The Brussels-Capital Region participated in a State Visit to Lithuania
From 24 until 26 October 2022, the King and Queen of the Belgians travelled to Lithuania for a State Visit. They were accompanied by several ministers and minister-presidents, including Rudi Vervoort, the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR). Representatives of Brussels International and hub.brussels joined him.
In 2022, Belgium and Lithuania celebrated the centenary of their bilateral relations. Our country recognised the Republic of Lithuania on 27 December 1922, but not its annexation by the Soviet Union. This State Visit celebrated a century of solidarity and good relations between the two countries, both at bilateral level and as partners in international organisations and forums.
Memorandum of Understanding between the Jewish museums of Brussels and Vilnius
On 24 October 2022, Brussels International co-organised and financed a highly symbolic, prestigious event, namely the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Jewish Museum of Belgium and the Jewish Museum of Vilnius. The collaboration involves the exchange of artworks and other objects, as well as joint exhibitions and research projects.
Her Majesty the Queen, the First Lady of Lithuania, and the Lithuanian Minister for Culture, attended the event, as well as several other guests, including the ambassadors of Israel and Germany. Media outlets were also present and reported on the event.
After Her Majesty the Queen and the First Lady left, the guests attended the screening of a documentary by a Brussels director about the ‘Paper Brigade’ – a group of Jews who saved rescued various valuable cultural artefacts during the Second World War. The ceremony ended with a reception offered by hub.brussels.
Meeting of Minister-President Vervoort with Remigijius Simasius, the Mayor of Vilnius
On 25 October 2022, Rudi Vervoort, the Minister-President of the BCR, met Remigijius Simasius, the Mayor of the Lithuanian capital.
The BCR and Vilnius signed a cooperation agreement almost twenty years ago. The meeting was an opportunity to relaunch the cooperation between the two capital cities, more specifically in the form of a special arrangement on smart cities, in the energy industry, which was made possible with the support of the Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC).
The second day of the state visit ended with a concert by musicians of La Monnaie/De Munt opera house and the National Orchestra of Belgium, offered by the King and Queen of the Belgians in honour of Gitanas Nauséda, the President of Lithuania, and his wife Diana Nausédiené.
Visit to social inclusion projects
On 26 October 2022, the Queen of the Belgians and Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the BCR, visited the reception centre facilities that were set up for Ukrainian refugees by the Lithuanian authorities. The centre offers language courses, counselling, and advice to refugees, in addition to hosting various cultural events.
Her Majesty the Queen and the Brussels Minister-President also met with employees of Primas Bylnas, a social restaurant in Vilnius. This excellent social economy initiative employs people with disabilities, giving them an opportunity to fully participate in society.
Ending the State Visit on a cultural note
The State Visit of the King and Queen of the Belgians to Lithuania ended in Kaunas, the European capital of culture with a visit to the superb Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, dedicated to the Lithuanian writer, painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911).
A wonderful ending to this State visit, with its many exchanges and experiences!