Minister of State for Europe Günter Gloser is to go to Eupen on 20 July to visit the German-speaking Community in Belgium and the main centre of Euregio Maas-Rhein.
In Eupen, the Minister of State will meet the Prime Minister of the German-speaking Community, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Paasch, Minister Isabelle Weykmans and Parliament President Louis Siquet.The talks will focus on the political situation in Belgium following the regional and community elections, the importance of cross-border cooperation and a look ahead to Belgium's forthcoming trio Presidency with Spain and Hungary.Thereafter the Minister of State will meet the Director of Euregio Maas-Rhein, Hans Niessen.
With approx. 74,000 inhabitants, the German-speaking Community is the smallest of the three "Communities" (language groups) in Belgium.The Communities were created in 1983 as a result of Belgian legislation on language.On 30 January this year, the German-speaking Community marked its 25th anniversary with a celebration in Eupen.The anniversary was also marked in Berlin, with a special ceremony on 22 April.
Euregio Maas-Rhein is a model for trilateral cross-border cooperation.Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands work particularly closely together in this area.Structural development in the Aachen-Liège-Maastricht triangle and cooperation in the Hohe Venn-Eifel cross-border natural park and the Eifel national park are of importance to both the German-speaking Community and neighbouring North Rhine-Westphalia.Expanding cooperation, and in particular cooperation with North Rhine-Westphalia in the field of education, are further priorities.