Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic “farewell” before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 years.
Aside from her visit next week for the European Summit next week, it will be one of the final official visits Merkel makes to Belgium, and to mark this special occasion, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said he wanted the visit to highlight the “important relationship with Merkel.”
Upon her arrival, Merkel will visit King Filip at the Royal Palace in Laeken, where they will have lunch together with De Croo. Here, she will also receive the Grand Ribbon of the Order of Leopold, which is the highest and oldest decoration that can be awarded, De Croo’s cabinet told The Brussels Times.
As it is an official visit, Merkel will receive a military welcome when arriving at the Egmont Palace in the centre of Brussels for a meeting with De Croo and the countries’ delegations, among others to prepare for the European Council meeting on October 21 and 22, as well as following up past discussions. This will be followed by a joint press conference.
Finally, De Croo has organised a “farewell concert” in honour of Merkel, which will be held at Bozar, and during which works by Mozart and Beethoven will be played by the Prima La Musica chamber orchestra. This will be followed by a dinner in a more intimate setting.
It remains unclear who will be taking over Merkel’s position as head of the German government, however, Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic CDU, and its sister party, the CSU, will not be a part of the next government, as they lost during the recent elections to the Social Democrats.