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A look back on the Irish EU Presidency

Last week marked the end of a very busy period for Ireland, as our six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU drew to a close. Since the beginning of the year, Ireland has hosted over 1,600 meetings where our presidency team have driven Ireland’s priorities for the EU in our programme for...

Reynders against abolition of Royal Assent

Foreign affairs minister and deputy PM Didier Reynders is not in favour of abolishing the Royal Assent for laws and decrees, as suggested by several Flemish politicians. "I don’t think we should also take such drastic measures," the head of the Belgian diplomacy told Bel-RTL this morning. Reynders...

Summer-long ban on biker gatherings

The mayors of Lanaken and Maasmechelen, Limburg province, will ban all events organised by the Hells Angels and Outlaws biker gangs this summer, several newspapers report today. The gangs have been involved in a turf war on the Belgo-Dutch border for months. The rivalry between the two biker gangs...

Belgian and French business schools launch joint MBA programme

Solvay Brussels School of Economics (pictured) and Management and the ENPC School of International Management in Paris have announced the launch of a joint MBA programme. The total length of the new MBA programme is fifteen months, and will be split into three five-month parts. For the first part...

Chocolate academy to open in Belgium

Chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut is building the largest of its training centres in Wieze, East Flanders. Minister for economy Johan Vande Lanotte yesterday laid the first stone of this ‘chocolate academy’. The training centres offer a range of courses and tutorials for professionals. Nearly...

VAT exemption for lawyers comes to an end

The Belgian Federal Government has announced that as of 1 January 2014 the current VAT exemption for lawyers will be abolished, reports Tax And Belgium’s Koen Dewilde . Belgian was, until now, the only country in the European Union where legal services remained exempt from VAT. Previously this...

Restobières

At first we’re charmed by the interior, complete with wooden tables and tiled floors, low ceilings and plenty of vintage knick-knacks. But disappointment sets in early, as we’re blatantly ignored by our server. When he finally does arrive with the menus, it’s clear that he’d rather be somewhere else. And speaking Dutch to our all-Flemish party (myself excluded) does not appear on his list of job requirements.

Culture beat - July 4

With the month of July predicted to be a scorcher, Brussels’ annual outdoor film festival Bruxelles fait son cinéma is preparing to screen movie favourites under the stars. From July 9 to 19, eleven communes around the city are set to host the annual event. The first film on Tuesday is Camille...

“Philippe is well prepared to succeed me” - Albert

As predicted, King Albert yesterday announced that he would abdicate in favour of his son Philippe on July 21. "It's with emotion that I address every one of you today," he said in a broadcast. "I'm in my 80th year, an age never before reached by my predecessors (...) my age and health no longer...

Bogus Pakistani NGO leaves Brussels for London

The Kashmir Centre, a self-proclaimed NGO acting as a front for Pakistani intelligence services, is to leave Brussels and relocate to London, Le Soir reports today. The association had been active for nearly ten years in the capital where it has long been monitored by State security, which regarded...

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