Reception dedicated to the Independence Day of Georgia and the Arts Festival "Europalia-Georgia"
On June 14, 2023, a reception dedicated to the Independence Day of Georgia and the Arts Festival "Europalia-Georgia" was held at Brussels’ Royal Museum of Art and History.
H.E. Vakhtang Makharoblishvili, Ambassador of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Head of the Georgian Mission to the European Union addressed the guests with welcoming remarks. The honourable speeches were made by H.E. Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia; H.E. Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions; and H.E. Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement. In his address, Irakli Garibashvili spoke of Georgia’s European history and culture, which will be represented in a comprehensive scale at the Europalia Festival, emphasizing the importance of granting our country the EU candidate status by the end of this year. Hadja Lahbib also outlined the European identity of Georgia, stating: “Belgium supports Georgia’s European dream. We will act accordingly in the interest of prosperous Europe from Lisbon to Tbilisi”. Olivér Várhelyi emphasized that "Georgia's future is in the European Union" and expressed hope that Georgia will celebrate next year’s Independence Day as EU candidate country.
The National Anthems of Georgia, Belgium, and the European Union were performed by the Georgian State Polyphony Ensemble "Basiani," who also sang "Chakrulo," a Georgian folk song recognized as a monument of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The cultural part of the reception was also enriched with Georgia’s National Ballet - "Sukhishvili" dance performances of "Tsdo" and "Juta"; world-class soprano Nino Machaidze, who performed Giacomo Puccini's famous opera aria, and Georgian pianist Dudana Mazmanishvili, with Revaz Laghidze's outstanding piece "Rondo-Toccata". The jazz compositions of Georgian film music were played throughout the event by the band "NiUTONE".
This year’s Independence Day of Georgia was entirely dedicated to the Arts Festival “Europalia-Georgia”, the program of which was officially presented by the Ministers of Culture of Georgia and Belgium in the first half of the day. “Europalia-Georgia” will start in October 2023, although the guests had a unique opportunity to appreciate a small part of the upcoming festival’s programme.
The representatives of the Government of Georgia, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the EU and NATO, as well as representatives of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Brussels and local think-tanks, academic circles, and the media, attended the reception.