br />

the scientists and researchers with whom he collaborates<br />

— to pose questions and formulate answers about human<br />

and animal relationships, including issues around how we<br />

broadly view animals, evolution, adaptation, domestication,<br />

and the impact of these ideas on diversity.<br />

Formerly a zoo, the Park is being designed by BURO<br />

Landschap, a Belgian urban planning and technology firm,<br />

in collaboration with Vanmechelen. With the removal of the<br />

enclosures that were once a part of the zoo, the Park will<br />

feature a network of elevated and ground level pedestrian<br />

walkways to establish spaces where the animals, which<br />

will be able to roam freely, can engage safely with human<br />

visitors. By encouraging visitors to explore the Park on foot,<br />

LABIOMISTA will provide an enriching experience with the<br />

Park’s animals, opening a window into their communities<br />

and reinforcing the linkages between all living things.<br />

Located within the Park will be an amphitheater, called Lab<br />

Ovo, designed by the Belgian-Spanish architecture firm Van<br />

Belle & Medina. The amphitheater will provide visitors with<br />

the opportunity to watch art performances and hear talks<br />

by artists or scientists, and also offers a centrally-located,<br />

publicly-accessible space to care for the Park’s many animals.<br />

The Park will include public sculptures created by<br />

Vanmechelen, including his 9.5-meter-high sculpture

Interior view, The Battery, LABIOMISTA - Studio Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Kris Vervaeke<br />

CosmoGolem. Some of the sculptures will serve as animal<br />

shelters — such as bird houses — as well as landmarks for<br />

visitors. Vanmechelen’s “living art” initiatives will also be<br />

central to the Park, which will include breeding stations<br />

for the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project and Planetary<br />

Community Chicken and serve as a platform for the<br />

exploration of the de-domestication and reintroduction of<br />

certain animals into the wild.<br />

model for public-private partnerships that are built on<br />

collaboration and an openness of vision.<br />

www.koenvanmechelen.be<br />

www.mouth.be<br />

www.labiomista.be<br />


LABIOMISTA is supported by a partnership with the<br />

city of Genk, which made possible the adaptive reuse of<br />

land and opened the door for the creation of this major<br />

redevelopment project, fully envisioned by an artist.<br />

Building on this groundbreaking relationship, the leadership<br />

team for LABIOMISTA will encourage additional<br />

partnerships with other local and regional entities,<br />

supporting future growth and innovation in the region.<br />

Vanmechelen has already begun to create connections to<br />

adjacent community gardens — managed by local residents<br />

— and will eventually establish a space for food trucks<br />

and other vendors to provide other services to visitors to<br />

LABIOMISTA. These efforts provide a new blueprint and<br />

Installation view, The Looking Glass, LABIOMISTA<br />

Studio Koen Vanmechelen<br />

© Philippe van Gelooven<br />





On the occasion of the 150 th anniversary of the<br />

laying of the foundation stone of the Palace of<br />

Justice in Brussels and the 200 th anniversary of the<br />

birth of its architect. The international organisation<br />

Meta-Morphosis & Stockmans Art books wanted<br />

to create a cross-media project to celebrate this<br />

emblematic building and to study the importance of<br />

justice in society.<br />

No other building is a better representative of the Belgian<br />

genius. It is a symbol of the exceptional wealth of the<br />

country during the period of its construction, but above all<br />

it reflects the ambition of a young democracy. The<br />

judicial power does not pretend to be a ‘counterpower’ but<br />

‘another power’ and therefore had to be placed above the<br />

other two powers: legislature and executive power.<br />

Because of its international reputation and the influence it<br />

had on important buildings abroad (Parliament of Buenos<br />

Aires in Argentina, Palace of Justice of Lima in Peru, etc.),<br />

this building, which was until very recently the largest<br />

Palace of Justice in the world, is without a doubt one of<br />

the best motivations for a universal reflection on justice.<br />

Expert figures from all over the world accompany us in this<br />

102<br />

Palace of Justice in Brussels<br />

© Axel Ruhomaully, © Meta-Morphosis

ambitious project with diverse realisations which will bring<br />

together magistrates, politicians, diverse experts, artists,<br />

citizens and future generations.<br />


For only a beautiful book can pay tribute to the biggest<br />

(and arguably most beautiful) courthouse in the world. The<br />

entire project is brought to a close with the publication of<br />

a beautiful art book in four languages — French, Dutch,<br />

English and Spanish, in which all aspects of the project<br />

are presented as well as a universal reflection on justice,<br />

accompanied by art photographs of different places and<br />

artistic creations.<br />

High magistrates, specialists and international figures are<br />

working on this publication at the moment. They were given<br />

free rein to work on neverbefore-published subjects on the<br />

courthouse, its architecture and history, and ask questions<br />

related to the concept of justice. Themes like ‘Justice and<br />

injustice’, ‘Justice and Human rights’ and ‘Justice and<br />

climate’ will be a part of the reflection. Each of these texts<br />

is intended to celebrate the courthouse for what it is and<br />

for what it represents, but also to use it as a pretext to<br />

let readers ponder the fundamental role a strong justice<br />

system has on a true democracy. The audience is varied,<br />

ranging from the daily occupants of the Palace of Justice, to<br />

students and teachers, patrimony and history enthusiasts,<br />

architects and art aficionados, to leaders and institutional<br />

stakeholders, in Belgium and the rest of the world. An<br />

important number of international figures have already<br />

confirmed their participation to the book including Hubert<br />

Reeves — astrophysicist, Princess Esmeralda of Belgium,<br />

Abdoulaye Fadiga — the four times Muay Thai world<br />

champion, Michel Tognini — French astronaut, former Head<br />

of the European Astronaut Centre of the European Space<br />

Agency and many other surprising contributors.<br />

Meta-Morphosis’s strength lies in the ability to balance<br />

these complex subjects and render them intelligible and<br />

appealing, while Stockmans Art Books is proficient<br />

in translating this vision into a fitting physical form.<br />

The contents of this book will therefore be both<br />

understandable and of great quality. For that reason certain<br />

subjects developed by specialists are perfect for artistic<br />

collaborations. The goal is to illustrate the reflections in a<br />

different way and to look at them from a different viewpoint,<br />

but also to make them more appealing and understandable<br />

to a younger audience. Therefore Belgian and international<br />

Palace of Justice in Brussels © Axel Ruhomaully, © Meta-Morphosis<br />

artists are creating in the name of justice. Their involvement<br />

will sensitize an ever-growing audience and broaden the<br />

perspectives of the chosen subjects.<br />

THE MENU OF 1903<br />

Reinterpretation of a mythical menu during an unforgettable<br />

night. The menu of a dinner, organized by the Conference<br />

of the Young Bar on the occasion of the closing of the<br />

Exhibition of Popular Tradition on 25 April 1903, will be<br />

reinterpreted by a chef during an unforgettable evening to<br />

celebrate the book publication and the end of the project.<br />

During the event, the art pieces created for the project will<br />

be auctioned.<br />


Meta-Morphosis makes it a point to include the younger<br />

generations. By mediating in issues involving heritage<br />

they have assembled the knowhow to reconnect a younger<br />

audience to its history. From heritage to philosophy, Meta-<br />

Morphosis suggests to question all facets of the courthouse.<br />

From knowledge about the building, the context of its<br />


creation and the reasons for the extravagant architecture, to<br />

the concept of justice itself. What is justice and the justice<br />

system, what does it serve and how is it applied in Belgium?<br />

And elsewhere? And even more related questions like: What<br />

is injustice? How important is the principle of equality for<br />

the law? How do we attain it? What is the function of the<br />

justice system in social networks? Several cultural<br />

mediation projects revolving around these themes are<br />

organized in collaboration with organisations in the<br />

‘Marollen’ neighbourhood and the schools in Brussels.<br />


With permission of the Buildings Agency, the corrugated<br />

wall panels will be decorated with photographs, drawings,<br />

paintings and archive documents. These wall panels protect<br />

the basis of the scaffolding of the Palace of Justice’s main<br />

façade. The images are all chosen as a part of the memory<br />

preservation project of the Palace of Justice. They are<br />

commercialized to help finance this ambitious project.<br />

Starting from now, as the first three panels have already<br />

been installed in the beginning of October and the next ones<br />

will be installed in the coming weeks.<br />


In parallel to these events and realizations, Meta-Morphosis<br />

set up a supporting comité that brings together leading<br />

figures, key players in the various fields that contribute to<br />

the dynamics of Brussels and beyond, through the will to<br />

highlight this incredible building and preserve its memory.<br />

Patrons to support the project:<br />

Jean-Pierre Buyle — Geoffroy Coomans De Brachene —<br />

Alain Courtois — Luc Deleuze — Emmanuel Cornu — Francis<br />

Delperée — Bernard de Mérode — Charles-Louis de Mérode<br />

— Fabienne Delvigne — Philippe Delusinne — Marc Eyskens<br />

— Geoffroy Generet — Hervé Gerard — Albert Giugiu —<br />

Sophie Jekeleer — Patrice Le Hodey — Françoise Tulkens —<br />

Guy Van Wassenhove — Edouard Vermeulen — Pascal Vrebos<br />

You can follow the project’s progress throughout the coming<br />

year on the site:<br />

Palace of Justice in Brussels<br />

www.courthouse.brussels — www.palaisdejustice.brussels<br />

www.justitiepaleis.brussels — www.justizpalast.brussels<br />

Stockmans Art Books www.stockmans.be<br />

All images pages 105 - 112 of the Palace of Justice in Brussels<br />

© Axel Ruhomaully, © Meta-Morphosis<br />

© Axel Ruhomaully<br />



104<br />

Meta-Morphosis is 1) a non-profit international<br />

organization, and 2) a group of commercial companies<br />

that work together on the themes of art, culture and<br />

heritage. In 3 years, through 25 projects over 15<br />

countries, Meta-Morphosis has developed a unique and<br />

universal expertise recognized by most international<br />

institutions. Invited each year by Unesco to the <strong>World</strong><br />

Congress Forum; Official partner of Google Art &<br />

Culture; Involved in most events linked to heritage<br />

preservation. They use heritage to reveal and enhance<br />

invisible ties that exist between countries, institutions,<br />

businesses and people. In new artistic forms, we feature<br />

memories, testimonies, emotions of a place,<br />

a talent, a challenge, a story to encourage transmission,<br />

to facilitate intergenerational and intercultural dialogue,<br />

to refocus on human values.<br />














My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to<br />

speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit in a world in<br />

which we all believed, bridging our differences.<br />

― Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals<br />

The diagnosis of ‘cancer’ is overwhelming. Suddenly, you are a foundling in the world of the sick, a ‘patient’ with an unclear future.<br />

Everything else comes to a stand still, because surviving is the absolute priority. Reinventing yourself implies failure, but one must try<br />

again, and explore until new and unexpected perspectives emerge.<br />

The exhibition Dear Agathe, Agathe dear… is a kaleidoscopic ‘work in progress’, a multimedia project inspired by complex<br />

experiences. It shows the scarred body, challenges its prevailing codes and explores its historical, sociopolitical context. The artworks<br />

presented in “Dear Agathe, Agathe dear” … join a still young tradition in which mostly female artists embrace their vulnerability, and<br />

despite their insecurity, draw strength to show themselves… These haunting images are hard to forget, acknowledging others’ misery.<br />

The performance Dear Agathe, Agathe dear… is also a work in progress. Focussing the spotlight on what is concealed, visitors<br />

encounter a gently swelling polyphonic choir that embraces, understands, heals, and above all, celebrates life.<br />

The words spoken by my oncologist echoed in my brain.<br />

My chemo could affect my cognitive skills. He added that my<br />

artistic skills could be at risk too. I must have immediately<br />

repressed this message for this was the very last thing that<br />

I was willing to put at stake. Yet, more than anything, I wanted<br />

to live. Therefore, I immediately forgot his words until a friend<br />

reminded me later of my concerns on this topic. I decided to<br />

do whatever it took to reinvent myself again. I even wanted to<br />

become my better self. I chose not to have a reconstruction<br />

following my double mastectomy. I would rather get a tattoo.<br />

Every day I selected a rose in the garden and painted it using<br />

watercolours. This demands concentration and carefulness. One<br />

has to be alert because water paint flows wherever it chooses. It<br />

can’t be erased. While painting I slipped into a flow, oblivious<br />

of time and space: a kind of instant mindfulness. A flower is a<br />

living being. You can’t afford to skip a day if you want to paint<br />

the entire cycle from blooming to withering. Each time the<br />

roses surprised me. The more I studied them, the more complex<br />

and ingenious they seemed. More than two years later I had<br />

painted enough roses to make a selection. I decided to postpone<br />

the tattoo for the time being. I’d rather try making an animation<br />

first. The first traces of a wild rose were found in a fossil dated<br />

40 million years ago. The first cancer, recently discovered, grew<br />

in the foot bone of a child around about 1,7 million years ago.<br />

Roses will continue to bloom long after cancer is largely under<br />

control, possibly within ten years.<br />

This flower has been cultivated for over 4000 years. In ancient<br />

times, physicians granted therapeutic qualities to rose juice<br />

and rose water. Hildegard von Bingen recommended rose oil<br />

to massage painful joints and cold feet. Moreover, she knew:<br />

rose fragrance rejoices. In Catholic iconography the five rose<br />

petals symbolize Christ’s wounds on the cross, the red rose<br />

itself representing his blood. Red roses are often tattooed over<br />

the scarred wounds left by mastectomies. Her history resonates<br />

and gives meaning to bodies that have suffered, healed and<br />

survived. Her damaged skin becomes a palimpsest. When we<br />

first looked at the moving images of the animation created<br />

from watercolours, we were perplexed. Indeed, we discovered<br />

a rose blooming and withering, but it could just as easily be<br />

interpreted as a cancer cell. When we placed the animated roses<br />

next to one another in a gridded format, a ‘classic’ wallpaper<br />

was born, albeit from living roses. Like whirling snowflakes<br />

and the waves of the sea, these roses are fractals. Engaging<br />

these self-repeating images requires no intellectual effort on<br />

the viewers’ part. It keeps their mind focused and anchors their<br />

wandering thoughts. It thus entices contemplation and distracts<br />

from one’s immediate environment.<br />

The roses wallpaper is de–stressing. It has a soothing<br />

influence on the troubled, anxious brain. The images inspire<br />

conversations with fellow spectators. Ideally, I would like to<br />

project this animation in a hospital, preferably on the wall in<br />

the waiting room of an oncology department.<br />

Lieve Van Stappen, 2017<br />

Page 21<br />

Page 89<br />

Wallpaper, detail, watercolor<br />

Wallpaper, watercolor<br />

Page 131 Wallpaper, watercolor<br />

Page 139 Wallpaper, watercolor<br />

Page 153 If you have a cuting in your hand, 2017, Watercolor<br />

Page 169 Wallpaper, detail, watercolor<br />

www.lievevanstappen.com<br />


Super Etna Wines of Vini Franchetti<br />

In the previous edition of <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>, we covered the life story of Andrea Franchetti,<br />

In the previous edition of <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>, we covered the life story of Andrea Franchetti,<br />

one of Italy’s most fascinating, poetic and contrarian winemakers.<br />

one of Italy’s most fascinating, poetic and contrarian winemakers.<br />

We now invite you to take a closer look to his mesmerising vinyards of Passopisciaro<br />

We now invite you to take closer look to his mesmerising vinyards of Passopisciaro<br />

on the north face of Mount Etna.<br />

on the north face of Mount Etna.<br />





Andrea Franchetti is one of Italy’s most fascinating winemakers,<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 />

bringing his intuitive and poetic worldview to the way he makes his<br />

wines. When he came to the Etna for the first time in the winter<br />

wines. When he came to the Etna for the first time in the winter<br />

of 2000, he was touched by the misery of blackened streets and<br />

of 2000, he was touched by the misery of blackened streets and<br />

ashen churches in large old towns. “It seemed crazy to restore<br />

ashen churches in large old towns. “It seemed crazy to restore<br />

vineyards so high up the mountain – above, it was erupting – but I<br />

vineyards so high up the mountain above, it was erupting but liked that they were planted so high.” Andrea says. “Volcanoes are<br />

liked that they were planted so high.” Andrea says. “Volcanoes are<br />

gloomy places, and when I arrived, Mt. Etna was even gloomier<br />

gloomy places, and when arrived, Mt. Etna was even gloomier<br />

because it was an abandoned volcano. Wineries lay collapsed all<br />

because it was an abandoned volcano. Wineries lay collapsed all<br />

over its slopes; stonewalled terraces disappeared everywhere up the<br />

over its slopes; stonewalled terraces disappeared everywhere up the<br />

mountain in the bushes.”<br />

mountain in the bushes.”<br />

At the top of the steep Passopisciaro property looms a hump of<br />

At the top of the steep Passopisciaro property looms hump of<br />

black gravel. It’s where the lava spill from a big eruption in 1947<br />

black gravel. It’s where the lava spill from big eruption in 1947<br />

had stopped, caking up just before it could submerge whole terraces<br />

had stopped, caking up just before it could submerge whole terraces<br />

below it, vines, walls, and buildings: on Etna you can lose it all.<br />

below it, vines, walls, and buildings: on Etna you can lose it all.<br />

Here, it’s always very cold at night, even in August. The first<br />

Here, it’s always very cold at night, even in August. The first<br />

wine Andrea Franchetti made was pale and meager, and he was<br />

wine Andrea Franchetti made was pale and meager, and he was<br />

discouraged. He planted other grapes; whatever is planted there<br />

discouraged. He planted other grapes; whatever is planted there<br />

the wine always tastes of citrus and camphor, without that generous<br />

the wine always tastes of citrus and camphor, without that generous<br />

body that you like earth to lend right away to a wine.<br />

body that you like earth to lend right away to wine.<br />

There’s no mold, no moss; the ground sparkles black like the night;<br />

There’s no mold, no moss; the ground sparkles black like the night;<br />

the wine slowly becomes very elegant and strange. During the day<br />

the wine slowly becomes very elegant and strange. During the day<br />

a soft light penetrates everything and then there are starry nights;<br />

soft light penetrates everything and then there are starry nights;<br />

Etna has enormous poetry. Making wine, you have access to it.<br />

Etna has enormous poetry. Making wine, you have access to it.<br />

There isn’t Mother Nature here. You are conducting your viticulture<br />

There isn’t Mother Nature here. You are conducting your viticulture<br />





Passopisciaro produces six different bottlings of nerello mascalese,<br />

Passopisciaro produces six different bottlings of nerello mascalese,<br />

the native grape to Mt. Etna, in order to showcase the profound<br />

the native grape to Mt. Etna, in order to showcase the profound<br />

differences in the terroir – lava flow, aspect, and altitude – of the<br />

differences in the terroir lava flow, aspect, and altitude of the<br />

various Contrade that Andrea Franchetti works with. The vines<br />

various Contrade that Andrea Franchetti works with. The vines<br />

are all between 70-100 years old, and the nerello harvest typically<br />

are all between 70-100 years old, and the nerello harvest typically<br />

occurs at the end of October/early November. The wines undergo<br />

occurs at the end of October/early November. The wines undergo<br />

fermentation in steel vats, followed by malolactic and 18 months<br />

fermentation in steel vats, followed by malolactic and 18 months<br />

aging in large neutral oak barrels; this minimal intervention approach<br />

aging in large neutral oak barrels; this minimal intervention approach<br />

to winemaking allows the differences in terroir to shine. Franchetti<br />

to winemaking allows the differences in terroir to shine. Franchetti<br />

started bottling the contrada wines separately in 2008, with a label<br />

started bottling the contrada wines separately in 2008, with label<br />

change in 2009. We present you 3 of the 5 contrade, all available at<br />

change in 2009. We present you of the contrade, all available at<br />

Boutique Barrique, Belgian distributor af Vini Franchetti.<br />

Boutique Barrique, Belgian distributor af Vini Franchetti.<br />

Contrada Rampante<br />

Contrada Rampante<br />

(Contrada R) is the highest cru at<br />

(Contrada R) is the highest cru at<br />

1,000 m (3,330 ft) above sea level. At<br />

1,000 (3,330 ft) above sea level. At<br />

the highest confines of viticulture on<br />

the highest confines of viticulture on<br />

the northern side of Etna, Rampante<br />

the northern side of Etna, Rampante<br />

is ancient contrada, producing<br />

is ancient contrada, producing<br />

one of the volcano’s finest, most<br />

one of the volcano’s finest, most<br />

aromatic wines because of the sandy<br />

aromatic wines because of the sandy<br />

character that the lava has acquired.<br />

character that the lava has acquired.<br />

Due to the altitude, it is typically<br />

Due to the altitude, it is typically<br />

the last contrada to ripen. Andrea<br />

the last contrada to ripen. Andrea<br />

Franchetti owns and cultivates 1.4<br />

Franchetti owns and cultivates 1.4




International Ratings for the superb 2015 vintage<br />


International Ratings for the superb 2015 vintage<br />


Tenuta di Trinoro 2015<br />

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 95 points: “The gorgeous 2015<br />

Tenuta di Trinoro pours into the glass with inky dark richness that<br />

is beautiful to behold. This wine is made primarily with Cabernet<br />

Franc but has some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot mixed in<br />

as well. Although Andrea Franchetti had retreated from his trademark<br />

overripe style in recent years, you get a nostalgic glimpse of it<br />

here. The warm growing season has conspired to create a rich and<br />

textured red wine with aromas of blackberry preserves, cherry confit<br />

and subtle baking spice. This is a charming and exuberant creation<br />

that is open and loud even at this very young stage in its long and<br />

promising lifespan. (Drinking window: 2019 – 2035)”<br />


Tenuta di Trinoro 2015<br />

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 95 points: “The gorgeous 2015<br />

Tenuta di Trinoro pours into the glass with inky dark richness that<br />

is beautiful to behold. This wine is made primarily with Cabernet<br />

Franc but has some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot mixed in<br />

as well. Although Andrea Franchetti had retreated from his trademark<br />

overripe style in recent years, you get a nostalgic glimpse of it<br />

here. The warm growing season has conspired to create a rich and<br />

textured red wine with aromas of blackberry preserves, cherry confit<br />

and subtle baking spice. This is a charming and exuberant creation<br />

that is open and loud even at this very young stage in its long and<br />

promising lifespan. (Drinking window: 2019 – 2035)”<br />

Score: 92<br />

Score: 92<br />

Tasting Note: Pretty rose petal, graphite and juicy cherry flavors<br />

Tasting Note: Pretty rose petal, graphite and juicy cherry flavors are<br />


framed by light, dusty tannins and bright acidity in this charmin<br />


framed by light, dusty tannins and bright acidity in this charming,<br />

Toscana Palazzi 2015<br />

light- to medium-bodied light- red, ending to medium-bodied with a mineral-tinged red, ending finish. with a mineral-tinged finis<br />

Toscana Palazzi 2015<br />

Drink now through 2025. Drink 283 cases now made. through 2025. 283 cases made.<br />

Score: 96Score: 96<br />

-Wine Spectator April 2018 -Wine Spectator April 2018<br />

Contrada Tasting Note:<br />

Contrada Tasting Guardiola Immediately Note: Immediately alluring aromas alluring of ripe black aromas currant of ripe and<br />

Guardiola<br />

black currant Contrada and Chiappemacine<br />

Contrada Contrada Chiappemacine<br />

blackberry Contrada<br />

Guardiola<br />

waft from the<br />

blackberry Guardiola<br />

glass, frames by spicy oak. Picks up earth, Contrada Chiappemacine<br />

waft from the glass, frames by spicy oak. Picks up earth, Contrada Chiappemacine<br />

(Contrada leather and G)<br />

(Contrada<br />

tar notes, is an layered ancient<br />

leather and G) tar notes, is<br />

through domain<br />

an layered ancient<br />

the long<br />

through domain<br />

finish. Balanced and (Contrada C) is a small domain at<br />

(Contrada G) is ancient domain<br />

(Contrada G) is an ancient domain<br />

the long finish. Balanced (Contrada and C) is small (Contrada domain C) at is a small domain at<br />

between<br />

long. Merlot.<br />

800<br />

Best<br />

long.<br />

and<br />

from<br />

Merlot.<br />

1,000<br />

2020<br />

Best<br />

m<br />

through<br />

(2,600<br />

from 2020<br />

to<br />

2035. 615 cases made.<br />

through 2035. 615 cases made.<br />

550 m (1,000 ft) above (Contrada sea level, C) is small domain at<br />

between -Wine Spectator between 800 and Dec 1,000 800 2017 and (2,600 1,000 to m (2,600 to<br />


(1,000 ft) above 550 m sea (1,000 level, ft) above sea level,<br />

3,300 ft) between above -Wine sea Spectator 800 level, and on Dec the 1,000 2017 edge<br />

(2,600 to<br />

Andrea’s lowest site 550 for PASSOPISCIARO<br />

a (1,000 single ft) above sea level,<br />

3,300 ft) above sea level, on the edge<br />

Andrea’s<br />

3,300 ft) above sea level, on the edge<br />

Terre Siciliane lowest Contrada site for<br />

Andrea’s S 2015 single<br />

of the lava 3,300 flow ft) from above Etna’s sea level, 1947 on the edge<br />

vineyard cru. The Andrea’s site<br />

Terre<br />

produces<br />

lowest site for a single<br />

of the lava flow from Etna’s 1947<br />

vineyard Score: 92cru. The site produces Siciliane lowest Contrada site for S 2015 single<br />

eruption. of It the produces lava flow a deep from and Etna’s 1947<br />

a more Tasting full-bodied, Note: Medicinal vineyard rounder herb and cru. The site produces<br />

of the lava flow from Etna’s 1947<br />

vineyard Score: 92 style spice notes form a fragrant thread,<br />

eruption.<br />


It<br />


produces deep and<br />

more unwinding full-bodied, through this rounder grippy, medium-bodied style cru. The red, site which produces offers<br />

complex eruption. wine with It a rich produces taste of a deep and<br />

because lively acidity it lies and on flavors the a last more Tasting of mulled outreach full-bodied, Note: Medicinal rounder herb and style spice notes form a fragrant th<br />

complex<br />

Toscana eruption. wine<br />

TENUTA Campo<br />

with<br />

di DU Magnacosta It rich<br />


produces taste<br />

2015<br />

of<br />

deep and<br />

because it lies on the last more outreach cherry and mineral that linger on<br />

unwinding full-bodied, through this rounder grippy, medium-bodied style<br />

red fruit.<br />

red, which offer<br />

Score: 95 complex<br />

Andrea Franchetti<br />

wine with<br />

makes<br />

a rich taste of<br />

of Mount the finish. Etna’s Drink now lava; through<br />

because<br />

beneath 2028.<br />

complex lively acidity it<br />

the 163 cases made.<br />

red fruit. Andrea Franchetti makes<br />

of Mount -Wine Spectator Etna’s April lava; 2018 beneath the lies and on flavors the last of mulled outreach cherry and mineral that linge<br />

this Toscana<br />

wine<br />

Campo<br />

with<br />

di Magnacosta rich taste<br />

2015<br />

of<br />

because it lies on the last outreach<br />

Tasting wine Note: from A a dense careful profile selection emerges of as this red goes from cherry thinner strata of lava lies<br />

red fruit. Andrea Franchetti makes<br />

of Mount the a limestone<br />

this wine from careful selection of<br />

thinner strata of lava lies limestone finish. Etna’s Drink now lava; through beneath 2028. the 163 cases made.<br />

and black red currant<br />

Score: fruit. fruit<br />

95 Andrea to iron, cedar, Franchetti earth and spicy makes oak flavors.<br />

some of the older nerello mascalese<br />

bed to which the vines of Mount -Wine penetrate. Spectator Etna’s April lava; 2018 beneath the<br />

some Muscular of tannins guard the lingering, persistent finish. Youthful and<br />

this<br />

the older<br />

Tasting wine<br />

nerello<br />

Note: from A a<br />

mascalese<br />

dense careful profile selection emerges of<br />

bed to which the vines<br />

as this red goes from cherry thinner<br />

penetrate.<br />

strata of lava lies a limestone<br />

vines, exuberant. which this Cabernet wine he from Franc. started Best careful bottling from 2021 selection through 2033. of 415 cases He owns 1.2 hectares<br />

vines,<br />

thinner of vines strata in of lava lies limestone<br />

made. -Wine<br />

which and black currant fruit to iron, cedar, earth and spicy oak flavors.<br />

some<br />

Spectator<br />

he started<br />

of the<br />

Dec<br />

older<br />

2017bottling<br />

He owns 1.2 hectares of vines in<br />

separately nerello mascalese<br />

PASSOPISCIARO bed to which the vines penetrate.<br />

separately some Muscular beginning<br />

beginning of the tannins older 2011.<br />

2011. guard nerello the lingering, mascalese persistent finish. Youthful this contrada.<br />

this and bed to which the vines penetrate.<br />

vines, exuberant. which Cabernet he Franc. started Best bottling from 2021 through 2033. 415<br />

Sicilia<br />

contrada.<br />

cases<br />

Franchetti<br />

He<br />

2015<br />

owns 1.2 hectares of vines in<br />

vines,<br />

made. -Wine<br />

which<br />

Spectator<br />

he started<br />

Dec 2017bottling<br />

Score: 92 He owns 1.2 hectares of vines in<br />

separately beginning in 2011.<br />

separately beginning in 2011.<br />


Terre Siciliane Contrada P 2015<br />

grilled lamb. Petit Verdot Score: and Cesanese 92 d’Affile. Best from 2020<br />

Netherlands<br />

The through Antwerp 2025. (Brasschaat) 250 cases Tasting made. based Note: wine store A saturated, Boutique medium- Barrique to has full-bodied red, with den<br />


The -Wine Antwerp Spectator (Brasschaat) April 2018 tannins based wrapped wine store in Boutique sappy black Barrique cherry has<br />

the honor to distribute DITRIBUTOR the wines of Vini for Franchetti Belgium, in Belgium, Luxembourg<br />

and cassis fruit.<br />

and<br />

Hints<br />

The<br />

of<br />

the honor to distribute DITRIBUTOR graphite the wines and of cigar Vini for Franchetti box Belgium, linger on in Belgium, the Luxembourg grippy finish. Try and this The with<br />

Terre Siciliane Contrada P 2015<br />

Luxembourg and The Netherlands. For more information please<br />

Luxembourg and The Netherlands. grilled lamb. For Petit more Verdot information and Cesanese please d’Affile. Best from 2020<br />

Score: 94<br />

contact Steven Hubrecht through at +32 476 2025. 27 250 57 32.<br />

contact Steven Hubrecht at +32 476 cases made.<br />

Tasting Note: A well-knit version, offering chewy tannins and juicy The -Wine Antwerp To order<br />

27 57<br />

Spectator (Brasschaat) your<br />

32.<br />

Franchetti<br />

April 2018 based wines:<br />

store Boutique Barri<br />

acidity meshed with generous black cherry and blackberry fruit,<br />

the honor to distribute the wines of Vini Franchetti in B<br />

the honor to distribute the wines of Vini Franchetti in with dried thyme and violet. Ends with a lasting note of tarry mineral<br />

on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2030. 225 cases made.<br />

Luxembourg and The Netherlands. For more information<br />

Luxembourg and The Netherlands. For more information<br />

contact Steven Hubrecht at +32 476 27 57 32.<br />

-Wine Spectator April 2018<br />

contact Steven Hubrecht at +32 476 27 57 32.<br />

Score: 94<br />

Tasting Note: A well-knit version, offering chewy tannins and juicy<br />

acidity meshed with generous black cherry and blackberry fruit,<br />

with dried thyme and violet. Ends with a lasting note of tarry mineral<br />

on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2030. 225 cases made.<br />

-Wine Spectator April 2018<br />


Terre Siciliane Contrada C 2015<br />

Score: 93<br />

Tasting Note: Snappy tannins and bright acidity are well-meshed<br />

with flavors of wild cherry, raspberry, mineral and spice in this vivid,<br />

ligth- to medium-bodied red. Hints of smoke and licorice linger on<br />


the creamy finish. Drink now through 2028. 330 cases made.<br />

-Wine Spectator April 2018<br />

Terre Siciliane Contrada C 2015<br />

Score: 93<br />

Tasting Note: Snappy tannins and bright acidity are well-meshed<br />

with flavors of wild cherry, raspberry, mineral and spice in this vivid,<br />

ligth- to medium-bodied red. Hints of smoke and licorice linger on<br />

the creamy finish. Drink now through 2028. 330 cases made.<br />



Terre Siciliane Contrada G 2015<br />

Terre Siciliane Contrada G 2015<br />

Score: 93<br />

Tasting Note: Fresh and light- to medium-bodied, this perfumed<br />

red offers dried mint, violet and anise accents to the cherry and<br />

mandarin orange peel flavors. A bright and balanced version, wi<br />

chewy finish that echoes the aromas. Drink now through 2025. 3<br />

cases made. -Wine Spectator April 2018<br />

Score: 93<br />

Tasting Note: Fresh and light- to medium-bodied, this perfumed<br />

red offers dried mint, violet and anise accents to the cherry and<br />

mandarin orange peel flavors. A bright and balanced version, with a<br />

chewy finish that echoes the aromas. Drink now through 2025. 320<br />

cases made. -Wine Spectator April 2018<br />



Terre Siciliane Contrada R 2015<br />

Terre Siciliane Contrada R 2015<br />




tannins wrapped in this sappy Sicilia<br />

contrada. YOUR VINI FRANCHETTI<br />

DITRIBUTOR for Belgium,<br />

black cherry Franchetti Luxembourg<br />

and cassis 2015 fruit.<br />

and<br />

Hints<br />

The<br />

of<br />

DITRIBUTOR graphite and cigar for box Belgium, linger on the Luxembourg grippy finish. Try and this The with<br />

Netherlands<br />

Tasting Note: A saturated, medium- to full-bodied red, with dense<br />



The Antwerp (Brasschaat) based wine store Boutique Barriq<br />

Bethaniëlei 16, Brasschaat<br />

Bethaniëlei 16, Brasschaat<br />

m. +32 476 27 57 32<br />

m. +32 476 27 57 32<br />

info@boutique-barrique.be<br />

info@boutique-barrique.be<br />



www. boutique-barrique.be<br />

www. boutique-barrique.be<br />

To order your Franchetti w<br />

Bethaniëlei 16, Brasscha<br />

Bethaniëlei 16, Brasscha<br />

m. +32 476 27 57 32<br />

m. +32 476 27 57 32<br />

info@boutique-barrique.b<br />

info@boutique-barrique.b<br />

17/10/2018 11:19<br />






-PART II -<br />

This was the title of the special on Pancreatic Cancer in<br />

54, the “Autumn 2017” edition of <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong>.<br />

We are not there yet but we have lots of good news to<br />

bring.<br />


There is no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer. Some<br />

risk factors such as age, gender, race, and family history<br />

can’t be controlled. But there are things you can do that<br />

might lower your risk. The same counts for all cancers,<br />

even all diseases: healthy living.<br />

Smoking is the most important risk factor! Do NOT smoke!<br />

You will lower the risk if you quit smoking.<br />

Maintain a healthy weight and avoid processed foods.<br />

Obesity is the second important risk factor! Eat lots of fruits<br />

and vegetables, whole grain bread and pastas and include<br />

regular exercise in your daily routine. Some claim alcohol<br />

should be banned but limited use, in time and portions,<br />

is a logic directive. However, if there is a family history<br />

of pancreatic cancer or multiple cancers, your doctor will<br />

advise more targeted tests. The cause of most pancreatic<br />

cancer cases is unknown, but research studies have<br />

identified risk factors that may increase the likelihood that<br />

someone will develop pancreatic cancer.<br />

116<br />

© stemcellthailand.org

© medscape.com<br />



• Smoking: people who smoke cigarettes are two times<br />

more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than people<br />

who have never smoked.<br />

• Obesity: obese people have a 20 percent increased risk<br />

of developing pancreatic cancer when compared with<br />

people who are of normal weight.<br />

• Diabetes: pancreatic cancer is more likely to occur in<br />

people who have long-standing diabetes (more than 5<br />

years). This can also be a symptom.<br />

• Pancreatitis (Chronic and Hereditary):<br />

chronic pancreatitis indicates an increased risk of<br />

developing pancreatic cancer. It’s even higher in<br />

individuals with hereditary pancreatitis<br />

• Diet and exercise: healthy eating and regular exercise are<br />

vital to promote healthy living<br />

• Family History of Pancreatic Cancer: if a person’s<br />

mother, father, sibling or child had pancreatic cancer,<br />

then that person’s risk for developing the disease<br />

increases by 2 to 3 times.<br />

• Family History of Other Cancers risk of pancreatic<br />

cancer increases if there is a history of familial ovarian,<br />

breast, or colon cancer, hereditary pancreatitis or<br />

familial melanoma.<br />

• Race (Ethnicity): African Americans and Ashkenazi<br />

Jews have a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer<br />

when compared with individuals of Asian, Hispanic or<br />

Caucasian descent.<br />

• Age: the chance of developing pancreatic cancer<br />

increases with age. Most people diagnosed with<br />

pancreatic cancer are over the age of 60.<br />


118 © Pancreatic Cancer Action

© Pancreatic Cancer Action<br />

“In late 2007, I noticed that I was feeling tired all the time<br />

and had lost my appetite. I ignored these symptoms. I was a<br />

practicing attorney and I assumed that I was feeling pressure as<br />

I prepared for a trial scheduled for late January 2008.<br />

Then I noticed that my urine started to become dark. It became<br />

progressively darker, but I also ignored this.<br />

Then I became jaundiced and started to itch all over my body.<br />

My wife insisted that I should go immediately to the hospital.<br />

An ultrasound showed that there was blockage in my bile duct,<br />

which was causing the jaundice and itching. I was given an<br />

endoscopy procedure the next day, during which a shunt was<br />

inserted in the bile duct to release the blockage. It was after this<br />

procedure and a CT scan that I was told that I probably had<br />

pancreatic cancer and was scheduled to meet with a surgeon.<br />

I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early January 2008.”<br />


The cause of pancreatic cancer is not known but there are<br />

many signs and symptoms that we should pay attention<br />

to. Anyone of these symptoms can be an indication of<br />

something else but please take note and contact your doctor<br />

to discuss it if you feel something is not right.<br />

• ‘painless jaundice’ a yellowing of the skin and the white<br />

of the eyes, dark colored urine and general itching of<br />

the skin. All could be related to bile duct obstruction.<br />

• ‘weight loss’ which is significant and unexplained<br />

(you’re not on a diet), sometimes even dramatic<br />

• ‘abdominal pain’ which is new-onset and significant.<br />

Since the pancreas is located behind the stomach, the<br />

pain will radiate from the stomach right to the back.<br />

• ‘diabetes’ which is new-onset and not associated with<br />

weight gain — a helpful hint your family doctor will<br />

notice<br />

• ‘indigestion’ sometimes vague or abdominal discomfort<br />

and often not responding to prescribed medication<br />

• ‘loss of appetite’ or pain with eating, nausea or<br />

vomiting<br />

• ‘bowel movements’ that change, fatty stools that are<br />

often pale.<br />


© Digestive and Obesity Synergy Centre Saba - Docs<br />

120<br />

Not everyone will experience all these symptoms and the<br />

symptoms will also differ according to the location of the<br />

tumor. All of these symptoms can also have other causes,<br />

but it is important to have them checked by a doctor.<br />


On October 10 th , the European Parliament by Pavel Poc<br />

MEP, hosted a meeting titled “Putting Pancreatic Cancer on<br />

the map — what we have and what we need”.<br />

The event brought together stakeholders from all over<br />

Europe with a common interest and willingness to improve<br />

policies for people with pancreatic cancer.<br />

Worryingly, as the incidence of pancreatic cancer increases<br />

with age, it is expected to become even more prevalent in the<br />

coming decades as the European population ages. Despite<br />

not being the most prevalent cancer, pancreatic cancer is<br />

on the way to becoming the second cancer killer in the near<br />

term. With this event, the objective will be to present the<br />

work undertaken by Pancreatic Cancer Europe (PCE) and<br />

United European Gastroenterology (UEG) to address the<br />

inequalities in pancreatic cancer diagnosis and care across<br />

Europe. Inequalities are deep across Europe: incidence<br />

ranges from 7.4 (ASR) in Sweden to 17.8 (ASR) in Czech


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadliest<br />

cancers since it usually causes no symptoms early<br />

on leading to an advanced form of the disease by<br />

the time it gets diagnosed<br />

Pancreas head Body Tail<br />

Bile duct<br />


• Jaundice<br />

• Upper abdominal pain that<br />

radiates to the back<br />

• Loss of appetite<br />

• Weight loss<br />

• Depression<br />

The pancreas, a crucial part of<br />

the digestive system, secretes hormones<br />

like insulin, and produces enzymes<br />

needed for food digestion<br />

Pancreatic duct<br />

Cancerous tissue*<br />

Sphincter of Oddi<br />

Duodenum<br />

(small intestine)<br />

* Artist's impression of common tumour positions<br />


• Smoking<br />

• Obesity<br />

• Diets low in vegetables and<br />

fruis, and high in red meat<br />

• Family history of chronic<br />

inflammation of the pancreas<br />

• Diabetes<br />

• Older age<br />


• Depending on the stage of<br />

cancer, a surgical removal<br />

is done to remove parts of<br />

the pancreas affected by the<br />

tumour. This can extend a<br />

patient's life a few years<br />

• Where surgery is not possible,<br />

chemotherapy and radiation<br />

therapy is used to improve a<br />

patient's quality of life.<br />


• The American Cancer Society<br />

says the 5-year survival rate<br />

for patiens is only about 5%.<br />

Most patients die withing six<br />

months.<br />

• Diagnosed in 230.000 people<br />

across the world, with 37.000<br />

cases in the United States<br />

annually.<br />

© Cambridge Research Institute, Cancer Research UK<br />


Republic; 5-year survival rates fluctuate between 0.5%<br />

for Slovenia and 9% for Sweden, while the median 5-year<br />

survival rate across Europe is only 3%. The event featured<br />

presentations by key pancreatic cancer experts and patient<br />

advocates, jointly fighting to limit and defeat this disease.<br />

Dr Lydia Makaroff, European Cancer Patients Coalition<br />

(ECPC) presented the heatmap showing a small<br />

improvement of participating European countries in the<br />

fight against Pancreatic Cancer.<br />

Professor Matthias Löhr (UEG) addressed barriers in<br />

diagnostics. There is no mass screening test for pancreatic<br />

cancer today. People with a family history of cancer must be<br />

MRI tested.<br />

Miroslav Zavoral, Military University Hospital Prague stated<br />

that pancreatic cancer is a disease, not only a local tumor.<br />

Early diagnosis should be the task of the general practitioner<br />

and the fact is that we must provide them with more<br />

information and improve awareness! Diabetes T3 should be<br />

investigated more profoundly, not only diabetes T2.<br />

Ali Stunt, founder and CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action<br />

UK presented the "Inequality report".<br />

Mariella De Bausset, Sec. Gen. of the Fondation A.R.CA.D.<br />

(France) had some very interesting and necessary points of<br />

action to offer on national best practices.<br />

‘Sign & Symptoms’ posters are available in many European<br />

languages and we have to make that known to all concerned,<br />

mostly the general practitioners and associations.<br />

A survey in France showed the following:<br />

• patients did not know the signs & symptoms<br />

• general practitioners minimized the symptoms<br />

• no “urgent” pancreas protocol exists, we should have<br />

quality care in less than 14 days!<br />

• globally some 50 drugs are being developed, 41% by US<br />

companies but only 5% by EU companies<br />

Advocating for a screening program in the EU and more<br />

specific in Eastern Europe MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu<br />

(EPP, Romania) pledged his undivided attention and efforts<br />

in supporting all well-grounded projects regarding the early<br />

detection of pancreatic cancer.<br />


“Research must concentrate more on pancreatic cancer<br />

BUT there are not enough tumour samples and not enough<br />

researchers! No European bank of tumour and/or blood samples,<br />

accessible to all researchers in Europe exists today”, MEP.<br />

Lieve Wierinck promised to look into this urgent matter.<br />

How to make the field more attractive? Not only regarding<br />

treatment but also regarding early detection by identifying<br />

asymptomatic factors. Epidemiology data needs to be<br />

available in large numbers to be able to have early detection<br />

signals. Without these resources, without all the data, no<br />

biomatter study can be done.<br />



• Pancreatic cancer is one of the more<br />

stubborn cancers to diagnose and<br />

treat. Early detection is rare, thus<br />

treatment is limited. Unfortunately,<br />

there are no medically backed<br />

methods of preventing pancreatic<br />

cancer. However, avoiding the risk<br />

factors for it is the best defense we<br />

have.<br />

• Do Not Smoke<br />

122<br />

• Healthy Diet and Exercise


• Localized surgery and<br />

post-op radiation and/or<br />

chemotherapy<br />

Before surgery<br />

After surgery<br />

• Local chemotherapy +<br />

radiation<br />

• Pancreatic Enzyme<br />

therapy<br />

<br />

© All to Health/Living Well<br />

We are a large group of advocates and form a fierce team of<br />

fighters. We will make noise until things change for the better<br />

for all cancer patients. The excuse that pancreatic cancer<br />

does not claim enough victims or that the survival rate is<br />

too low to spend research time and money on finding a cure,<br />

has been used for too long now. We want people to know<br />

that a pancreatic cancer diagnosis is not an immediate death<br />

sentence. Too many patients already are testimony to this.<br />

We will spread the word: know the signs and symptoms, act<br />

accordingly and consult your doctor. Early detection is key!<br />



oncologists, researchers and database experts to co-ordinate<br />

a national effort to improve survival for pancreatic cancer<br />

patients. It is the first of its kind in the world.<br />

“This may well be the most important development in<br />

resourcing UK pancreatic cancer research in a generation”<br />

Professor Nick Lemoine, Director of Barts Cancer Institute,<br />

QMUL<br />

“The Tissue Bank is a collaboration between six UK hospitals<br />

that are renowned for their excellence in treating pancreatic<br />

cancer patients - and we're already in discussion with more<br />

hospitals about joining us.”<br />

The Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Tissue Bank is a<br />

national — and ultimately international — resource that will<br />

help develop new treatments and bring these to patients<br />

much faster. It brings together surgeons, pathologists,<br />

You can read the full press release and watch the Tissue<br />

Bank video on the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund<br />

website http://www.pcrf.org.uk/pages/tissue-bank.html<br />

For more information contact info@pancreascommunity.eu<br />




Art is one amazing way to explore the full potential of<br />

cultures and to share them with a wide public. The two<br />

artists Walter Vilain and YAO Yizhi have achieved an<br />

incredible level of harmony and sharing into their art,<br />

blending European and Chinese cultures into unique<br />

canvas bearing two peoples’ history.<br />

From June 29, 2018 until September 10, 2018, the China<br />

Cultural Center in Brussels was hosting the Walter VILAIN<br />

& YAO Yizhi: “Melody” Joint Exhibition on the occasion<br />

of the 1st Edition of the EU-China Art Dialogue, featuring<br />

a fine selection of the most representative artworks from<br />

the latest art creations by the two artists, alongside some<br />

precious photos of this artistic pair.<br />

The true beauty of art is that it knows no boundaries. Often<br />

very singular, art can welcome several styles and cultures<br />

and turn them into harmonious blends, making civilizations<br />

richer and more colorful through exchanges and mutual<br />

learning. When the East meets the West through painting,<br />

we can see sparks triggered out of the exchanges engaged<br />

between Chinese and Western cultures, as well as the<br />

harmony achieved between Eastern and Western cultures<br />

and arts.<br />

With a shared passion and taste for arts despite their<br />

different cultural backgrounds, the two artists, Walter Vilain<br />

and YAO Yizhi, have created works that reinforce with and<br />

add glamour to each other. Their friendship, beyond any<br />

124<br />

ZHANG Chi Minister-Counselor and Deputy Head of Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Kingdom of Belgium, ZHANG Ming Ambassador of<br />

the Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union and spouse, Artist Walter VILAIN, TAN Shu Vice Director of the China Cultural Center,<br />

Artist YAO Yizhi<br />

© Linda Yao

Look into the Pines, 2012, 70 x 70 cm<br />

© Yao Yizhi<br />


Live performance of YAO Yizhi with traditional Chinese music<br />

© Linda Yao<br />


The Walter VILAIN & YAO Yizhi:<br />

“Melody” Joint Exhibition<br />

June 29, 2018 — September 10, 2018<br />


Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the<br />

European Union<br />

Live performance of Walter VILAIN accompanied by classical music<br />

<br />

© Linda Yao<br />

126<br />


China Cultural Center in Brussels<br />


Atlas International Culture SPRL<br />

doubts, has become a perfect illustration of the blooming<br />

exchanges between the Chinese and European civilizations,<br />

something well embodied in the spirit of the Silk Road.<br />

To pay tribute to the mutual appreciation and friendship<br />

between the two artists, the China Cultural Center in<br />

Brussels held a joint exhibition entitled Walter VILAIN &<br />

YAO Yizhi: Melody from June 29 to September 10, 2018.<br />

This exhibition presented a fine collection of the most

Lotus Blossom in Summer, 2012, 70 x 70 cm<br />

© Yao Yizhi<br />

representative works recently created by the two artists,<br />

together with some precious photos. It featured two forms<br />

of paintings — European oil painting and Chinese ink<br />

wash painting — whose co-existence is a perfect example of<br />

harmony in diversity. Together, Walter VILAIN and YAO<br />

Yizhi highlight the fact that European and Chinese artists<br />

could work together to pursue the same aspirations through<br />

different artistic means, endeavor to create a vast universe<br />

where diverse cultures blend together into a harmonious<br />

whole thanks to the artists’ mutual appreciation for each<br />

other’s culture. The two artists kept conversing over their<br />

zest for arts and created artworks that mutually resonated<br />

with power, staying true to a shared aesthetic despite their<br />

respective cultural traditions, Eastern or Western, past or<br />

present. Their unusual close friendship, beyond all doubt,<br />

became over time a perfect illustration of the blooming<br />

exchanges between the Chinese and European civilizations<br />

in the spirit of the Silk Road.<br />

Just as music knows no boundaries, their friendship<br />

resonates beyond all borders between China and Europe.<br />

Text, China Cultural Center in Brussels<br />






The world is chasing the newest innovation<br />

trends, digitalisation is everywhere. How strong<br />

is Russia’s development? Are there possibilities<br />

for stronger cooperation internationally?<br />

In Russia, as in all major countries, we have special<br />

programs of digitalisation of the economy. Russia is<br />

very advanced in using various kinds of information<br />

technologies. In my opinion, you should be more active in<br />

introducing digital technologies in all sectors, especially<br />

in the monetary sphere. We now have opportunities to<br />

create digital currencies, which will be controlled by<br />

the government and there will be no risks that these<br />

currencies will be stolen and used in other ways.<br />

So, all the huge and really sophisticated legislation<br />

about banking control could be easily changed by the<br />

digitalisation of currencies, and we already have plans to<br />

introduce the digital technologies in currency regulation.<br />

I am speaking of crypto currencies, but am also speaking<br />

about the national currencies with digital technologies.<br />

Introduction of digital technologies in national currency<br />

creation will give us opportunity to avoid all banking<br />

risks. This is very important and interesting.<br />

The younger generation is becoming more<br />

globally mobile. They are opening their minds to<br />

a global vision. How do you see this generation’s<br />

role in international cooperation?<br />

social group that will use these new technologies and<br />

new opportunities.<br />

The first problem is the differentiation of the young<br />

population in terms of knowledge, technical ability, and<br />

opportunities to use these new technologies.<br />

The young generation is split; there is a minority that is<br />

very clever, educated, and successful, but approximately<br />

40% of young people in southern Europe do not have jobs.<br />

Nobody needs them. This is a very dangerous trend; the<br />

splitting of the young generation. It can be solved only<br />

through large scale cooperation, at least in Eurasia. Young<br />

people should have opportunities to use their knowledge<br />

and their skills in all Eurasian countries. The second point<br />

is differentiation in values.<br />

For instance, in Russia we have a long-term tradition<br />

of Christianity. There is a renaissance of the Orthodox<br />

church and desecularization. 70% of Russians identify as<br />

Christians. Christian values are now again very popular<br />

in Russia also among the younger generation. There are<br />

the Muslim part of Russia — Muslim countries — where<br />

we are seeing the renaissance of Muslim values. The great<br />

religions are returning in the Asian parts of Eurasia and<br />

in Russia. In Europe you see a post-Christian situation.<br />

Christian values are not respected at all. The national<br />

governments introduce laws that totally reject Christian<br />

morality.<br />

128<br />

This is a very important subject. The world is very<br />

transparent in terms that information technologies<br />

can now be used everywhere in the world. We see<br />

international universities that use large networks to<br />

provide education to people in different countries.<br />

This progress will continue. The world will be more<br />

interconnected, and of course, young people are the first<br />

In this situation, it is very difficult to organise bridges<br />

between young people in Asia and in Europe. They hold<br />

quite different values, quite different understandings of<br />

the world. For this reason, I propose a neoconservative<br />

synthesis as a basis for the trans-Eurasian ideology. What<br />

does this mean? You have to combine traditional values<br />

that are implemented in the great religions of Eurasia with

Barbara Dietrich and Sergey Glazyev<br />

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

the values of social states and democracy, and likewise,<br />

social democratic European traditions with traditional<br />

religions as a neoconservative synthesis, which could<br />

be the basis for common values of people from France,<br />

Portugal, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, to China, Korea,<br />

including Russia and Central Asia. We could come to a<br />

consensus, a consensus in the whole Eurasian territory, as<br />

a guideline for ideological orientation.<br />

Could these neoconservative values not also be<br />

found in a society that is, as you may say, post-<br />

Christian or agnostic?<br />

An agnostic society is not aggressive. The people who say<br />

that knowledge is the greatest sin in ideology use some<br />

kind of positive values. The Soviet Union was an agnostic<br />

society. We did not have prelims of cooperation between<br />

Christians, Muslims, and others — agnostics.<br />

We are speaking now about an anti-Christianity. Europe<br />

is now post-Christianity. “Post” means, in fact, anti-<br />

Christianity. Agnostic people reject religion, but they do<br />

not reject religious values. If you look for instance at the<br />

moral codex of the Soviet Union, it is almost the same<br />

as what Jesus proclaimed. The main problem with anti-<br />

Christian trends in European education is that it creates<br />

strong misunderstanding, even for people inside Europe.<br />

Of course, it is not easy to do, but nevertheless we must<br />

find common ground.<br />

The original idea of Eurasian integration was announced<br />

about 100 years ago. Trubnikov wrote that after the<br />

collapse of the Soviet Union the integration could be<br />

based only on the understanding of common history. As<br />

far as we are people that have lived together for centuries<br />

and have shared history, we have a basic common<br />

understanding of basic values, we can construct the future<br />

together.<br />

This is the basis of Eurasian integration according to<br />

Russian philosophical tradition. If you look to the Chinese<br />

ideology of One Belt One Road, they say it is the initiative<br />

of the people of one historical heritage, one historical<br />

soul — historical fortune. So, for Eurasian integration<br />

we need not only free trade, but common values to trust<br />

each other. If we do not have shared values and goals of<br />

integration, the nation states will create barriers against<br />

communication. So, in order to be open, you need to trust<br />

each other; in order to trust each other, you need common<br />

values. This is the problem.<br />


Our integration is based on respect of national sovereignty<br />

and on common, mutual benefits. We do not use any force<br />

in integration, it is totally voluntary, and it is limited.<br />

We do not want to integrate everything. We want to<br />

integrate trade, a common economic space, a customs<br />

union, harmonise the anti-monopoly legislation, the<br />

tax-legislation. But, we do not try to unify the political<br />

systems, the education systems, the cultural systems.<br />

We respect diversity. We integrate only where we can<br />

achieve competitive advantages for each nation. These<br />

new positive results for everyone are so called synergetic<br />

effects.<br />

Do you not think that new technologies can<br />

function as an equalizer to disparate levels of<br />

education due to income inequalities?<br />

On one hand, they can be used as an equalizer. You can<br />

live in Africa and hear lectures of Harvard University;<br />

there are new opportunities. But, unfortunately, not<br />

everyone can use these opportunities. When I was a<br />

member of the OSCE inter-parliamentary assembly about<br />

15 years ago, I proposed to introduce the Tobin tax.<br />

Tobin is a famous economist in financial spheres. He<br />

proposed taxation of financial speculative operations.<br />

He mathematically proved that if you imposed taxes on<br />

speculative operations, it will spur economic growth.<br />

Speculations will therefore be less attractive than<br />

investments into the real sector.<br />

The Tobin tax was popular in Europe, some countries<br />

introduced it, but because of European general legislation,<br />

it made no sense to just introduce it in one country. The<br />

European Union must introduce it in all countries. It<br />

should be introduced internationally, let us say, as a 2.0<br />

social tax rate on all currency speculations.<br />

Coming back to development, what is the role<br />

of Blockchain and Crypto in international<br />

development?<br />

I believe these technologies have very good prospects for<br />

growth and implementation in the spheres where there is<br />

a need for transparency and protection from smuggling<br />

and manipulation. The point is that the present twolevel<br />

banking system does not give enough protection<br />

for clients, because any bank could become bankrupt<br />

and you could lose all your money. For this reason, the<br />

digitalisation of money transfers is perhaps the most<br />

important innovation to avoid all the shortcomings of the<br />

present two-level banking system.<br />

The central bank can create money directly, without<br />

commercial banks, and use them for the economy while<br />

each person can be sure that nobody can steal his or<br />

her money. Blockchain technology is very important for<br />

government procurements: To end corruption, Blockchain<br />

is a very good instrument. Everything is transparent.<br />

Coming back to your question about information<br />

technologies, one of the main problems is that all<br />

internet society is not transparent; we do not know who<br />

is our partner on the internet. Blockchain can give pure<br />

identification for all members of the social network, which<br />

will help avoid all kinds of manipulations and criminal<br />

actions. The societies that are ready, according to their<br />

values — the ruling elite is ready — Blockchain can be<br />

quickly introduced.<br />

Brita Achberger and Barbara Dietrich<br />

Then, you should get new money to finance education in<br />

less developed countries, to give young people in those<br />

less developed countries access to the best universities and<br />

pay for educational programs all over the world. Use this<br />

money to overcome technical disasters, like Fukushima<br />

in Japan, or in New Orleans, or Indonesia. We can use<br />

this money for human development and protection. The<br />

United States were the only delegation that voted against<br />

this idea.<br />


Wallpaper, watercolor<br />

© Lieve Van Stappen<br />




After a few years of hype, experts are now tamping<br />

down expectations for cryptocurrencies. Indeed,<br />

several concerns about security and regulation need<br />

to be addressed. But cryptocurrencies — and the<br />

blockchain technology they are based on — also offer<br />

tremendous room for innovation and efficiency.<br />

By competing with traditional fiat currency, they<br />

could help profligate governments and central banks<br />

become more disciplined<br />




It was recently reported that Goldman Sachs has<br />

suspended its plans for a cryptocurrency trading<br />

desk. According to Vitalik Buterin, the developer of<br />

Ethereum, a blockchain platform that runs on the<br />

Ether cryptocurrency (the second-most valuable<br />

cryptocurrency after Bitcoin) delaying institutional<br />

trading for several years is a sensible move, since the<br />

market has to settle. In an interview with Bloomberg, he<br />

tamped down expectations and emphasized that he does<br />

not see potential for any more of the extreme growth<br />

cryptocurrencies have experienced over the past few<br />

years. After the blockchain and cryptocurrency hype in<br />

recent years, it is now time to develop the technology’s<br />

more practical applications, he said.<br />

Blockchain technology ensures that this information is easy<br />

to interpret and cannot be copied. As a result, it fulfills the<br />

ideal conditions for digitizing money, assets and intellectual<br />

property. The blockchain cannot be modified or changed,<br />

providing a high degree of system security.<br />


Money is a means to facilitate the exchange of goods and<br />

services and to set a comparable price for that exchange.<br />

It also stores value between exchanges. This savings (the<br />

stored value) can also be borrowed against interest and put<br />

back into the economy, giving the savings an important<br />

function in providing capital.<br />

At the core of a blockchain system is information<br />

arranged in a sequence that is uniquely identifiable to a<br />

person (physical or legal) and can be safely transmitted<br />

from one user to another. This information can have<br />

various functions and can be used multiple times. In<br />

the case of cryptocurrencies, owners can transfer digital<br />

money to third parties through blockchain technology.<br />

The blockchain then acts as a payment system, working<br />

with the user interface, like a wallet app on a smartphone.<br />

132<br />

In the cryptocurrency world, the sequence of information<br />

is called a “token.” There are systems (Bitcoin), in which<br />

this information is, technically, not designed as a token<br />

(a token could represent, for example, any number of<br />

Bitcoins). The term denotes the transferability of this<br />

information and its freedom from external influence.<br />

Princess Gisela of Liechtenstein, Expert of Geopolitical Intelligence<br />

Services AG (GIS)

The value of today’s major currencies is based on trust in<br />

the central banks and state treasuries, and the belief that<br />

other actors will accept this money at face value. It also<br />

requires trust that the banking system will properly keep,<br />

allocate and transfer funds. This system is centralized and<br />

requires reliable intermediaries.<br />

On the other hand, cryptocurrencies are based on a direct<br />

exchange between purchaser and seller. It is a decentralized<br />

system in which the blockchain provides the necessary<br />

ledger. This allows essentially anybody to start a currency.<br />

Along with the three leaders — Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple<br />

— thousands of smaller currencies have sprung up. The<br />

Swedish National Bank even has plans to issue its own<br />

cryptocurrency, the e-krona, while Venezuela launched<br />

the “petro” cryptocurrency in February 2018. Liquidity is<br />

created by so-called “miners,” who earn a small amount of<br />

the cryptocurrency for each transaction they process. The<br />

blockchain technology limits these operations, preventing<br />

unlimited quantities of the cryptocurrency from being<br />

created.<br />

Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical<br />

Intelligence Services AG (GIS)<br />

To raise equity, an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, system was<br />

developed. This uses the blockchain technology to replace<br />

the stock market, and effectively decentralizes its function<br />

of supplying capital to the economy.<br />


As with any revolutionary new technology, the use of<br />

blockchain to create independent currencies raises fears<br />

and expectations about potential winners and losers.<br />

In this case, the discussion is polarized and frequently<br />

emotional. In some countries, like China, cryptocurrencies<br />

have been banned. In others, like Luxembourg, authorities<br />

have warned financial intermediaries against engaging in<br />

cryptocurrency trading. In contrast, the canton of Zug,<br />

in Switzerland, allows taxes to be paid in Bitcoin. The<br />

Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority introduced a<br />

regulatory laboratory for new applications. Liechtenstein is<br />

also preparing a law that will regulate blockchain business<br />

models, to provide legal certainty for the market.<br />

Being able to conduct transactions without an intermediary<br />

certainly has huge advantages in terms of time, cost and,<br />

if the technology works correctly, security. It is a good<br />

alternative to central bank-issued money and through<br />

competition could eventually enforce more monetary policy<br />

discipline in the current system.<br />

The idea of having an alternative to traditional fiat money is<br />

attractive, especially today, when major currencies’ savings<br />

value is in jeopardy and the trust they require to work is<br />

declining. Central banks are no longer focused on their<br />

duty to protect money’s value and have instead bowed to<br />

the pressure spendthrift governments have put on them to<br />

finance oversized public debts.<br />

Raising capital for newcomers or smaller growing businesses<br />

through the existing mechanisms, especially stock<br />

exchanges, includes cumbersome regulatory procedures and<br />

is expensive. Venture capital is mostly targeted at specific<br />

sectors and is not available to all innovations. An ICO is a<br />

fast and cost-effective way to raise capital or invest.<br />


The technology offers monetary applications that could<br />

be tailored to the specific needs of value chains in today’s<br />

global sharing economy, while still being able to mesh<br />

with other monetary systems and currencies. It could also<br />

provide liquidity for smaller entities, such as municipalities,<br />

that need financing or payment solutions.<br />

However, there are still issues that need resolving.<br />

Allegations that the transactions are anonymous and might<br />

therefore facilitate money laundering have to be addressed.<br />


In fact, in most cases such transactions are not anonymous,<br />

but markets need the comfort of knowing for certain. Total<br />

anonymity is impossible to achieve. Yet this also raises the<br />

concern of how to protect the privacy of parties engaging in<br />

such transactions — so necessary in financial matters — in a<br />

decentralized environment.<br />

Concerns have also been raised about the possibilities<br />

of committing fraud using the technology, which some<br />

perceive as immature. Hypothetical cases of “51 percent<br />

attacks” (whereby a single entity or group gains control<br />

of the majority of the system and can therefore alter the<br />

blockchain) would also need to be addressed.<br />

Compared to the central banks, these systems are still very<br />

limited in capacity and speed. Substantial development work<br />

is still required. Mining cryptocurrencies consumes huge<br />

amounts of electricity due to the enormous computational<br />

power required, especially when it comes to currencies like<br />

Bitcoin. But like the fiat money issued by today’s central<br />

banks, cryptocurrencies are not backed by any tangible<br />

asset. The trustworthiness of the technology, developers and<br />

owners of such currencies will have to be proven.<br />


Blockchain with improved scalability will increase<br />

efficiency in many areas: logistics and supply-chain<br />

control, healthcare, public administration (for land, car<br />

and company registries), smart contracts and more. In the<br />

financial industry, it might replace some banking functions,<br />

such as payments, custody and accounts — even independent<br />

of cryptocurrencies. The first industrial applications have<br />

been in trial mode, such as De Beers’ diamond supplychain<br />

tracking, which provides asset-traceability assurance<br />

in cases of concerns about gems being used to finance<br />

violence (so-called “conflict minerals”). Others are set<br />

to launch soon, including Komgo and VAKT, which are<br />

trade platforms backed by energy companies and financial<br />

institutions.<br />


The central banks of the world’s largest economies<br />

guide global monetary developments through economic<br />

interdependence. The United States Federal Reserve, the<br />

European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China<br />

are in the lead, while others, like the Bank of Japan and<br />

the Bank of England, make up the second tier. Many other<br />

central banks have de facto lost much of their monetary<br />

sovereignty.<br />

134<br />

Shifting control away from the lawyers and regulators who<br />

form the backbone of our current monetary system, to<br />

programmers designing blockchain frameworks for transactions<br />

will also pose an interesting challenge. How much regulation<br />

will be required? This crucial question arouses plenty of debate.<br />

Hopefully reasonable solutions can be achieved between the<br />

promoters of supposedly “safe” centralized systems and the<br />

new decentralized peer-to-peer applications.<br />

Governments will certainly want to keep control of money<br />

through central banks and monetary policy. It is extremely<br />

unlikely that countries or supranational institutions such<br />

as the European Central Bank (ECB) on behalf of the<br />

European Union will renounce these functions. To maintain<br />

this control, they can either ban cryptocurrencies or enact<br />

regulations tough enough to strangle the technology.<br />

As in many other cases of young, emerging technologies,<br />

a bubble is forming in cryptocurrencies. The first cracks<br />

have already appeared, and the bubble will eventually burst,<br />

clearing space for a functioning system to develop. Yet a<br />

danger exists that this pending bust might provide a pretext<br />

to curb innovation.<br />

With the creation of the euro currency, most European<br />

countries delegated their monetary policy to the ECB.<br />

That governments were ready to give up this important<br />

instrument of power inspired great hope that the ECB<br />

would conduct responsible monetary policy, independent<br />

of politics. The reality, however, disappointed. Together<br />

with the Fed especially, but also the Bank of Japan and<br />

the People’s Bank of China, the ECB tried to stimulate<br />

the economy with cheap money — destroying savings,<br />

creating asset bubbles and supporting irresponsible public<br />

expenditure and public debt through quantitative easing. In<br />

the long run, such policies can damage a currency’s value<br />

and erode trust in the institution that issues it.<br />

Some countries, either because they are small or because<br />

they want to keep politicians from manipulating their<br />

currency, have chosen to use a foreign currency. For<br />

example, many countries have adopted the U.S. dollar as<br />

legal tender or have pegged their national currency to the<br />

dollar. Montenegro, which is not a member of the eurozone,<br />

has made the euro its official medium of exchange. These<br />

examples show that it is often in a country’s long-term<br />

interest to give up political control over its currency.

The stability of currencies like the Swiss franc and the<br />

old Deutsche mark is based on the issuing institutions’<br />

successful resistance to the expediencies of short-term<br />

politics. For reasons of efficiency, Liechtenstein forms<br />

part of the Swiss franc area, which includes the advantage<br />

that the Swiss National Bank acts prudently and has broad<br />

autonomy.<br />

be qualified financial intermediaries, assuring business is<br />

conducted responsibly and professionally. They will have to<br />

fulfil international standards to prevent money laundering<br />

and respect best-practice rules. The Liechtenstein financial<br />

services authorities will supervise these intermediaries. It<br />

is a promising project, with the goal of creating a safe and<br />

efficient system.<br />


However, loose monetary practices and overly bureaucratic<br />

regulation of the financial industry have caused people to<br />

look for alternatives. A traditional one for savers is gold, but<br />

it is unsuitable for payments. Now, many see an opportunity<br />

for cryptocurrencies to meet this need.<br />

Liechtenstein is likely to be a pioneer, advancing pragmatic,<br />

innovative regulation and supervision for cryptocurrency<br />

transactions and ICOs. Such an approach can allow for<br />

the industry to develop sustainably, while giving those<br />

who use such services the peace of mind they require.<br />

Those offering such services in Liechtenstein will have to<br />

This fits with Mr. Buterin’s view that the sector must settle,<br />

and that practical applications have to be implemented.<br />

Unless the technology fails to develop according to<br />

expectations (which appears unlikely) or is stifled by<br />

legal bans or burdensome regulation (which seems more<br />

probable), we may finally see scenarios in which traditional<br />

money is complemented by these new technologies, with<br />

trusted non-public agents issuing stable currencies and<br />

providing useful financial instruments.<br />

This article was first published at www.gisreportsonline.com<br />

Princess Gisela of Liechtenstein (Expert of GIS)<br />

Prince Michael of Liechtenstein (Chairman and Founder of GIS)<br />

Blockchain<br />

Leadership<br />

Summit<br />



swissblockchainsummit.com<br />

23–24 November 2018<br />

Congress Center Basel, Switzerland<br />




2 500+ attendees<br />

investors, politicians, executives, experts<br />

and startups from all over the world<br />

400 000 000 000 € funds<br />

jointly operated by private and institutional<br />

investors, participating in the summit<br />

70+ speakers<br />

carefully selected, top-of-the-mind<br />

trendsetters from all over the world<br />

Speakers: Highlights<br />

Direct link<br />

Prince Michael<br />

of Liechtenstein<br />

Chairman of Industrie- und<br />

Finanzkontor Ets. and Geopolitical<br />

Intelligence Services AG (GIS)<br />

Tal Catran<br />

Accelerators Guru, Tech Investor,<br />

Start-Up Ecosystem Builder,<br />

Startup Nation & TEDx Tech<br />

Speaker<br />

Shuonan Chen<br />

Founding Partner at IOVC & Agile<br />

VC, CEO at Shinect, Board Member<br />

at North America Blockchain<br />

Association<br />





New investment funds supporting<br />

social entrepreneurship and businesses<br />

with positive societal impact are being<br />

created on a regular basis.<br />

136<br />

Some investors aspire to more than a decent financial<br />

return on investment and also want to see a positive<br />

societal impact. But did you know that the topic “social<br />

entrepreneurship and sustainable business models” has<br />

become a structured research domain of its own, a new<br />

scientific discipline? The research community in this<br />

field — more than 110 researchers, industry leaders and<br />

practitioners — came together during the 3rd International<br />

Conference on New Business Models (NBM), that took<br />

place in June at the University of National and <strong>World</strong><br />

Economy (UNWE) in Sofia, Bulgaria. Participants from<br />

28 countries gathered to discuss trends in new business<br />

models, how to ensure they are sustainable, scalable and<br />

international, forecasts for the future, and the ongoing<br />

transition towards a more sustainable economy.<br />

By organizing the conference in Sofia — during its<br />

presidency of the EU Council — Bulgaria was emphasizing<br />

that sustainable business models were not merely a luxury<br />

for western countries, but that they opened up great<br />

opportunities for all countries, including those in Eastern<br />

Europe. This 3rd conference in Sofia, which built on the<br />

first two conferences that had been organized in Toulouse<br />

(2016) and Graz (2017), aimed at inspiring leaders in<br />

academia, business, and public policy, to build societies<br />

that give the highest importance to sustainability, and stop<br />

destroying the planet for selfish motives of netting quick<br />

profits.<br />

Some impressions and memorable topics are highlighted<br />

here by Prof. Nikolay Dentchev, Conference chair and expert<br />

in social entrepreneurship at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel<br />

(VUB) and Jan Cornelis, Emeritus Professor (VUB) and<br />

CIDIC’s Academic Attaché who acted as a candid witness<br />

when invited to give some impressions in the closing session.<br />

“Bulgaria — Sofia, on my way from the airport to the hotel,<br />

I had a deep talk with the taxi driver about the Bulgarian<br />

soul, ending up in a discussion on gastronomy and<br />

traditional food. A small tip, 2 Lev — a fraction of 1 Euro,<br />

… the driver offered me a round trip, free of charge, in the<br />

neighborhood of the hotel to locate the best restaurants.<br />

I felt at home already” (Jan Cornelis). At UNWE, we were<br />

welcomed by Rector Stattev, who has a talent for humorous<br />

abnegation: “I made the Hall of Fame of scientists in the<br />

entrance hall, but I didn’t dare to propose this honour for<br />

the numerous famous businessmen of the university because<br />

I couldn’t be sure how many of them have only one leg in<br />

business, and the other one in fraud.”<br />

“Developing countries are sometimes hesitant to consider<br />

sustainable business models, as they are focused on the<br />

daily survival of their businesses. But “sustainability” is a<br />

new way of doing business: robust, solid and attractive, it’s<br />

the future, and it can help Bulgarian businesses become<br />

more successful players in international markets” (Nikolay<br />

Dentchev). The transition to a more sustainable society<br />

needs to be supported by good practices, and new business<br />

models focused on multiple values and new theory.<br />

“Currently our societies have paid a lot of attention to<br />

material goods — houses, cars, clothes, food — and this is<br />

how we signal our success, but successful people in life<br />

promote the values of love, friendship, honesty and respect.<br />

This latter set of values is much more important than the<br />

former materialistic set, and thus we need to prioritize<br />

accordingly for the wellbeing of our societies.” (Nikolay<br />

Dentchev). Many of the other presentations also reiterated<br />

this point, not only for Bulgaria but also for all countries<br />

and continents.

Aerial view of downtown Sofia, Bulgaria<br />

© Shutterstock<br />

The programme featured 4 keynote lectures, representing<br />

(i) the European Commission (DG Internal Market,<br />

Industry, Entrepreneurship), (ii) academia and renowned<br />

academic journals and (iii) the business world. A variety<br />

of topics that are central to analysing and addressing the<br />

challenges in ensuring “sustainable development” were<br />

debated: new business models, sustainable development as<br />

a concept, business ecosystems, social entrepreneurship<br />

and the challenges at the bottom of the pyramid. Practical<br />

illustrations of the issues and good practices culled from<br />

case studies from around the world were shared.<br />



professional journals and conferences. In the NBM<br />

conference, there was a strong call for theory from Jan<br />

Jonker (Radboud University, NL), one of the founding<br />

fathers in this field. Theory indeed allows for abstraction<br />

and transmission of generic best practices going beyond one<br />

single case, but it also requires a more rigorous scientific<br />

methodology including metrics for social and ecological<br />

impact assessment and scientific validation of results.<br />

“I‘m convinced that the NBM field still has to make much<br />

progress in this area” (Jan Cornelis). An inherent danger<br />

of theory — if produced by researchers who have little or no<br />

practical experience — is that it can start leading its own life.<br />

Journal editors need to be very aware of this danger!<br />

Sustainable business models seen from the perspective of<br />

(i) the base of the pyramid and (ii) collaborative cross-sector<br />

initiatives, were the two main themes of the conference.<br />

Sustainable business models can gain impact only when<br />

they are embraced in a transdisciplinary setting involving<br />

multiple stakeholders. As often, such a transdisciplinarity<br />

evolves into a new discipline of its own, leading to the<br />

establishment of specific educational programmes,<br />

University technology transfer has hitherto mainly followed<br />

a linear multistep approach of logical thought and decision<br />

making in conceptualizing and developing new processes,<br />

services and products. Harry Bouwman (TUDelft, NL)<br />

emphasized that this classical technology transfer stage<br />

gate process leading from fundamental research to strategic<br />

research, applied research and innovation & valorization is<br />

still valuable but insufficient. Open research and innovation<br />

platforms are gaining importance, directly involving<br />


multiple stakeholders in all stages of the research and<br />

innovation processes. These platforms provide valuable<br />

opportunities to strengthen the links between technological<br />

and business innovation. The 4 th keynote speaker, Spas<br />

Kerimov (Printivo, BG), CEO of the startup Printivo,<br />

stressed that theory, regulations and strict methodology<br />

should in no way kill the dreams of young entrepreneurs<br />

(in his case, “save human lives and extend the lifetime of<br />

humans by a novel concept for 3D printing of living human<br />

tissues” — see also <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> DW57, page 136).<br />

Remember our three key words with regard to New Business<br />

Models: sustainability, scalability and (international)<br />

impact. In previous <strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> 57 (page 135) we<br />

stressed that Economic Diplomacy is an essential pillar of<br />

diplomacy and it has been a main driver behind CIDIC’s<br />

DEAC (<strong>Diplomatic</strong>, Economic, Academic and Cultural)<br />

six monthly missions. I am convinced that in the future,<br />

social entrepreneurship and sustainable business models<br />

as discussed in the NBM conference should also be fully<br />

included in the practice of Economic Diplomacy.<br />

Scaling of startups is a common concern that becomes<br />

even more critical in the context of social enterprises, when<br />

considerable societal impacts are expected in addition to<br />

economic sustainability. The initial phase of scaling up<br />

startups once they’ve exhausted local demand for their<br />

services or products, is a delicate stage in their growth.<br />

Therefore, more than ever, startups that are conceived<br />

of as international businesses from the beginning should<br />

be encouraged. The NBM community might be a fertile<br />

ground for such startups. “What I heard during the NBM<br />

conference strengthens my conviction that universities<br />

should pay much more attention to strengthening<br />

multicultural skills in their curricula and teaching<br />

programmes, and engage more intensely in exercising their<br />

social responsibility by providing international experience<br />

for their students” (Jan Cornelis).<br />

“My head was filled with new insights after the NBM<br />

conference and as I still had three hours of free time before<br />

going to the airport, I decided to visit the Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art. The taxi driver dropped me at the wrong<br />

place in the middle of nowhere. I prepared for a long walk,<br />

but in Sofia you never walk alone for very long.<br />

The wife of an ICT businessman supporting the Museum<br />

of Science for Children recognised me. She gave me a lift<br />

to the Museum of Socialist Art (on my map: Museum of<br />

Totalitarian Art — note the difference), a pearl lost in the<br />

middle of huge blocks of buildings and skyscrapers. I was<br />

the only visitor of the museum’s magnificent sculpture park<br />

and poster exhibition. I recommend it. Try to get hold of the<br />

conservator, a talkative witness of the recent past!”<br />

(Jan Cornelis).<br />

The base of the pyramid refers to the most poor and<br />

vulnerable communities in the world. Unfortunately, more<br />

than 40% of the world’s population is living below the<br />

poverty line. Hence, it is important to develop sustainable<br />

business models to resolve the daily challenges of this large<br />

population. So far, we’ve been looking at the untapped<br />

potential of the base of the pyramid as customers, while at<br />

the NBM conference in Sofia scholars from different parts<br />

of the world viewed people at the base of the pyramid as<br />

central drivers of sustainable business models.<br />

Prof. Dr. Nikolay Dentchev<br />

Chair of Social Entrepreneurship; Faculty of Economic<br />

& Social Sciences and Solvay Business School,<br />

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).<br />

vubsocialentrepreneurship.com<br />

Prof. Dr. Jan Cornelis<br />

Emeritus Professor (VUB) and Academic Attaché CIDIC<br />

This means that poor people should be seen as<br />

entrepreneurs and innovators, and not so much as simply<br />

customers or beneficiaries of aid. Several papers also<br />

reflected on how established multinationals could be<br />

involved at the base of the pyramid, as part of a collectivity<br />

of actors. Please note that scalability is imperative if we<br />

want to achieve meaningful solutions for the problems of<br />

the people at the base of the pyramid.<br />


Wallpaper, watercolor<br />

© Lieve Van Stappen<br />



100% DEDICATED TO<br />


Always interested in and supporting new technologies,<br />

<strong>Diplomatic</strong> <strong>World</strong> has recently developed a new<br />

partnership with ExpoExpat, a virtual reality shopping<br />

mall 100% dedicated to diplomats and expats. We met<br />

with Mr Davy Wauters, co-founder of this exciting<br />

project. Here is what he had to tell us.<br />

How did it all start, how did you get the idea of<br />

creating a virtual shopping mall?<br />

After several years working within the diplomatic<br />

community as a communication officer at NATO<br />

Headquarters, I joined the Anchor Group, a company<br />

connecting businessmen all around the world thanks to<br />

its international networking platform. My friend, Yannick<br />

Kalantarian (CEO of the company 2Advice), introduced me<br />

to the founder of the Anchor group, Mr Ivan Hiel. Through<br />

the Anchor group network we met an American company<br />

developing virtual reality technology in the Silicon Valley,<br />

California. We all sat down together, brainstormed and<br />

finally decided that it was time to create something new:<br />

ExpoExpat, the first virtual shopping mall 100% dedicated<br />

to expats and diplomats.<br />

Why should we visit ExpoExpat and how does it<br />

work in practice?<br />

When you arrive in a new country it can be difficult to know the<br />

right places to go, to seek the best service providers and how<br />

to contact them. ExpoExpat offers a one-stop shop providing<br />

diplomats and expats with a wide range of information and<br />

services they may need to enhance their stay in Belgium, saving<br />

them valuable time. Moreover, all shops are able to serve<br />

visitors in English. You can visit the hub from wherever you are<br />

in the world, also before your arrival in the country!<br />

When we were creating ExpoExpat, we wanted to provide<br />

some extra incentive for people to visit our mall. That is why<br />

visitors will be able to benefit from advantages, discounts<br />

and contests only available in the ExpoExpat environment.<br />

140<br />

© ExpoExpat

© ExpoExpat<br />

Concretely, once you have logged in, you discover and<br />

explore a new socially interactive online experiment. Thanks<br />

to your interactive 3D avatar, visitors and exhibitors will<br />

be able to easily engage with each other via the integrated<br />

chat, native call and email functions. You will not only<br />

meet exhibitors but also other expats and you will be able to<br />

exchange experiences and advices with them.<br />

Last but not least, I would like to add that inside the<br />

mall you can also access the Auditorium, a virtual room<br />

where videos, conferences, forums and interviews can be<br />

broadcast, via live stream or pre-recorded content.<br />

Not only is a virtual reality shopping mall an innovative<br />

concept but it’s also an ecologically friendly approach to<br />

shopping that is completely free to access! So don’t hesitate,<br />

come and visit us!<br />

Who can access and how can we visit the<br />

shopping mall?<br />

ExpoExpat is open to all the International Organizations (EU,<br />

NATO, UN, Eurocontrol, BRICS, SHAPE, etc), as well as<br />

to the many Embassies, Ministries, Consulates and even to<br />

companies hiring expats. To enter ExpoExpat, simply visit<br />

www.expoexpat.com, the mall is there waiting for you, open 24/7!<br />

How do you see the future of your project?<br />

In the short term, we are constantly seeking to further<br />

develop and improve by prospecting new shops and<br />

enlarging the list of services proposed.<br />

In addition, if a Ministry of Foreign Affairs service would<br />

like to promote its country, we would be happy to provide<br />

a dedicated space inside the mall where each country could<br />

present itself. In the mid term, we know that families and<br />

health are two very important areas of interest for everyone<br />

and we would, therefore, like to develop two dedicated<br />

spaces for these issues. An expat could, for example, look<br />

for and find a local doctor speaking his native language.<br />

Another example would be to offer recommendations<br />

for educational and leisure activities for the children and<br />

partners of expats.<br />

In the longer term, I would like to develop this concept in<br />

other cities like New York City, Geneva, Vienna and other<br />

major international centres. With the Anchor group, we are<br />

willing to move forward, to explore all new opportunities!<br />

If any Embassy, organization or company would like to<br />

develop its own virtual reality environment, based on our<br />

model, please contact us and we will be happy to help. The<br />

Anchor Group is open to all business suggestions!<br />

Davy Wauters<br />

© ExpoExpat<br />

The future is bright and we are part of it.<br />





The economists Hayek and Friedman convinced the world that capitalism<br />

is practically superior to all alternatives, not on moral, but on practical<br />

grounds, linked to the essence of human nature. It’s not a perfect system<br />

and the message to those who did not profit from it is: ‘This is just the way<br />

the economy works, deal with it. Capitalism autoregulates itself by elimination!’<br />

142<br />

Until a few years ago, laws and regulations moderated<br />

the excesses of the system somewhat. Theoretically, we<br />

all have the same potential for success if we exploit our<br />

talents. But, genetics teach us that we are not born with<br />

an equal potential. Inequality is essential up to a certain<br />

degree for the progress of humanity, but the extreme of it is<br />

unbearable. Historically, Marxism and its applications only<br />

led to the oligarchy of a nomenclature and to dictatorship.<br />

No return to old values will be helpful in the new world order,<br />

it leads only to populism without practical solutions. We have<br />

to establish a new moral code for our relationship with AI and<br />

Deep Machine Learning to eliminate the growing alienation<br />

many of us experience. Who will be in charge? This change<br />

of economic and social paradigm by the digital world and its<br />

algorithms imposes itself with a brutality, unheard of. The<br />

Renaissance, the Industrialization and the invention of the<br />

modern world after 1945 were terrible challenges, but nothing<br />

compared to the "This AI-Big data revolution competes with<br />

our brain". It’s a challenge we have to take on with optimism,<br />

nevertheless we have to remain vigilant. AI allows fabulous<br />

gains in productivity in the service economy, communication<br />

and health care as long as we are not manipulated by<br />

machines, as the heroes in Matrix.<br />

Since the Industrial Revolution, capitalism has an inherent<br />

tendency to create cycles of boom & bust. After the brutal<br />

decline of the manufacturing industry in the early eighties,<br />

we lived through many crises such as in 1987 and 1990,<br />

after which it was again business as usual. But, the casinolike<br />

gambling by banks in a global market without rules,<br />

almost took the entire global financial system to the brink<br />

(Bear Stearns March 2008; Lehman Brothers September 15,<br />

2008). The ‘too big to fail’ principle didn’t work and nobody<br />

followed Benjamin Franklin’s advice: ‘They must all hang<br />

together or most assuredly they would hang all separately’.<br />

Nobody was hanged. Cassandra, the daughter of the Trojan<br />

king announced Troye’s destruction, nobody believed her.<br />

While knowing what destiny would bring, she was unable<br />

to time the tipping point correctly. Her warning didn’t help.<br />

The few economists announcing the next crash explain<br />

rationally that the real question is not ‘if’ but ‘when’. The<br />

veracity of each economic theory is to be seen in the context<br />

of the time. Like Odysseus’ Trojan horse, catastrophe<br />

pops up at night, unexpectedly. A forecast is not science.<br />

Therefore Economy has to be a social-behavioral science,<br />

if it’s science at all. Mankind is all but purely rational.<br />

Emotionally-driven by greed and hunger for domination,<br />

it compensates its drive for competition to some degree by<br />

empathy and regulations. Neuro marketing explores some of<br />

the aspects of consumers in function of their information,<br />

experience and evolutionary drive. Data-mining and AI<br />

propose strategies to boost consumer spending in function<br />

of different categories of psychological profiles, linked to<br />

their income. But, who is intelligent, the machine or the<br />

creators of the algorithms?<br />

The aftermath of the 2008 crash still dominates our economic<br />

and political lives. To avoid a total implosion, governments<br />

bailed-out the banks, increasing overall government debt in a<br />

financialized economy. The credit crunch is not over and led<br />

to economic shrinkage, a great moderation is still imposed<br />

on most state budgets. The people who caused the crisis<br />

got away with it unharmed, but life got harder for normal<br />

people. In the global world today, more people are doing<br />

better than 10 years ago. The global extreme-poor are better<br />

off, the previous global middle class in the Western world

Prof Dr Roland Pochet Secretary General of the Belgian Brain Council and Prof Dr Jan De Maere University Art & Design, Cluj<br />

<br />

© Prof. Dr. Jan De Maere<br />

are in relative decline. The 1% top rich became better off, the<br />

others face still today declining real pay and in-work poverty.<br />

The new Stakhanovism of the GAFA industry, atomizing and<br />

intensifying jobs, eliminates every free minute on the work<br />

place. This inequality leads to political crisis. New fault lines<br />

pop up and boost populism everywhere.<br />

The new algorithmic society developed a new paradigm<br />

for growth in the formerly protected service industry,<br />

addressing the needs of a whole audience at once through<br />

new social media. The non-revalorization of jobs in health<br />

care and education dehumanizes and alienates. The<br />

‘Uber model’ is its most profitable expression: extreme<br />

competition on the work floor without social protection.<br />

Only the top of this new GAFA economy accumulates<br />

wealth as never seen before.<br />

Nevertheless, the S&P 500 now stands at more than twice<br />

the level to which it fell in September 2008. Employment<br />

rates are up but wages remain low. Transactions still lack<br />

transparency and a strong central authority. Hedge funds<br />

still do high-frequency trading based on information of<br />

their data centers. The Basel based Bank for International<br />

Settlements (Central bank of central banks) estimates<br />

the over-the counter deals (OTC) at $352 trillion yearly.<br />

Governments buy back their own debt with newly minted<br />

electronic money (QE, Quantitative easing). But Georges<br />

Soros warns: ‘The global balance sheet of the world economy<br />

shows much more liabilities than assets’.<br />

Therefore, for the ultra-rich, cash is like a hot potato, passed<br />

back and forwards between them in a competitive global<br />

system. They buy yachts, real estate and Contemporary art.<br />

Prices go up. Paintings are not on the wall but in vaults.<br />

QE sustains these high prices, thus adding to inequality.<br />

Immediacy replaces the longing for quality in art. Olafur<br />

Eliasson, James Turrell and many other artists explore now<br />

also the unknown continent of AI (Artificial intelligence) in<br />

their works of art. The Belgian Brain Council organizes on<br />

18-19 October in Liège its meeting (www.braincouncil.be).<br />

At this occasion they organize a competition for works of<br />

art related to neuroscience in the broadest sense.<br />

The famous caricaturist Pierre Kroll presides the jury,<br />

which will select works for the exhibition ‘Brain-Art’ in<br />

the Liège Calatrava railway station’s exhibition space<br />

(www.europaexpo.be). The selected works will be auctioned<br />

off in November. The profit, 50% of the price, will finance<br />

brain related research projects, selected by the Belgian Brain<br />

Council. Brain related diseases (Alzheimer, Parkinson etc.)<br />

represent in Europe 40% of medical costs. Brain research<br />

receives only 10% of the total medical research. Therefore,<br />

much more investment is needed, but governments are<br />

cash-poor and it is in their interest to keep the cost of<br />

credit low. Old fashioned art lovers hung their paintings<br />

on the wall to be admired. Their children inherited them.<br />

Today, the political correct Contemporary art addresses the<br />

actual social and political problems in a new language of<br />

immediacy, slogans and street art with great success. Art<br />

speaks the language of its time.<br />

Therefore it became an experience, rather than a beautiful<br />

object to be admired on the wall. The craving for artful<br />

beauty is seen since the second halve of the twentieth<br />

century as a decadent bourgeois status symbol. The classical<br />

art-market dwindles down to the niche-markets it had in<br />


144<br />

the sixties, when only passionate collectors bought art and<br />

antiquities. Until then, art involved aesthetics, authenticity<br />

and quality control. A masterpiece is unique and not<br />

directly derived from its predecessors. This all changed<br />

in times of Concept and Postmodernism. ‘AI art’ bears<br />

strongly on real art works. Is this intelligence artificial?<br />

Not in my opinion, since machine produced art depends<br />

on earlier examples brought together by humans and on<br />

Big-data mining. I leave in the middle of the discussion if<br />

a pile of bricks or an unmade bed is art or not. The new<br />

stars of the Contemporary art after 1980 obtain incredible<br />

prices at auction. As in the digital economy, the winner<br />

takes it all in this exclusive market. The art production by<br />

hundred thousands of artists supersedes largely the global<br />

art consumption, only the happy few sell their works.<br />

Galleries and art promotors create false rarity on the market<br />

by manipulating sales. They offer the few ’trendy-quality<br />

works’ available only to their best clients as a great favor.<br />

They feed collectors with price data-bases as a necessary<br />

by-product. Professionals and vendors are always better<br />

informed than the buyers, so, they do need less this data.<br />

The new app ‘ArtAssistant‘ developed by Alexander<br />

Tuteleers allows collectors and museums to manage their<br />

collection, while connected to all the data flow in the art<br />

world. Only a few collectors make up their mind themselves,<br />

most have art advisers to guide them. They buy with their<br />

ears, craving to discover the next Gerhard Richter at the<br />

opening of the Frieze or Basel fairs. The real art experience<br />

is not about fame and money, but about deeply felt emotion<br />

and happiness. It’s not a fast flash but a slow and intense<br />

becoming in the quiet heritage of its awareness.<br />

Will we all become ‘cyborgs’ with reinforced brains? The<br />

human brain faces an everyday greater competition with<br />

sentient computer brains. We are the pinnacle of evolution,<br />

but machines are smarter in many domains, while we<br />

are still playing God. Ray Kurzweil pretends to be able<br />

to download one’s total brain capacity into a machine to<br />

create a human-machine hybrid (The Singularity is Near,<br />

2005). He imagines that in 2045 computers will be smarter<br />

than all humans combines (singularity). This will allow a<br />

non-biological extension of the neo-cortex. But, not only<br />

machines are able to enhance the brain. David Glanzman<br />

and neurobiologists of the University of Los Angeles<br />

achieved the transplantation of memories from one trained<br />

Californian sea snail to another without training (eNeuro<br />

magazine) by transferring RNA from the nucleus of a<br />

neuron. The snails without training adapted immediately<br />

their behavior in the same way the trained snails did. This<br />

Billy-Billy Flowerpot robot (www.zorabots.be) © Prof. Dr. Jan De Maere<br />

RNA (ribonucleic acid) translates the genetic code in<br />

proteins. Before this discovery, neuroscience assumed it was<br />

only through synaptic connections that memory originated.<br />

Therefore it’s probable that RNA plays also a role in the<br />

creation of human memories. Elon Musk has said he will<br />

unveil ‘Neuralink’ a device working on ultra-high-bandwidth<br />

machine-interfaces, that merge the brain with AI, providing<br />

‘super-human cognition’. This information flow between<br />

the frontal cortex and the AI extension of yourself will<br />

not be under human control. Two thousand years ago,<br />

Juvenal already warned us: ’Who will watch the watchman?’<br />

AI systems are in the hands of only a few individuals,<br />

organizations and states, deciding freely their targets<br />

without any regulation, control, inspection, implementation<br />

and enforcement of the (non-existing) rules. Ethical and<br />

social issues have to be addressed on a global level, but we<br />

all witness every day how powerless global organizations<br />

such as ONU and UNESCO are. Global warming measures<br />

are still waiting for application. We didn’t learn anything<br />

from history. It will be as always: "too little too late"!<br />

Google’s AI-equipped Waymo cars freely drive in Phoenix<br />

Arizona, but they are still confined in a ‘geo-fenced gozone’<br />

determined by humans. In medical diagnostics, great<br />

progress is made with the help of AI, but it didn’t replace<br />

the role of the doctor in cancer detection. He makes still<br />

the final diagnostic. Algorithms make police work easier<br />

by predicting locations of street crime and drug dealing. In<br />

Japan and China lonely men buy expensive good looking<br />

female robots as companions. Since it is a growing trend,<br />

they are probably satisfied with their acquisition, fulfilling<br />

all their needs. They fall in love with an algorithm that<br />

knows them well, since it exploits their data in a screwed<br />

manner. They are unaware of the fact that this AI creates<br />

only the mirror of their craving selves, producing machine<br />

born interaction on which they can invest the illusions<br />

of their sentiments. For the elderly in homes and care

centers, there is now a green smiling digital flowerpot<br />

device called Billy-Billy to which they can ask questions<br />

such as the weather forecast, the news and it’s capable of<br />

reading incoming sms (www.zorabots.be). Loneliness is<br />

treated by machines because the nurses are too few and to<br />

busy. A new relationship between men and machines has<br />

to be established. Enhancing human intelligence has many<br />

advantages, but it is essential to keep our critical distance in<br />

real terms, not as an illusion.<br />

AI does miracles, technology makes things easier for<br />

everybody. The Blue-Brain Research Concept in Lausanne<br />

simulates as much as possible the human brain and its 100<br />

billion neurons. Today, it is not even capable to reproduce that<br />

of a worm, having only 302 neurons. Computational statistics<br />

improve rapidly, but AI is still far away from the complex<br />

requirements of human intelligence. Nevertheless, they can<br />

make deductions from big-data that human brains cannot.<br />

Machine learning works with algorithms. They are step-bystep<br />

instructions, given to a machine, fed with big-data. They<br />

need a detailed target focusing on a consumer profile and<br />

enough practice corrected by humans to find out what to do<br />

by their self. They need education as horses and dogs do,<br />

through reinforcement of good behavior and ignoring bad.<br />

AI and DML can be tricked by human creativity. AI-based<br />

facial recognition software uses characteristic edge patterns of<br />

light and shadow rather than the real facial features as such,<br />

creative hackers can trick it easily.<br />

Privacy and safety are not at all guaranteed in this new world,<br />

therefore ‘Justice and Peace’ are needed. This old dream of<br />

order and happiness is well illustrated in the drawing Federico<br />

Zuccaro made as a design for a fresco in Firenze, circa 1560.<br />

AI is a powerful weapon to control people’s behavior. The<br />

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a leading Beijing<br />

university publish an annual ‘social responsibility report’ of<br />

celebrities, without respecting their privacy. The Chinese<br />

actress Fan Bingbing, falling foul of the communist regime, is<br />

now rated at 0% and accused of negative social impact. Her<br />

whereabouts are unknown since early June.<br />

Cyber-criminality and hacking soar at incredible levels<br />

since two years. On world level, the amount of digital crime<br />

is bigger than the total turnover of the drug trade. British<br />

Airways lost thousands of credit card details from its clients.<br />

Cambridge Analytics is another illustration of the inevitable<br />

weakness of cyber security and data protection. Rogue<br />

states employ hackers, intervening in democratic elections<br />

by influencing voters, as the scandal around the company<br />

Frederico Zuccaro, Justitia et Pax, drawing c 1560, Firenze<br />

<br />

© Prof. Dr. Jan De Maere<br />

Cambridge Analytics illustrated. People are flawed without<br />

knowing. Our propensity for errors is cleverly exploited by<br />

hackers. Cybersecurity is powerless when faced with human<br />

error or negligence. We should replace our passwords<br />

regularly, which should be very long and random to be safe.<br />

Cyber-Firewalls are technologically running behind the<br />

genius of the most talented cyber criminals. All intelligent<br />

connected machines are hackable. We will have to live with<br />

this problem in a digital world. In cyber criminality, the % of<br />

condemned criminals is less than 2%. Security measures are<br />

always taken after the problem arose.<br />

The art and antiquities market is infected by fakes on many<br />

levels, even if material scientific analysis of works of art<br />

is progressing strongly. This kind of analysis is not only<br />

costly and time-consuming. As we saw in the scandal of<br />

the so-called Russian avant-garde exhibition in the Ghent<br />

museum of art, owners not always allow it to be undertaken.<br />

The artness of art has no formal rules, but does not accept<br />

lies and deception. Many questions remain, but art is and<br />

will always be a deeply felt human emotional need, allowing<br />

by its illusion to escape the alienation of an ever changing<br />

world. AI and machines are good in taking care of many<br />

human needs. An elderly person in a care center might feel<br />

comfort in talking to a smiling digital flowerpot, but I doubt<br />

that one day AI will supersede the horizon of our aesthetic<br />

expectations and our longing for belonging. Technology and<br />

virtual reality will affect our mental capacity. People have<br />

to re-evaluate as well the benefits as the risks of intelligent<br />

machines and enhanced humans.<br />





We have to study art not by reading and listening, but by careful<br />

observation of masterpieces. With curiosity, cultivating doubt,<br />

practice and skilled mentors, everybody can become at some<br />

degree a better connoisseur than initially thought. The essential<br />

requirement is to see thousands of paintings and to have mentors,<br />

knowing how to look.<br />

146<br />

The Russian collector and philantropist Vladimir Potanin’s<br />

foundation (fondpotanin.ru) published the book ‘Russia the<br />

20 th Century’. It covers the Russian culture and history of<br />

the XXth century in a visual way, without scholarly essays.<br />

The motto is: ’The absence of textual guidance allows readers<br />

to create their own vivid images of the century’. How right they<br />

are! They let the art speak for itself, publishing documents,<br />

but also posters, caricatures and images of decorative<br />

arts. It makes us understand what shapes the Russian<br />

mentality and soul. At the end of the XIXth century, the<br />

industrialization expanded cities and created new wealth for<br />

entrepreneurs such as Shschukin and Morozov, which were<br />

capitalists, becoming collectors with an open mind. They<br />

bought Impressionist paintings, Matisse and van Gogh.<br />

Musicians, poets, philosophers and artists felt the onset<br />

of a new era. Dark forces gathered under the outwardly<br />

calm of the rural world, forgotten by the evolution. It<br />

became a revolution, also in the arts. The Russian avantgarde<br />

provided the first radical abstract works of art.<br />

There is a trend to aestheticize those works of art without<br />

taking in account their political context. Propaganda was<br />

indeed the task that Lenin had set for the arts. Artists<br />

lived within the Soviet system and sought to make a useful<br />

contribution through their idealistic fervor. The end of the<br />

twenties destroyed hope and brought economic disaster,<br />

collectivization followed. Millions were ‘reeducated’ by<br />

forced labor and crushed by the Soviet machine. The<br />

avant-garde dream deflated. The individual was seen as<br />

an impersonal unit of society. Writers and artists had to<br />

praise all this and found novel ways to excel in the arts<br />

in an impoverished Russia. After the victory over the<br />

Fascists, a great hope was born for a bright future, quickly<br />

banished by the Soviet authorities. But, each new generation<br />

grew up in confident belief of a better future, only to be<br />

disappointed at the end. In this difficult times, Soviet art<br />

became socialist realism illustrating the exhortations of<br />

the Central Committee of the communist party. Not only<br />

Malevich and Kandinsky made masterpieces. Many others<br />

are rediscovered today. Later, even under duress and serving<br />

propaganda, great art was made in the Soviet empire until<br />

its end in 1990. The main Soviet censorship body, Glavlit,<br />

eliminated all undesirable art and ensured that the correct<br />

ideological spin was expressed. Soviet realism was not<br />

realistic, it celebrated an utopia, never attained. The French<br />

translation of ‘The Encyclopedia of Russian Avant-garde’<br />

(www.apopsix.fr) represents the monumental work done by<br />

the art historians Andrey Sarabyanov and Vasilly Rakitine<br />

and 236 colleagues in their collaboration with 88 museums,<br />

specialized in the field. The two volumes contain more<br />

then 1200 bibliographic references and more than 4000<br />

illustrations. Presented at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the<br />

encyclopedia was awarded with the Best Book of the year<br />

price in 2015. An English version is in preparation.<br />

Sometimes the well-educated observation of a connoisseur<br />

discovers flaws in the structure of the paint layer and in<br />

small subliminal details. Beauty is also expressed in the<br />

tactile expression of the structure of the painted surface. A<br />

Kandinsky painting of a certain period has a characteristic<br />

pattern structure, connoisseurs know that. In this authentic<br />

painting by Kandinsky, exposed in the Albertine of<br />

Vienna it is visible. Its director Klaus Albrecht Schröder

Ishametov, Coal is the true Bread of Industry,1985<br />

© Prof. Dr. Jan De Maere<br />

investigated the authenticity of the paintings of this<br />

collection offered on loan to the museum, before exhibiting<br />

it. Intelligent people ask advise from specialists after having<br />

done their ‘due diligence’. They are aware of their limits.<br />

In tempore non suspecto, the visitors of the Museum of<br />

Fine Arts of the city of Ghent admired without reserve<br />

the Malevich, Kandinsky and other masters of the Russian<br />

Avant-Garde of the newly discovered Toporovski collection.<br />

However, ten international specialists expressed the greatest<br />

reservations as to the authenticity of the exhibited works,<br />

immediately after the opening of the exhibition.<br />

The authorities had little to say about this scandal that<br />

hit the national and international press. It’s common<br />

knowledge that the market of Russian Avant-Garde<br />

paintings is a mine field and fraught with fakes since<br />

decades. The then Ghent museum director Catherine<br />

De Zeger and Flemish minister for culture Steven Gatz<br />

replied that “they have no evidence of inauthenticity and<br />

trusted the 'collectors'”. A strange answer. If museums would<br />

exhibit everything that is not proven fake, the result would<br />

be hilarious. Many Flemish museum directors complained<br />

about the bad reputation Flanders museums and their staff<br />

got and dissociated themselves from the decisions taken<br />

by the minister and by the mayor of Ghent, supported by<br />

the town council. Obviously, De Zegher relied on their<br />

own (non-existing) experience in this field, since she did<br />

not ask for assistance from the connoisseurs in the field.<br />

She even claimed later to have asked an expert, who said<br />

he was never asked his opinion about those paintings. The<br />

story of the provenance of the collection is as fuzzy as the<br />

biography of the owners. Five hundred so-called top works<br />

came in from Russia. Neither the director of the museum<br />

nor the minister questioned the probable illegal export and<br />

the equally illegal importation into Belgium of these works.<br />

Not any paperwork exists. The Toporovski’s did not allow<br />

that material scientific analysis was undertaken on their<br />

collection. The works were finally withdrawn from the walls<br />

of the museum when the international media reported the<br />

scandal. Later it appeared that an old Ukrainian museum<br />

catalogue was a newly printed facsimile, faked by the<br />

so-called collectors as proof of authenticity of one of the<br />

works. It became also known that the owners of the works<br />

could take them back immediately from the museum if they<br />

were sold to a collector. The Ghent criminal police opened<br />

an investigation, still going on.<br />

Connoisseurs may observe a difference, but, the material<br />

analysis of these paintings will give us significant indications,<br />

allowing to authenticate them or not. It might well be that<br />

his 'collection', coming from nowhere, follows the traces of<br />

Ruffini, Beltracci, Legros and de Hory, is a scam for believers.<br />

But, we will have to wait until we know the results of the<br />

scientific material analysis, the art historical and provenance<br />

research of Toporovski’s collection, to be certain. Let us<br />

compare now the details of the surface of the paint layer<br />

in the Albertina’s authentic Kandinsky with the texture of<br />

Toporovski's paintings, published in the advertisement by the<br />

Ghent museum.<br />


148<br />


There is an amazing coincidence to this all. On May 14<br />

this year, the American writer Tom Wolfe (1930-2018),<br />

became famous with his first novel ‘The Bonfire of the<br />

Vanities’ (1987), died. After a successful career as journalist<br />

at the Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune<br />

he became a romancier. His goal in writing fiction was<br />

‘to document contemporary society in the tradition of John<br />

Steinbeck, Charles Dickens and Emile Zola.’ His last novel<br />

‘Back to Blood’ (2012) is about class, wealth, race, crime,<br />

sex, corruption and ambition in Miami. His heros, a Latino<br />

police officer and a young journalist, discover a scam<br />

involving the mayor of Miami and a Russian crook Sergueï<br />

Koroliov, offering his collection of Russian Avant-Garde<br />

(Kandinsky, Malevich, Gontcharova etc) to the museum,<br />

Miami built specially for his collection. In fact, it are fakes<br />

painted for Koriolov by a talented Russian painter living in<br />

Miami, named Igor. As usual in the tradition of the New<br />

Journalism, Wolfe took his inspiration from a real ‘fait<br />

divers’ that has an incredible similitude with the Ghent<br />

scandal. Did Igor Toporovski read Wolfe’s novel?<br />

Fakes can appear as beautiful, but, once they are revealed<br />

as such, deception pops up. If people like them, why is it<br />

important to distinguish a fake? The woman I love is the<br />

most beautiful in the world. If she deceives me, she is no<br />

less beautiful, but her love becomes a lie. Any false appears<br />

as an imposture, as soon as it is discovered. The fake is an<br />

insult to the 'me who loves'. Beauty bears imperfections and<br />

flaws, but no lies. Therefore, the believe in its authenticity<br />

is an ontological aspect of beauty, otherwise it’s perceived<br />

as prostitution. The painting has to be believable. Perceived<br />

as a "fake", it is not a plausible. The lack of authenticity<br />

changes completely its reception. Suddenly the viewer<br />

discovers every flaw of the fake and experiences it as a lie!<br />

A painting becomes a “fake”, when it’s intended as such by<br />

its maker; or by its unacceptable attribution to a master. The<br />

discovery of deception requires courage, self-control, great<br />

domain knowledge, adequate critical observation by thinslicing<br />

and multi-parallel computing (intuition) and therefore<br />

brain energy. We suspect authenticity by evaluating different<br />

degrees of probability, and weigh it against how resourceintensive<br />

it would be to have this suspicion confirmed of<br />

rejected. This involves: analyze-based investigation of nonsystematical<br />

facts, material analysis and hypothesis testing.<br />

The very existence of the term “fake” presupposes that<br />

our desire for the "artness of art" is something more than<br />

visual beauty alone. Art is looking for ‘meaningful truth’,<br />

authenticity and creative novelty. Great art does not have<br />

a precedent, but has many followers. Our critical attitude<br />

recognizes the exceptional quality of the masterpiece as<br />

an essential token of hope and reassurance. Human beings<br />

have a propensity to believe beautiful stories, as well in<br />

art as in politics. Evolution wired us to be confident. We<br />

are born believers, since this attitude brings more benefits<br />

than problems. People accept a falsehood if it seems to<br />

conform to known facts, but good sense normally prevails<br />

at the end. All humans are in need of narratives and like<br />

to believe other people’s stories. When one tells a story,<br />

which explains a nice vision of our world based on some<br />

known facts (the Peacock Tail syndrome), we listen, without<br />

considering our self as naïve. We all dream of legitimacy,<br />

power, having a good reputation and to be liked. Crooks<br />

present themselves as the best person to fulfill this desire.<br />

They tell us what we want to hear and hope for. We often<br />

attach meaning to things that are unworthy of it, because we<br />

want to believe they are true. The individual aspect of the<br />

aesthetic art experience is essential for each of us. Everyone<br />

is convinced to have good taste. We have the right to love<br />

what we love, even if others consider it mediocre. The<br />

criteria of our satisfaction are determined by the horizon<br />

of our expectations, by our knowledge of the field and by<br />

our critical cognitive-perceptive experience. In addition,<br />

we are social beings. We hope to share our preferences and<br />

values. We hope to see them validated positively by others.<br />

The opinion of specialists and reference persons exerts an<br />

influence on the way we perceive and value things.<br />

The Belgian newspaper De Standaard published an interview<br />

with professor Antoon Van den Braembussche (Rotterdam-<br />

VUB). He argues that only the verdict of his ‘gut-feeling’ is<br />

the real art experience, unbiased by knowledge, the opinion of<br />

specialists, free of inferences by the dogmas of the art market<br />

and the museum world. If this is true, he is the only un-biased<br />

person in the world. There is not such a thing as perception<br />

without information bias and cognition. The neurophysiology<br />

of cognitive perception observes brain activity in real time by<br />

f-MRI, clearly demonstrate that it is impossible to separate<br />

cognition from observation and bias, even in the initial phase,<br />

which is called 'intuitive' (activity in the lobes of the prefrontal<br />

cortex). Unfortunately for professor Van den Braembussche,<br />

even his 'gut-feeling', the experience of his intuition, which<br />

he situates in his belly, is already conditioned from the onset<br />

by the context of the experience, memory, knowledge and<br />

information. He forgot that his perception of the world is<br />

shaped by his beliefs, expectations and experiences.

The experience of art is much more than aesthetic<br />

emotion, information, fame, expert opinion and market<br />

value. It is above all a critical emotion, felt as a bodily<br />

experience, which intensity supersedes the horizon of<br />

our expectations. Its novelty is essential. This stabilized<br />

ambiguity of the physiological neural configuration of this<br />

emotion is the result of the spontaneous confrontation<br />

of mind concept of our perception with the whole of<br />

our personality, with all that it entails. It transforms<br />

our emotions into our personal feeling. This acts as a<br />

revelation to the self, causing disappointment or wonder,<br />

observable in f-MRI. The hierarchy of the experience<br />

determines the degree of excitement and love that arises<br />

from the work of art.<br />

Everyone, experiencing a work of art, has some kind of<br />

response, ranging from incomprehension, disliking to<br />

great excitement. A connoisseur or an art-critic has to<br />

cultivate the habit of doubting his own reactions, asking<br />

himself why he feels like he does. He has to have the<br />

ability to articulate those questions in the light of vast<br />

domain knowledge. The validation of an authenticity<br />

opens a critical collective debate between members<br />

of an informal worldwide network of specialists and<br />

connoisseurs. Unanimity about authenticity is often a<br />

rare commodity. Taking in account the discoveries of<br />

neuroscience, authenticity can only be a question of<br />

an educated opinion of specialists with great domain<br />

knowledge, based on the results of scientific analysis.<br />

Each painting is instantly evaluated (intuition) in terms<br />

of previous experiences and esthetic-cognitive preferences<br />

(desire), before reason intervenes. Since the brain can<br />

grasp fictional concepts, humans learn by storytelling.<br />

This fictional causal combination of memories is the<br />

reference frame allowing categorization and qualityappraisal,<br />

but it is not without flaws. Our only link to<br />

reality is our subjectivity, yearning to be validated in order<br />

to obtain a higher degree of objectivity by the interaction<br />

of thesis and anti-thesis (Hegelian dialectic interplay:<br />

Aufhebung). Authenticity sets a context for the reputation<br />

of a painting and defines precise expectations.<br />

The human nature is wired toward creating meaning out<br />

of meaninglessness. We are all suckers for belief and faith,<br />

giving us hope. Hearing a nice story, we become blind to<br />

inconsistencies, which become glaring when discovered.<br />

Unconsciously, we react to the demand for complicity by<br />

the crooked storyteller, from whom we accept the inner<br />

urgency to express the split in his personality, up to a<br />

Grebenikov, Completed ahead of Schedule, 1976<br />

© Prof. Dr. Jan De Maere<br />

certain degree. We admire secretly his authority, based<br />

on his lack of empathy. On an extreme level, that’s why<br />

psychopaths are so good in seducing their victims and later<br />

their lady lawyers, when in prison. When the mask falls off<br />

through the revelation of the deception, only shame and<br />

sorrow appear. Fakes intend to deceive.<br />

Russian and Ukrainian culture are an essential part of<br />

European culture since thousand years. Regimes are<br />

changing, conflicts arise, but behind all that lingers the<br />

suffering and hope of each of us for a better understanding.<br />

The history of Europe started with Charlemagne's state<br />

administration of a great part of the European nations,<br />

all united in one culture, nevertheless their ethnic and<br />

geographic differences. That common culture is the wealth<br />

of nations. Quality in art and culture aims at the roots of<br />

our identity. Empathy domesticates our evolutionary nature<br />

and its subsequent aggressive drive. Galton and Darwin<br />

would agree that this stabilized ambiguity between Nature<br />

& Nurture, hidden deep in our mind, soul and personal<br />

feelings, is the cradle of the uniqueness of every one of us.<br />





Eric Kayser is a French artisan baker. He is a<br />

former “Compagnon du Devoir” (Compagnonnage<br />

being an old, traditional French mentoring network<br />

based on apprenticeship with traveling masters);<br />

on completing his "Tour de France" and his<br />

international training, mainly in Quebec, he opened<br />

his first bakery in Paris in 1996.<br />

During these early years, I and other friends from all over<br />

the world visited him in his little shop on rue Monge,<br />

more or less opposite a church. And there we could taste<br />

his traditional bread with its creamy taste and texture<br />

surrounded by wonderful aromas of cereals and dried fruits.<br />

From this Japanese experience, we believe a lot in the Asian<br />

continent: 7 years ago, we opened an office in Hong Kong,<br />

dedicated to the whole continent which has allowed us<br />

to spread our expertise in China, Vietnam, and especially<br />

Cambodia. French bread is popular!<br />

We listened to his explanations on the making of bread with<br />

liquid yeast, certified flours without additives and on his<br />

personal invention, the Fermentolevain machine. Today he<br />

is just as passionate about his baker's job and about sharing<br />

it in different continents. We are very proud of his conquest<br />

of the Asian market thanks to his savoir-faire made in<br />

France! And after all, isn’t bread the main French heritage<br />

in Asia?<br />

After visiting Washington as part of a deputation<br />

accompanying President Macron, we saw you last<br />

July alongside members of the Thai Royal Family<br />

inaugurating a new bakery in Bangkok. What does<br />

Asia represent in the development of the Kayser<br />

Bakeries network?<br />

150<br />

Asia is essential in my life! 17 years ago, when I wanted to<br />

open my first bakery abroad, I turned to Asia, specifically<br />

Japan. After my first trip, I was fascinated by Japanese<br />

people, their culture and their gastronomy.<br />

I immediately knew that this country would be the gateway<br />

to Asia and its diversity. We were very welcome and today<br />

there are more than 20 bakeries that are located in the<br />

country of the rising sun.

Thai Royal Family and Eric Kayser<br />

As with any artisanal product, I imagine that the<br />

quality of ingredients, particularly flour, is just as<br />

important as the expertise in the making. How do<br />

you supply your Asian bakeries? Will you find local<br />

suppliers?<br />

The growth of a bakery obviously goes through the study<br />

of raw materials available "on-site". For our pastries, we<br />

choose to use local and seasonal fruits. It was obvious to us<br />

that our bread flour should also come from local suppliers<br />

as much as possible! Fortunately we don’t have to import<br />

the flour from France!!! After several trials, we found an<br />

excellent flour from a Korean partner.<br />

culture make it a must-see. And the proximity of Vietnam<br />

and Cambodia have made it a logical follow-up.<br />

As for the presence of the Royal Family at the inauguration,<br />

which was flattering, I can imagine a certain penchant for<br />

our croissants unless it is for our delicious financiers who<br />

count many "addicts" around the world!<br />

Tell us about your choice of Thailand after Japan,<br />

China, Vietnam and Cambodia. Why did members<br />

of the Royal Family attend the inauguration?<br />

Through its office in Hong Kong, Maison Kayser’s ambition<br />

is to spread "good French bread" across the continent. How<br />

could Bangkok be ignored? Its history, architecture and<br />

Eric Kayser and Dr. Pick Keobandith<br />


How do you explain the success of your bakeries in<br />

Asia? Who are your customers? Are they members<br />

of an international élite or locals reflecting an<br />

evolution in the consumers’ habits of a greater part<br />

of the Asian population?<br />

I have always had a thirst for discovery and my curiosity has<br />

always guided me and helped to evolve in my perception of<br />

things.<br />

I fundamentally believe in the value of exchange and<br />

tolerance and the openness it causes. These exchanges are<br />

taking place today on a global scale. Everyone can now<br />

easily access other cultures and a lot of food. I guess this<br />

reflects the evolution of the world. Bread, which is the<br />

symbol of sharing and conviviality, meets with great success,<br />

which comes as no surprise! I have always considered that<br />

breaking bread announced a discreet party: a culinary party<br />

without any distinction among gourmands. If Asia loves our<br />

baguette, it is absolutely consistent and natural!<br />

Dr. Pick Keobandith<br />

President Macron and Eric Kayser<br />


If you have a cuting in your hand, 2017, Watercolor<br />

© Lieve Van Stappen<br />






Rose D’Anvers, rose and diamond, stunning symbols<br />

of nature’s talent for creating two of the most<br />

beautiful icons in the universe.<br />

Rose, soft, scented, delicate, alluring, enchanting.<br />

Diamond, brilliant, scintillating, tantalizing, enduring.<br />

Rose D’Anvers was created in Antwerp, for a millennium a<br />

pulsing, pioneering, port city and Europe’s heart of culture,<br />

learning, painting, and printing. For thousands of years<br />

roses and diamonds have captured the imaginations of men<br />

and women and inspired and uplifted their senses.<br />

A rose, superb in its natural beauty and understated<br />

elegance, traces mother natures’ delicate signature of<br />

swirling petals.<br />

A diamond is nature’s maestro of light refraction and fire.<br />

For centuries, sacred, symbolic, interpreter par excellence<br />

of Antwerp’s exquisite craftsmanship, scintillation, and<br />

brilliant light refraction. In a world marked by change<br />

and challenged by disruption, Antwerp’s Rose D’Anvers<br />

connects the eternal truths of integrity, beauty and<br />

resilience and the people who uphold these values.<br />

Rose D’Anvers’ sublime symmetry, symbolizes reciprocal<br />

respect, love and the recognition of each person’s safe<br />

space and security. Rose D’Anvers, a duet of the rose, royal<br />

representative of nature’s floral treasury, and diamond,<br />

peerless pinnacle of nature’s synthesis of heat, pressure and<br />

the volcanic velocity of the primal elements.<br />

Confronted with today’s hijacking of humility, respect<br />

and love by greed, egoism and aggression, Rose D’ Anvers<br />

celebrates and connects those with grace, gratitude and<br />

generosity of spirit.<br />

light, fire and brilliance to achieve the shimmering radiance<br />

of a thousand burning candles on an altar top.<br />

The history of diamonds and the rose serendipitously<br />

crossed when master diamond cutters first pioneered the<br />

rose cut diamond shape. Early milestone in the evolution of<br />

diamond polishing, the rose cut revealed the first hints of<br />

the hidden brilliance in a rough diamond.<br />

Popular in the past and collected by connoisseurs today,<br />

rose cut diamonds represented the state of diamond<br />

polishing knowledge for several hundred years.<br />

Through time and finely polished facets, Antwerp’s master<br />

diamond cutters taught the world to channel the contained,<br />

light energy inside a rough diamond into the calibrated<br />

prismatic poetry of light refraction and reflection.<br />

A diamond’s internal character can only be revealed<br />

through the cleaving, cutting and polishing away of those<br />

parts of the diamond superfluous to achieving optimum<br />

purity, brilliance and light dispersion.<br />


154<br />

Antwerp’s master craftsmen perfected the geometry of<br />

gemology, calibrating the angled algorithms of a diamond’s<br />

© Rose D'Anvers

© Rose D'Anvers<br />

Diamond, a metaphor for life’s shaping of man and woman,<br />

only shines and reflects its brilliance after painstaking work<br />

and craftsmanship bring out the inner fire.<br />

Shaping the world as the world shapes us, the polishing of<br />

human character to highlight the fire and brilliance within is<br />

a lifetime passion for anyone wishing to reach the full height<br />

of their potential.<br />


Antwerp’s City fathers long dedicated to tying the city’s<br />

fortunes to the noblest, aspirational qualities, included the<br />

rose in its coat of arms. Thus, the City of Antwerp has<br />

proudly celebrated the rose and the diamond, the latter<br />

most recently through its “Antwerp Diamond Capital since<br />

1447” initiative. Rose D’Anvers is a magical link between<br />

nature and craftsmanship, between the rose and the natural<br />

beauty of the world and, man’s genius for the transformation<br />

of a building block of the universe into splendid, sparkling<br />

diamonds.<br />



Today, Rose D’Anvers symbolizes the soft-hand spirit of the<br />

rose and the beating diamond heart of Antwerp.<br />

Setting a contemporary standard of Antwerp craftsmanship<br />

and style, Rose D’Anvers fills the space with an aura of<br />

beauty and grace signifying the best of the universe.<br />

An impeccably elegant match of nature’s nurturing and<br />

man’s craftsmanship, Rose D’Anvers celebrates our universe<br />

by offering the natural beauty of an exquisitely presented,<br />

stunning rose, stippled with natural polished diamonds.<br />


Drawing on her life experiences to feed her curiosity and<br />

stimulate her interest Rosalie Bogaard has referenced music,<br />

dance, art, design, and culture, to challenge assumptions<br />

and nudge society to a better place. In 2018, paying tribute<br />

to Antwerp Diamond Capital since 1447 and celebrating the<br />

tradition of the rose and rose cut diamonds Rosalie Bogaard<br />

sought out Antwerp’s most talented diamond cutters to<br />

design a new Rose D’Anvers Pentagram diamond cut.<br />

Drawing on Antwerp’s unique diamond technocraftsmanship,<br />

Rosalie Bogaard’s master craftsmen<br />

successfully polished the Pentagram’s spirit, water, fire,<br />

earth and air, onto every Rose D’Anvers diamond.<br />

Now, the Rose d’Anvers Pentagram diamond empowers the<br />

wearer with the alignment of the Pentagram’s life forces.<br />

Set to delight and dazzle and cut and polished to sublime<br />

perfection, each Rose D’Anvers Pentagram diamond is sold<br />

with a personalized HRD Certificate.<br />

The Rose D’Anvers Pentagram is one of the world’s most<br />

desirable diamonds, inspired and polished in Antwerp,<br />

which has transmitted diamond knowledge to the four<br />

corners of the world, for centuries.<br />

The Rose D’Anvers Pentagram diamond is a cut for the age,<br />

reflecting beauty, passion and the magic of life.<br />







156<br />

In a magazine dedicated to cultural diplomacy in which the<br />

pursuit of listening to others and of enabling greater personal<br />

understandings of individuals is detailed at great length, it may<br />

seem obvious that the role of diplomacy is to achieve peace.<br />

What then, would be the purpose of a museum dedicated to<br />

peace, one in which the promotion of peace takes centre stage?<br />

What is a culture of peace in a peace museum? A museum<br />

filled with the symbols of peace such as roses and pictures<br />

of doves and hearts? In order to explore the idea of Peace<br />

museums further, a few clarifications will help.<br />

According to the Status of the International Council of<br />