As the political and economic environment in Europe shifts post-Brexit, and in light of major elections that are taking place, Belgium is seizing the moment to gain additional regional influence. Brussels houses most of the EU institutions and, despite of its size, the nation is considered an important global trader. Join the World Affairs Council of Atlanta as it hosts the Belgian Ambassador to the U.S., Dirk Wouters, for a conversation about where Belgium stands as the European Union goes through reorganization, and what it means for U.S. businesses with presence in this country. On May 25, President Trump attended a summit of NATO nations, and Ambassador Wouters will comment on the outcome of this official meeting.
The luncheon is supported by the Consulate General of Belgium in Atlanta, The Belgian American Chamber of the South, and the Atlanta Council on International Relations.
- When: Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm
- Where: Commerce Club | 191 Peachtree St NE – 49th floor, Atlanta, GA 30303
- Cost: BACoS and WACATL Members: $35 – Email Julie for your discount. | Non members: $50.00
- Registration: click here.
Since French is one of our three national languages, watching the Cannes Film Festival movies is a good idea, especially since Belgian actors are involved or films have been co-produced by Belgian companies. The 70th festival takes place from 17 til 28 May and you can stream it via Sling Television [only available to viewers in the U.S.], on TV5Monde Channel. For those who don’t know: Sling TV is like Netflix but for live television, no contracts.
The Belgian presence at the festival this year is rather meager but still,
- ‘L’amant double‘, an erotic thriller directed by François Ozon, stars Brussels actor Jérémie Renier as Paul. Among the films partners is a co-production agreement with Belgian outfit Scope Pictures.
- ‘Loveless‘, about a couple locked in a bitter divorce when their 12 year-old son disappears, is from Andrej Zvyagintsev and opens the Palme d’Or competition program on May 18. ‘Les Films du Fleuve‘, a Belgian company created by the famous brothers Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne in 1994, is co-producing the movie.
- The biopic ‘Rodin‘ from Jacques Doillon with Belgian actress Séverine Caneele. Rodin is being co-produced Belgian outfit Artémis Productions
- ‘The rider‘, from LA-based Caviar, an award-winning entertainment company founded in Belgium in 2006, is selected for the Quinzaine Des Réalisateurs.
- The 12-year old Fantine Harduin [from Mouscron/Moeskroen] is Eve Laurent in ‘Happy end‘, a drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop, from Michael Haneke.
- And there is also a Belgian documentary ‘La belge histoire du Festival de Cannes‘ from Henri de Gerlache.
Many of you have met Cathy Huyghe, wife of our beATLe Chris, during our blind wine tasting or, more recently, the Belgian waffles tasting … Cathy is a dynamic media professional with a special interest in wine and the spirit of hospitality. She is the author of the award wining book Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass and currently writes for Forbes.com.
And here is what this posting is all about! Cathy, deeply interested in the evolution of wine from the Low Countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, recently wrote an article – on Forbes – exploring Discover Dutch Wine: Interviews, Wines, Vineyards, Restaurants, a book by Mariëlla Beukers and Irene de Vette, now translated in English. Okay, The Netherlands is not Belgium … but close enough. And since her article clearly spells out ‘Oud-Heverlee‘ – which is undoubtedly in Belgium – it’s a good read!
Flight DL 80 left gate F6, on Saturday 3/25 at 6.06 pm as scheduled. Loaded with 218 passengers and a crew of 12, the 767-400 aircraft was ready for its 4,912 nautical miles towards Brussels. Surprisingly only a handful of its occupants was aware that this was the first flight resuming the non-stop service between Atlanta and Brussels! Following the horrors of the awful attacks on Zaventem Airport and the Maelbeek metro station on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Delta Airlines had decided to shutter its direct flights between the cities.
Was it the real reason? Probably not … Passengers had already noticed a decrease in the flight schedules and their Atlanta destined planes filled with overbooked JFK-bound travelers. Obviously the decision to terminate this service was not well received, not only by the big companies but also by our local community. Many stories abound of people missing their connection to Brussels in New York due to the short lay-over. Not to mention that traveling back with chocolate-loaded luggage and exhausted kids through immigration at JFK was not something anybody would relish.
So Saturday was a huge thing. Gate F6 was heavily decorated with Belgian flags and the passengers were greeted by Papa Smurf [Grand Schtroumpf] and Hefty Smurf [Schtroumpf Costaud], dancing on the rhythm of the saxophone tunes played by Vinnie dressed in Belgian colors. A few short but convivial speeches crowned the event: Consul General Mr. William De Baets welcomed the crowd with his good sense of humor, introducing Larin Hector, General Manager Atlanta Worldport from Delta. The mic was then handled to Mr. Pieter De Crem, Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Former Minister of Defence. They all made sure that everyone understood that the Smurfs, Adolph Sax and the distributed chocolate were Belgian made.
Mr. De Crem was the first on board followed by enthusiastic travelers who each received a goodie bag with a box of Neuhaus Classics and a miniature Smurf.
Delta flight schedules are updated every 3 months, based on many factors like projected bookings and types of available aircrafts. The daily non stop flight ATL-BRU takes off at 6.06 pm to reach Zaventem at 8.45 am … until further notice since Delta News indicates “the renewed Atlanta service will operate year-round with a daily service over the summer season.”
And a finale note: the movie “Smurfs, The Lost Village” is now in the theaters!
Belgium is the big mama of numerous famous cartoon characters… And the Smurfs, perhaps because there are so many of them , have been our fabulous friends since childhood [for those born after 1958]. Each of us has, at least, one favorite little blue creature. So smurf your support on April 7th when the three-apples tall guys invade the American screens! Parade your proudness and let your heart melt. Les Schtroumpfs | de Smurfen are part of our heritage so don’t hesitate to smurf it in your friends and neighbors’ face!
Synopsis of The Smurfs: The Lost Village – Best friends Smurfette, Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty use a special map that guides them through the Forbidden Forest, an enchanted wonderland that’s filled with magical creatures. Their adventure leads them on a course to discover the biggest secret in Smurf history as they race against time and the evil wizard Gargamel to find a mysterious village.
Yesterday evening during the re-launch reception of Delta’s non-stop services to Brussels, our compatriot Anton Mertens, an Immigration Partner at Burr & Forman LLP and President of the Belgian American Chamber of the South, has received from the hands of Mr. Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of Belgium, former Minister of Defense of Belgium, the prestigious Knight’s Cross of officer in the Order of Leopold signed King Philippe, King of the Belgians. A well deserved medal for 20 years of services to our country.
The Order of Leopold (Leopoldsorde, Ordre de Léopold) is one of the three current Belgian national honorary orders of knighthood and is awarded by royal decree.
Congratulations Anton! We are so proud of you!
Join this luncheon, sponsored by the Consulate General of Belgium, with The Honorable Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of Belgium, former Minister of Defense of Belgium on Thursday March 23rd at the Atlanta Metro Chamber. Mr. De Crem is visiting our city to celebrate the resuming of the direct flight between Atlanta and Brussels [first flight on Saturday March 25th].
Mr. De Crem will discuss ‘In the heart of Europe: Belgium, the EU and the transatlantic relationship in challenging times‘ with particular attention to:
- Trans-Atlantic and bilateral economic relations
- Business opportunities in Belgium
- Current situation in Europe and future outlook
- When : Thursday March 23rd, 2017 from 11.45 am to 1.30 pm
- Where: Metro Atlanta Chamber | 191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 3400, Atlanta, GA 30303
- Admission: free
- RSVP: by March 21st to Sarah Saxner
- Public Transport: 191 Peachtree Tower is located at the Peachtree Center MARTA station
- Metro Atlanta Chamber: 191 Peachtree Tower Parking Garage
- International Garage: 192 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
- Central Parking System: 218 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
- Self Park: 221 Peachtree Center Ave, Atlanta, GA 30303
- Peachtree Center Garage: 161 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
As part of the Upstate International festivities, Greenville Sister Cities International would like to invite you to our 4th annual Belgian Beer Dinner! This wonderful evening full of great conversation, laughs, and culinary delight will take place on Monday March 27th at The Trappe Door, downtown Greenville, SC.
Seating is limited, so please contact The Trappe Door ( or 864.451.7490) to reserve your seats – especially if you plan on coming with a larger group.
Last year, the event was sold out in less than 1 week, so it’s very important to get your name on the reservations list as soon as possible. In order to confirm and keep your reservation, you will be required for advance payment at The Trappe Door within 1 week of signing up.
Full refunds will be available upon cancellation at least 1 week before the event, i.e. by Sunday March 19th the latest. The money for later cancellations and no-shows will serve as a fundraiser for Greenville Sister Cities International.
The Consulate General of Belgium in Atlanta takes part in the Atlanta Francophonie Festival with a screening of “Tous les chats sont gris” for Belgian Movie Night on Tuesday March 21st, 2017. The screening will be followed by a Belgian-themed reception.
- When: Tuesday March 21st, 2017 @ 7 pm
- Where: Alliance Française | 1197 Peachtree Street NE, #561, Colony Square, Mezzanine Level, Atlanta, GA 30361
- Parking: free parking upon validation underneath the building
- Free entrance upon registration.
This morning in a Belgian newspaper…