BELGIUM TODAY     FEBRUARY 2011  
 
WHAT'S COMING ?
 
Feb 5 - June 5
San Francisco, CA
The exhibition Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave presents exquisite historical costumes made by the artist from rag paper, at the Legion of Honor Museum. 
 
Feb 10-Scranton, PA
Feb 17-Clarks Summit,PA
Philip Mosley will read poems from his recently published translation of The Book of the Snow by François Jacqmin, at the University of Scranton Schemel Forum (2/10)Website and at The Music Studio (2/17)
 
Feb 26 - June 19
Salem, MA
Golden: Dutch & Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk Van Otterloo Collection includes nearly seventy paintings  from the 1600's along with 20 examples of furniture and decorative arts from the 17th century,at the Peabody Essex Museum.
 
WHAT'S ON
 
Through Feb 12
Washington, DC
Maurice Maeterlinck's play The Death of Tintagiles, directed by David Willinger, will be presented (together with Karna and Kunti by Rabindranath Tagore), at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint. 
Website   
 
Through Feb 26
Washington, DC
Fossilized, the first solo U.S. exhibition of work by Jens Praet, features 9 pieces of furniture--tables, consoles, benches and shelves--made from shredded magazines and documents, at Industry
Gallery.
 
Through March 16
New York, NY
A video by Francis Alys is included in the group show Project Europa: Imagining the (Im)Possible, at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University.
 
VISIT OUR SITES: 
US-BELGIUM ECONOMIC LINKS CELEBRATED IN DAVOS
 The 2011 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was once again an opportunity to celebrate the deep economic relations between the United States and Belgium.  On January 28, for instance, hours before their bilateral meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Prime Minister Yves Leterme and Minister of Foreign Affairs Steven Vanackere hosted numerous presidents, CEOs and other high level representatives of US corporations at the Steigenberger Belvedere Hotel.  The occasion was the annual Belgian Lunch Experience, put together this year by Chef Franky Vanderhaeghe, whose Belgian restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars. Read More
 
STRONG ECONOMY ALLOWS FOR GREATER DEFICIT REDUCTION
A recent study of the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau predicts economic growth for 2011 of around 2%, which shows that the Belgian economy has left the economic and financial crisis behind.  There are several reasons for the Belgian economy’s rebound.  First of all, along with Germany, Belgian exports have risen remarkably over a short period of time. Consumers are fast regaining their confidence and returning spending to their (healthy) pre-crisis levels, mostly thanks to the so-called “automatic stabilizers.” The policy allowing for temporary unemployment has especially enabled companies to keep workers on the payroll instead of having to resort to massive lay-offs. At the same time, companies that did have to restructure their organizations are hiring again. Recently the number of people being hired exceeds the number of lay-offs. Finally, demographics also lend a helping hand. The rapid population growth adds to consumer spending, and also stimulates the housing sector. Read More 
 
BELGIAN-SPONSORED COURSE AT IMF
DEEMED A SUCCESS
Every year, Belgium makes available approximately a half million euros to the International Monetary Fund’s training department for the organization of macroeconomic courses for junior government officials from low- and middle-income countries.  Belgium believes that this training ultimately leads to better policies for creating an environment conducive to a more equitable economic growth.  At the end of 2010, Ambassador Jan Matthysen attended the closing session of this year’s distance learning course on Financial Programming and Policies at the IMF. Read More
 
NEW ELECTRONIC IDENTITY CARDS
From now on, any Belgian over the age of twelve who registers at the Embassy or at a Consulate will have to apply for an electronic identity card.  The new eID will replace the traditional ID and will be issued to all Belgians once their current identity cards have expired.  
 
ELECTIONS SURVEY
On Tuesday, February 1, the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs in Brussels sent out an e-mail to all registered voters who have provided their e-mail addresses to Belgian representative offices abroad.  These voters are invited to participate in a survey on their experiences with Belgian elections held abroad.  The questionnaire, which takes only minutes to fill out, should be returned by February 13.  Belgians who did not receive the e-mail from the Federal Public Service and who are interested in the survey may contact the Embassy or the Consulate where they are registered for information on how to participate.  The survey is limited to registered voters.
 
Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008
washington@diplobel.fed.be or 202 333-6900 with questions or comments.