Monday, 16 January 2017, Brussels: HM the VII King of the Belgians received the IX President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca for an afternoon meeting concerning Belgian-Maltese relations as well as the state of the European Union as Malta assumed the rotating presidency of the council from 1 January 2017.
The meeting between King Philippus and President Coleiro Preca took place at the centrally located Royal Palace of Brussels.
Later in the evening President Coleiro Preca partook at the inaugural reception, and subsequent concert to open the Maltese EU presidency. In her remarks to attending EU authorities, EU permanent representatives, ambassadors and officials of the EU and Belgium, President Coleiro Preca called for European unity as well as a common ground in dealing with the refugee crisis in spite of its unpopularity in many countries.
The Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR in Brussels was the venue for the prestigious opening attended likewise by Malta’s Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat, and co-hosted by the Maltese Permanent Representative to the EU, HE Ambassador Marlene Bonnici and bilateral ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and NATO, HE Ray Azzopardi.
Programme for the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council:
Photography by the Belgian Royal Household.