General Representation of the Government of Flanders in the United Kingdom
Since 2002 the Government of Flanders has a General Representation in the UK, based in Flanders House, located on Cavendish Square, in the centre of the British capital. Flanders House is also home to our colleagues of Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT) and Visit Flanders.
With the Great War Centenary (2014-18) project Flanders wants to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War in a fitting and serene manner.
The First World War was the first international conflict on a global scale. Millions of soldiers and civilians from nearly 50 countries lost their lives. All over the world ‘Flanders Fields’ has come to be associated with a history of unprecedented human suffering and material destruction.
In Flanders, there is huge potential for knowledge creation, technology transfer and internationally competitive higher education. In 2011, Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters, Ministers Ingrid Lieten and Pascal Smet, and representatives of the Flemish universities signed a Protocol on Academic Diplomacy with the goal of increasing the interaction between the academic world and foreign policy, particularly with reference to diplomatic events and foreign missions.
In a city like London, one of the most important cultural centres in the world, cultural diplomacy is an absolute must. Music, theatre, dance, visual arts, ... all art forms are present and any artist looking for a break-through, wants to make it in London. Conquering the UK market is not easy, but fortunately, Flanders has a lot of assets on offer.
Public diplomacy or people's diplomacy, broadly speaking, is the communication with civil society and the general public to establish a dialogue designed to inform, engage and influence.
One way of doing this is by organising the annual Flanders Day, a reception to celebrate the 11th of July, the day of the Flemish Community. Flanders House also participatess in the Open House Day and we work on the theme of ‘historical migration’, showing the historic ties between Flemings and the Britons throughout the centuries.
In Flanders when we’re hungry we make waterzooi. We make cinema, theatre and the best loved chocolate in the world. We make the finest beers and the best medicines for headaches. We make bicycles and champion cyclists. We make history and the future. We make that everybody understands us. We make literature and architecture. We make scientists creative and craftsmen innovative. We make music and the stages to perform it on.
In Flanders we make anything.
We just don’t make a lot of fuss.