King Philippe receives EU leaders for New Year reception at Laeken Palace

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde welcomed representatives of the European institutions to the Royal Palace of Laeken for a New Year's reception. This annual event is held in January when the King and Queen also receive the diplomatic corps, government officials and NATO representatives.

King Philippe gave his New Year's greetings to the more than 200 guests, including the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, who had met the King in private earlier in the day.

Also present were the vice-president of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, several European Commissioners, such as Didier Reynders, and several members of the European Parliament, including Hilde Vautmans and Benoit Lutgen. The Belgian Chief of Defence, Admiral Hofman, was also present.

In a brief welcoming speech, the King referred to Belgium's rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, which began on 1 January and is already "in full swing".

The search for dialogue and consensus is part of the Belgian DNA

"Together with our government and all the Belgian authorities, we see the EU presidency as a unique opportunity to bring people together and achieve results," he said. "The search for dialogue and consensus is part of the Belgian DNA. We will use these strengths and work with you to promote democracy, prosperity and human well-being in Europe and around the world."



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