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DerriĂšre les murs du Palais de la Paix : permanence et changements de la Cour internationale de Justice

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S.E. M. Philippe Couvreur est arrivĂ© Ă  La Haye en avril 1982, oĂč il a d’abord occupĂ© le poste d’assistant spĂ©cial aux bureaux du greffier et du greffier adjoint de la Cour internationale de Justice.

  Il a ensuite exercĂ© les fonctions de SecrĂ©taire, Premier SecrĂ©taire et SecrĂ©taire juridique principal, avant d’ĂȘtre Ă©lu Greffier de la Cour en 2000, et rĂ©Ă©lu en 2007 et 2014. Pour marquer l’anniversaire de ses dĂ©buts Ă  la Cour, il y a 35 ans, Diplomat Magazine l’a invitĂ© Ă  tĂ©moigner de son expĂ©rience unique au service de cette institution, des Ă©volutions qu’il a pu y observer, et Ă  partager le regard qu’il porte sur les changements qui ont marquĂ© la Cour et La Haye au cours des trois derniĂšres dĂ©cennies.
Philippe Couvreur avec le Pape Jean-Paul II prise le 13 mai 1985.
Je suis arrivĂ© Ă  La Haye en avril 1982 — de façon aussi inattendue que j’avais entamĂ© des Ă©tudes de droit treize ans auparavant (mais c’est lĂ  une autre histoire
) — pour occuper un poste temporaire Ă  la Cour internationale de Justice. La Cour Ă©tait alors la seule institution judiciaire internationale existante au plan universel. Son activitĂ©, particuliĂšrement faible Ă  la fin des annĂ©es 1970, ne pouvait en ce temps-lĂ  guĂšre laisser prĂ©sager du succĂšs que rencontrerait la Cour dans les dĂ©cennies Ă  venir. Mon bienveillant maĂźtre de Louvain, le professeur Paul de Visscher, fils du cĂ©lĂšbre internationaliste Charles de Visscher, unique juge belge Ă  la Cour, m’avait prĂ©dit des jours aussi sereins qu’heureux, Ă©coulĂ©s Ă  lire et Ă  Ă©crire des ouvrages dans la solitude des imposants murs de la bibliothĂšque du Palais de la Paix

Les mĂ©moires ont Ă©tĂ© dĂ»ment dĂ©posĂ©s dans l’affaire El Salvador c. Honduras dans la salle Bol le 1 juin 1988, l’affaire du DiffĂ©rend frontalier terrestre, insulaire et maritime.
En rejoignant la Cour, un frais matin d’avril, dont je garde un souvenir trĂšs prĂ©cis, le jeune juriste que j’étais dĂ©couvrit, non sans Ă©tonnement, une organisation de taille trĂšs modeste, le Greffe, qui en est l’organe administratif, alors composĂ© de moins d’une quarantaine de fonctionnaires. Le fonctionnement de la Cour reposait entiĂšrement sur cette Ă©quipe restreinte de personnel permanent, auquel s’ajoutait, selon que de besoin, un personnel temporaire pour faire face au surcroĂźt de travaux linguistiques et de stĂ©nodactylographie lors des sessions (publiques et privĂ©es) de la Cour. Je me rappelle avoir Ă©tĂ© frappĂ© par la personnalitĂ© haute en couleur de certains de ces traducteurs indĂ©pendants, dont la grande culture littĂ©raire m’émerveillait. Cette structure trĂšs Ă©conomique du Greffe impliquait une grande polyvalence de ses membres, et les SecrĂ©taires de la Cour — ses fonctionnaires supĂ©rieurs — Ă©taient appelĂ©s, en sus de leurs travaux de recherches juridiques, de prĂ©paration des documents de la Cour, et de rĂ©daction de la correspondance diplomatique, Ă  assumer eux-mĂȘmes l’essentiel des tĂąches linguistiques (traduction et interprĂ©tation) et d’information, ainsi que la supervision de nombreuses activitĂ©s administratives et logistiques.
La Grande salle de Justice, l’affaire Relative au Timor Oriental (Portugal c. Australie) ArrĂȘt du 30 juin 1995.
Il n’était nullement rare qu’un nouveau venu comme moi ait Ă  passer week-ends et nuits blanches au Palais de la Paix Ă  effectuer les travaux les plus divers
 allant jusqu’à imprimer et polycopier, sur de vieilles machines Ă  stencils ronĂ©otype, des dĂ©cisions dont la Cour devait donner la lecture en sĂ©ance publique le lendemain ! DĂšs mon arrivĂ©e au Greffe, j’ai eu le bonheur et le privilĂšge d’ĂȘtre initiĂ© et associĂ© Ă  l’ensemble des fonctions de l’institution sous la patiente supervision de personnalitĂ©s d’exception, tels que MM. Torres BernĂĄrdez et Pillepich, alors respectivement Greffier et Greffier adjoint. J’en ai retirĂ© le plus grand bĂ©nĂ©fice, puisque cette immersion sans prĂ©paration dans toutes les facettes de l’activitĂ© du Greffe m’a permis d’acquĂ©rir de ce dernier une connaissance unique — de l’intĂ©rieur — et sous tous ses aspects —, un acquis particuliĂšrement prĂ©cieux au moment oĂč j’ai Ă©tĂ© amenĂ©, bien des annĂ©es plus tard, Ă  assumer la dĂ©licate responsabilitĂ© d’en assurer la gestion au plus haut niveau. Devenir un fonctionnaire du Greffe au dĂ©but des annĂ©es 1980 signifiait accepter de se couler sans discussion dans un moule Ă  tous Ă©gards exigeant, et se donner corps et Ăąme, avec humilitĂ© et discrĂ©tion, Ă  l’institution, sans penser Ă  soi ni parler de soi. Depuis ces annĂ©es d’initiation, j’ai Ă©tĂ© le tĂ©moin de profondes transformations de la Cour, rendues inĂ©vitables Ă  la fois pour rĂ©pondre Ă  l’accroissement considĂ©rable de ses activitĂ©s, avec la disparition du monde bipolaire qui avait relĂ©guĂ© le rĂšglement judiciaire Ă  un rĂŽle quelque peu marginal, et pour saisir les opportunitĂ©s nouvelles offertes, notamment, par le progrĂšs des technologies et de la communication. Entre 1982 et aujourd’hui, le nombre de fonctionnaires a ainsi presque triplĂ© (il a quasiment doublĂ© depuis l’an 2000, annĂ©e de ma premiĂšre Ă©lection en tant que Greffier). L’organisation du travail a Ă©tĂ© progressivement spĂ©cialisĂ©e entre les divers dĂ©partements, juridique, linguistique et chargĂ© de l’information, qui furent crĂ©Ă©s en 1997, et les services techniques. Par ailleurs, les Membres de la Cour ne disposĂšrent pas, pendant longtemps, de « rĂ©fĂ©rendaires » — ils s’y sont d’ailleurs longtemps refusĂ©s—, et l’assistance apportĂ©e aux juges en matiĂšre judiciaire Ă©tait principalement rĂ©partie entre les fonctionnaires du DĂ©partement des affaires juridiques.
H.E. Philippe Couvreur avec la Reine Beatrix photo prise pendant le 50 eme anniversaire de la Cour (18-04-1996).
Les cinq premiers postes de juristes rĂ©fĂ©rendaires ne furent obtenus de l’AssemblĂ©e gĂ©nĂ©rale et crĂ©Ă©s qu’en 2002, Ă  l’issue de difficiles nĂ©gociations que je me souviens avoir menĂ©es avec beaucoup de plaisir et d’intĂ©rĂȘt ; le nombre de ces postes s’est progressivement accru, pour s’élever Ă  quinze aujourd’hui. Les divers dĂ©veloppements qui ont marquĂ© le monde au cours des derniĂšres dĂ©cennies n’ont pas manquĂ© de soulever pour la Cour de nouveaux dĂ©fis. Comme c’est le cas pour toute institution, elle n’a pu les relever en faisant table rase des enseignements de son histoire ni, Ă  l’inverse, en ne saisissant pas toutes les opportunitĂ©s offertes par le temps prĂ©sent. A ces diffĂ©rents Ă©gards, la Cour est certainement parvenue, au fil des ans, Ă  assurer un Ă©quilibre, toujours dĂ©licat, entre changements et continuitĂ©. La continuitĂ© de la Cour est bien sĂ»r inscrite dans son Statut, qui fait partie intĂ©grante de la Charte des Nations Unies, et reflĂ©tĂ©e dans ses mĂ©thodes judiciaires, qui ont Ă©tĂ© trĂšs largement Ă©laborĂ©es par sa devanciĂšre, la Cour permanente de Justice internationale, et hĂ©ritĂ©es d’elle. Cette continuitĂ© historique Ă©tait particuliĂšrement prĂ©sente lorsque j’ai rejoint le Greffe. Ainsi, en maniĂšre d’anecdote, divers hauts fonctionnaires alors en poste avaient eux-mĂȘmes cĂŽtoyĂ©, au dĂ©but de leur carriĂšre, d’anciens fonctionnaires de la Cour permanente. Tous nourrissaient Ă  l’égard de cette derniĂšre le plus grand respect. Il rĂ©gnait d’ailleurs dans les couloirs du Palais de la Paix une atmosphĂšre feutrĂ©e et dĂ©licieusement surannĂ©e, Ă©vocatrice de la dĂ©funte SociĂ©tĂ© des Nations. Je me souviens en avoir encore utilisĂ© maintes fournitures de bureau ! La continuitĂ© jurisprudentielle et procĂ©durale entre les deux Cours constitue pour les Etats une garantie importante de sĂ©curitĂ© et de prĂ©visibilitĂ© juridiques. Cette continuitĂ©, juridique et historique, de mĂȘme que l’expĂ©rience accumulĂ©e en plus de quatre-vingt-dix ans d’exercice de la fonction judiciaire, sont pour la Cour un facteur crucial de lĂ©gitimitĂ©.
H.E. Philippe Couvreur vec le Roi Willem-Alexander photo prise pendant le 70 eme anniversaire de la Cour (20-04-2016).
En mĂȘme temps, la Cour a eu, Ă  l’évidence, Ă  s’adapter aux changements du monde rĂ©el dans lequel elle opĂšre, comme aux nĂ©cessitĂ©s et opportunitĂ©s nouvelles de chaque Ă©poque traversĂ©e. L’une des transformations notoires auxquelles j’ai assistĂ© fut l’ouverture croissante de la Cour sur l’extĂ©rieur : longtemps Ă  l’écart, Ă  dessein, des organes politiques des Nations Unies, la Cour a souhaitĂ© se faire plus et mieux entendre de ces organes et des Etats membres. Elle a ainsi rompu avec ce qui Ă©tait parfois perçu comme un « splendide isolement » au sein des Nations Unies, mĂȘme si elle dĂ©fend toujours jalousement son autonomie. La Cour doit en outre dĂ©sormais Ă©galement tenir compte des nombreuses autres juridictions, internationales ou rĂ©gionales, qui ont Ă©tĂ© crĂ©Ă©es ces derniĂšres annĂ©es, et veiller, autant que possible, Ă  assurer l’harmonie du « concert judiciaire » que permet ce foisonnement de cours et tribunaux sur la scĂšne internationale. Davantage ouverte sur la communautĂ© internationale et ses rĂ©alitĂ©s, la Cour s’est montrĂ©e de plus en plus attentive, non seulement Ă  sa place dans l’Organisation des Nations Unies, mais aussi Ă  la poursuite des objectifs de celle-ci et Ă  sa mission propre au service du rĂšglement pacifique des diffĂ©rends internationaux. Des diffĂ©rends de plus en plus complexes, tant juridiquement que factuellement, en mĂȘme temps que politiquement plus denses, lui ont Ă©tĂ© soumis. En rĂ©visant constamment, selon que de besoin, ses mĂ©thodes de travail, elle a su les rĂ©soudre rapidement et efficacement, Ă  un coĂ»t particuliĂšrement modeste pour la communautĂ© internationale, tout en assurant le dĂ©veloppement du droit. Enfin, pour conclure sur une note plus prosaĂŻque, mais qui est loin d’ĂȘtre nĂ©gligeable, je ne peux taire la chance que j’ai eue de connaĂźtre l’extraordinaire dĂ©veloppement de la ville de La Haye au cours des 35 derniĂšres annĂ©es. Celle-ci offre aujourd’hui Ă  la Cour, comme aux nombreuses institutions internationales qui s’y sont installĂ©es Ă  sa suite, une qualitĂ© de vie et un cadre de travail uniques, qui sont trĂšs loin de ressembler Ă  ce que j’ai trouvĂ© en y arrivant. A l’image de l’imposante stature du Palais de la Paix oĂč elle siĂšge, symbole mondialement connu de la justice internationale, la Cour est une institution solidement Ă©tablie. En dĂ©pit des pĂ©riodes de doute ou de dĂ©saffection qu’elle a traversĂ©es par le passĂ©, son rĂŽle est unanimement saluĂ© au sein de la communautĂ© internationale et le recours Ă  ses services par les Etats n’a jamais Ă©tĂ© aussi soutenu. 35 ans aprĂšs, je continue de mesurer chaque jour le privilĂšge qui est le mien de servir au mieux de mes capacitĂ©s l’organe judiciaire principal des Nations Unies.   —– Les photos dans l’article sont une courtoisie de la Cour International de Justice.

Berlinale reception at the Representation of NRW in Berlin

Traditionally, on the first Sunday of the Berlinale, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Film and Media Foundation NRW invited prominent guests to a large reception with around 1,000 guests at the representation of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to the federal government in Berlin. The hosts were happy about the filmmakers who came from all over the world to the Berlinale.

Nathanael Liminski, Minister for Federal and European Affairs, International Affairs and Media and Head of the State Chancellery said as per statement linked below: “The Berlinale is once again the absolute highlight for international and German film this year. North Rhine-Westphalia has the backdrops, the know-how and the people to turn the big questions of our time into good films. I am pleased about the great creative potential of filmmakers from and in NRW. With the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW we have one of the strongest funding institutions in Europe. It was a particular pleasure for me to welcome the industry to the NRW Berlinale reception at the state representation together with the new managing director of the Film and Media Foundation NRW, Walid Nakschbandi. This was the right place to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the filmmakers and at the same time to establish new creative networks. I wish all film enthusiasts a good day at this year’s Berlinale.”

Opening by the Head of State Chancellery, Minister Liminski – Picture by Landesvertretung NRW, Phil Dera

Walid Nakschbandi, Managing Director of the Film and Media Foundation NRW: “Yesterday evening was a lavish celebration for the industry and showed once again that the Berlinale is unthinkable without the NRW reception. We are an important meeting place, a sought-after stage for creatives and networkers from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Europe and internationally. My thanks go to Media Minister Nathanael Liminski, together with the state we organized our event for the 21st time. I would also like to thank State Secretary Dr. Mark Speich, his great team in the state representation and, last but not least, my wonderful team in DĂŒsseldorf and Berlin. We are looking forward to an inspiring second half of the Berlinale and an exciting film year in 2024 – with a large proportion ‘made in NRW’, bien sĂ»r.”

In addition to the numerous guests, the teams from the eleven NRW Berlinale films were also the focus of the evening. Andreas Dresen and the cast from his new film were there, among others. Dresen’s contribution “In Love, Your Hilde” (Pandora Film), supported by the Film Foundation, celebrated its acclaimed world premiere on Saturday, February 17th. Also the teams of the competition entries by Matthias Glasner, “Die” (Port au Prince) with Corinna Harfouch and Lars Eidinger in the main roles and “Des Teufels Bad” (Heimatfilm) by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala with, among others, Anja Plaschg celebrated in the state representation.

For further information 

Representation of NRW to the German Federation: https://www.land.nrw/pressemitteilung/baerenstark-1000-gaeste-aus-film-und-politik-der-nrw-landesvertretung

NRW Film and Media Foundation: https://www.filmstiftung.de/events/nrw-empfang-2024/

Reception for the corps consulaire accredited in Bavaria

Monday, 19 February 2024, Bavaria’s Minister of European Affairs Eric Beißwenger, together with the Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery, State Minister Dr. Florian Herrmann, welcomed the consular corps to a New Year’s reception in the dome hall of the Bavarian State Chancellery.

State Chancellery Minister Dr. Florian Herrmann said about the ocassion: “The wide range of consular representations in Bavaria shows: We are at home in the world and the world in Bavaria. The consular location is the largest outside of Berlin and represents the diversity of our country . We value the consuls as the first point of contact for the many bilateral issues that concern us. It is the excellent cooperation that creates the special spirit in Bavaria. Thanks to the consulates, which are indispensable bridgeheads from Bavaria to the whole world .”

Gemeinsamer Neujahrsempfang fĂŒr das Konsularische Korps in Bayern mit Staatsminister Eric Beißwenger.


Each consulate is headed by a consul. They represent the interests of the citizens of the sending state, carry out official acts and maintain contact with the host country Bavaria in the political, economic and cultural areas.

There are 44 general and 72 honorary consulates in Bavaria. With 116 consular representations, the Free State is the largest consular location in Germany.

The entirety of all consular representatives is referred to as the consular corps. It is headed by a Doyen and a Secretary General.

For further information 

Bavarian State Chancellery: https://youtu.be/QTwq5GJuszE

Uzbekistan – HCCH Joint Event Building Bridges

Roundtable on Democratic Transformations in Uzbekistan

By Roy Lie Atjam

On February 14, 2024, the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Kingdom of Belgium and The Hague Conference on Private International Law jointly organized a Roundtable event titled “Building Bridges: Roundtable on Democratic Transformations in Uzbekistan” in The Hague.

The event was organised as part of the visit of an Uzbek delegation headed by Mrs Svetlana Artykova, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan, to the Netherlands.

The conference was held at the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH and was attended by a diverse group of individuals including politicians, parliamentarians, businesspersons, lawmakers, public servants and the representatives of media.

Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of the HCCH, moderated and co-hosted the Round table, delivering a captivating introduction.

Dr Bernasconi briefed the audience on the outcomes of his several visits to Uzbekistan in recent years and the transformations he had witnessed during his participation as an international observer in the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2019-2023, as well as the nationwide referendum last year.

The keynote speakers included Mrs Svetlana Artykova, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr Kairat Abdrakhmanov, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Mr Jahongir Abdurasulov, Member of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, Mr Ali Marossi, Managing Partner of the Hague Centre for Law and Arbitration (HCLA), Mr Gayrat Fazilov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the Kingdom of Belgium and others.

The participants of the event were informed about the key directions of the “New Uzbekistan reform strategy, the core and significance of the updated Constitution and the Uzbekistan 2030 Strategy, as well as the priorities of the multifaceted mutually beneficial cooperation with the European Union, in particular with the Netherlands.

The head of the Uzbek delegation Mrs. Svetlana Artykova in her speech paid special attention to disclosing the main directions of large-scale reforms aimed at ensuring human rights and freedoms, transparency of public administration, gender equality, development and strengthening of civil society institutions.

Roundtable on Democratic Transformations in Uzbekistan at the HCCH.

Mrs. Artykova provided a detailed overview of the legal and social transformations in the country, steps taken to establish a robust, independent judicial system, and emphasized Uzbekistan’s commitment to consistently pursue irreversible democratic reforms.

Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, welcomed the transformational processes taking place in Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and expressed confidence that they would further enhance the well-being of society and strengthen social cohesion in the country and beyond.

“Uzbekistan has created conducive environment for all and equal opportunities for the effective participation of people in public life. During my last visit to Uzbekistan, I witnessed how the commitment of the Uzbek authorities to OSCE principles and values is bringing tangible results in the area of social cohesion and diversity within the country” stressed OSCE High Commissioner.

Mr. Jakhongir Abdurasulov, Member of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in his speech elaborated on budget reforms in Uzbekistan with the active participation of the public.

The participants were particularly interested in the launch of the Open Budget project, which represents a unique experience in allocating budget funds based on the real needs of the population.

Mr. Ali Marossi, Managing Partner of The Hague Centre for Law and Arbitration (HCLA), delivered a presentation on “New Horizons: How Uzbekistan’s Legal Reforms are Shaping Business Excellence. He analysed in detail the global significance of legal reforms in Uzbekistan. It was emphasised that the country’s evolving legal framework is strategically aimed at encouraging business innovation and attracting investment, creating fertile ground for economic growth.

The speaker noted that since 2016, the President of Uzbekistan has initiated a number of large-scale judicial, economic and arbitration reforms that have fundamentally changed the business environment in the country and laid the foundation for the active attraction of foreign investment.

According to Mr. Marossi, the Law on Investments of 2020 and the Law on International Commercial Arbitration of 2021, adopted in Uzbekistan, encouraged the attraction of foreign direct investment, provided better protection for investors, strengthened the arbitration system and brought the national legislation in line with international standards.

Uzbekistan Democratic Reforms round table at HCCH in The Hague.

Ambassador Gayrat Fazilov underlined that the implementation of large-scale reforms and democratic transformations in Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev contributed to the intensification of country’s ties with European countries and the EU.

The Ambassador noted that the European Union supports the good-neighbourly regional strategy of Uzbekistan and the principles of independent, open, pragmatic and peace-loving foreign policy of the New Uzbekistan.

It was noted that the EU is a priority and reliable partner of Uzbekistan in promoting irreversible reforms and strengthening state institutions and civil society. Ambassador Fazilov emphasized that the Leadership of Uzbekistan is pursuing a course of rapprochement of the country and the region with the EU in all spheres from trade, investment and transport to cultural and humanitarian ties, mobility and people-to-people contacts.

It was emphasized that in recent years the relations between Uzbekistan and the EU have acquired a special dynamic and reached an unprecedented high level. The Ambassador informed the participants on the intensive bilateral and regional exchanges at the highest and high level between Uzbekistan and the EU in recent years.

The Uzbek delegation also touched upon the agenda of the Uzbek-European cooperation, as well as expressed hope for the early signing of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Uzbekistan and the EU, and the successful holding of the first ever EU-Central Asia summit in Uzbekistan in 2024.

The Building Bridges: Round Table on Democratic Transformations in Uzbekistan has been a success.

Premier Ramelow received Cuban emissary Juana MartĂ­nez GonzĂĄlez

7 February 2024, Erfurt, Free State of Thuringia, Germany: Thuringia’s Premier Bodo Ramelow received for bilateral conversation, the Cuban Ambassador in Germany, Juana MartĂ­nez GonzĂĄlez, in office since 7 April 2022. 

Ramelow belongs to the Left parliamentary group, which has spoken out in favor of more trade and scientific cooperation with Cuba. The export volume between the Free State and Cuba has fallen from around 5 million euros in 2012 to 586,000 euros in 2021. 

There are already initial collaborations in the field of medicine and biotechnology between the TU Ilmenau and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena with universities in Cuba. In the sports and tourism industry, however, there has so far been no exchange.

In the cultural sector, there have been repeated performances by Cuban musicians at the Rudolstadt Festival in the past. According to the data, Cuban students rarely go to Thuringia – only one to three were enrolled at a Thuringian university between the winter semester 2012/2013 and the winter semester 2021/2022.

For further information 

Government of Thuringia: https://staatskanzlei-thueringen.de/medienservice/veranstaltungsberichte/detailseite/ministerpraesident-bodo-ramelow-50ddaf2b6d031c981aabe43421f8e0a0

Bitpanda partakes at Berlinale 2024 reception organised by government of NRW

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Sunday, 18 February 2024, Berlin, Germany: Bitpanda partook at the premises of the Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to the German Federation located in Berlin-Tiergarten neighbourhood in bedazzling reception hosted by the Premier of NRW, Hendrik WĂŒst, the Head of State Chancellery, Minister of Federal, European and International and Media Affairs Nathanael Liminski as well as the Managing Director of the Film and Media Foundation NRW Walid Nakschbandi in connection with the Berlinale.

The event was the twenty-first hosted by the Representation of NRW in Berlin in connection to the seventy-fourth Berlinale.

The Berlin International Film Festival (German: Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), usually called the Berlinale. It is a major international film festival held annually in Berlin, Germany. Founded in 1951, the festival has been held every February since 1978 and is one of Europe’s “Big Three” film festivals alongside the Venice Film Festival held in Italy and the Cannes Film Festival held in France.

Amongst the guests were personalities of the level of TV moderator Sandra Maischberger, actors Christian Schwochow (The Crown), Max von der Groeben, Lavinia Wilson (Deutschland 89), Julia Koschitz (Ein Hauch von Amerika), etc.

The Plenipotentiary to the German Federation, State Secretary Dr. Mark Speich & Bitpanda Public Affairs Lead Henri Estramant.

The Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia to the German Federation represents the political interest of Germany’s most populous state vis-à-vis the German Federal Government and authorities. The Plenipotentiary to the German Federation is State Secretary Dr. Mark Speich.

Founded in 1991, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW GmbH (formerly Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen) is one of the most important funding agencies in Germany and Europe with an average annual funding volume of around 35 million euros. The film foundation is based in DĂŒsseldorf and has the mission of cultural and economic support for the film and media industry in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to the state and WDR, the shareholders in North Rhine-Westphalia also include ZDF and RTL.

For further information:

Film and Media Foundation NRW: https://www.filmstiftung.de/news/baerenstark-1-000-gaeste-aus-film-und-politik-in-der-nrw-landesvertretung/

The Netherlands through the Lens of Dutch Kosovars

The Hague 5 February 2024, venue, the Embassy of Kosovo. “It was an honour to host the opening of the photo exhibition ‘The Netherlands through the eyes of Dutch Kosovars’ of the artists Arijan Zymeraj and Miranda Gashi, curated by Bardhi Haliti.”

The photos displayed the daily life of the Netherlands through urban views and human portraits.

Kosovar artists Arijan Zymeraj and Miranda Gashi.

The guests were welcomed by ChargĂ© d’Affaires ad interim, Mr. Arif Kaçandolli. A particular thanks goes to H.E. Ms. Carin Lobbezzoo, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Kosovo, for attending the event and for her insightful words. As part of the programme, the pianist Mirsa Adami played three melodies from the Albanian and Dutch musical traditions.

Reception at the Embassy of Kosovo, photo exhibition ‘The Netherlands through the eyes of Dutch Kosovars’.

The event was attended by representatives of the Dutch institutions and international organisations based in The Hague, as well as members of the Kosovar diaspora.

This is part of a series of activities organised by the Embassy in the framework of the celebrations of Independence Day and contributes to further strengthening the cultural and artistic relations between the Netherlands and Kosovo.

A superb selection of Kosovar dishes by Xhevat Ilazi from Catering Bollenstreek was presented to the guests as delightful small bites.

Reception photo exhibition ‘The Netherlands through the eyes of Dutch Kosovars’

TĂŒrkiye’s Ambassador BaƟar ƞen on trip to Saxony-Anhalt

Monday, 12 February 2024, Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany:  Premier Dr. Reiner Haseloff received the Ambassador of the Republic of TĂŒrkiye, HE Ahmet BaƟar ƞen, for his inaugural visit to Magdeburg.

The studied political scientist Ahmet BaƟar ƞen joined his country’s diplomatic service in 1996. His first posting abroad was at the embassy in Berlin from 2001 to 2003, before he moved to the representation in Minsk. From 2006 to 2010 he worked at the New York Consulate General. In 2016 he became ambassador to Uzbekistan. He has been ambassador in Berlin since September 2021. ƞen is married and has two children. He was accredited in Germany on 1 September 2021 after a ceremony before Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

The good cooperation between Saxony-Anhalt and Turkey in various areas was, among other things, a topic in the exchange between Saxony-Anhalt’s Premier Haseloff and Ambassador ƞen. The mutual interest in further intensifying bilateral relations was also discussed, for example with regard to possible investments by Turkish companies in Saxony-Anhalt or with regard to deepening scientific cooperation in the university sector.

For further information 

Government of Saxony-Anhalt: https://europa.sachsen-anhalt.de/internationales/aktuelle-meldungen/aktuelle-meldungen/tuerkischer-botschafter-zu-antrittsbesuch-in-sachsen-anhalt

Lithuanian Seimas’ delegation in Magdeburg

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Thursday, 18 January 2024, Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt: Premier Dr. Reiner Haseloff received a delegation from the Lithuanian Parliament at the State Chancellery.

The conversation discussed, among other things, possibilities for deepening economic cooperation. Premier Haseloff praised the trusting exchange and welcomed the expansion of bilateral relations.

The parliamentarians, led by the deputy chairman of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Vytautas Mitalas, visited Saxony-Anhalt from 16-18 January 2024. They met, among others, members of the State Assembly and representatives from science and the media. The focus was on topics such as economic and energy policy, cultural exchange, promoting democracy and opportunities for cooperation. The delegation was accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to Germany, RamĆ«nas Misiulis.

For further information 

Government of Saxony-Anhalt: https://europa.sachsen-anhalt.de/internationales/aktuelle-meldungen/aktuelle-meldungen/ministerpraesident-haseloff-empfaengt-parlamentarier-aus-litauen

Prof. Ron Prosor & Dr. Gutmann held foreign and security policy talks in Bavaria 

Tuesday, 30 January 2024, Munich, Free State of Bavaria, Germany: Premier Dr. Markus Söder spoke with the Ambassador of the State of Israel, Prof. Ron Prosor, and subsequently with the Ambassador of the United States of America, Dr. Amy Gutmann, about ongoing topics of foreign and security policy. The bilateral meetings were held ahead of the 60th Munich Security Conference (MSC) to be held between 16-18 February 2024. 

Premier Dr. Markus Söder said as per statement provided by the Bavarian State Chancellery: “We keep in touch with the world and are closely networked. Bavaria is closely connected to the USA and Israel. We are friends and partners and stand firmly together. We work together for security in a world that is becoming increasingly uncertain.” 

Dr. Markus Soder and Dr. Amy Gutmann.

Bavaria as a strong partner and decades-long host of U.S. Armed Forces. Germany, Bavaria and the USA stand shoulder to shoulder on common goals such as shared security, combating antisemitism & intolerance and their continued efforts to foster free and democratic societies.

For further information 

Embassy of Israel in Germany: https://embassies.gov.il/berlin/Pages/default.aspx

Embassy of the USA in Germany: https://de.usembassy.gov

Ronald van Roeden reinforces ties with Saxony-Anhalt

Thursday, 8 February 2024, Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany: Pemier Dr. Reiner Haseloff received the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, HE Ronald van Roeden, for his inaugural visit to Magdeburg.

The 66-year-old ambassador joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands in 1985 after studying geography at the University of Utrecht. After various positions in the ministry itself and in his country’s missions abroad, he was most recently ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the EU in Brussels from 2017 to 2021. Previously, he was Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2013 to 2017. He has been accredited as an ambassador in Germany since 1 September 2021. Van Roeden is married and has three children.

The Netherlands is one of Saxony-Anhalt’s most important trading partners. The close economic cooperation also includes, among other things, investments by Dutch companies in Saxony-Anhalt. For example, in July 2023, the Dutch high-tech company Sioux Technologies, which develops strategic solutions for international high-tech companies, announced its 20 million euro investment project in a research and development center in Barleben. The project is expected to create over 300 jobs.

There is also a close cultural connection between the Netherlands and Saxony-Anhalt. The Dutch ambassador had already visited Oranienbaum Palace last summer on the occasion of its 350th anniversary.

For further information 

Government of Saxony-Anhalt: https://europa.sachsen-anhalt.de/internationales/aktuelle-meldungen/aktuelle-meldungen/niederlaendischer-botschafter-zu-antrittsbesuch-in-sachsen-anhalt