King Filip sets out priorities in maiden speech

After taking the oath of allegiance, King Filip delivered his first speech. Filip said he wants to reinforce the dialogue with the citizens, and that he wants to be the king of all the Belgians. He promised "constructive contacts" with the different regions that also make up the strength of Belgium.

Speaking in front of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate just after being sworn in as the new King of the Belgians, Filip started by saying that he is aware of the responsibility that rests on his shoulders. He moved on to thank his parents, King Albert and Queen Paola, and praised his wife, Queen Mathilde, for her social work and warm human contact.

Filip added that he wants to reinforce the dialogue with the citizens. In hard economic times, he wants to be the king of all the Belgians. "Each one of us has potential", he said.

Filip hopes to have "constructive contacts" with the different heads of the Belgian regions. The regions and language communities play an important role, he said, as they make the strength of the country. He also mentioned the role of the EU: "The Europe that we want stands for growth and solidarity."

The new king next highlighted Belgium's assets in the world. When heading different trade missions abroad, he experienced how "Belgium's strong points are being appreciated." He next asked for a new wave of enthusiasm for Belgium, before finishing his speech by saying "Long live Belgium" in Belgium's three official languages: Dutch, French and German.