King Filip of the Belgians highlighted two topics in his address: the recent spate of terrorist attacks, and the instability and uncertainty in Europe sparked by the refugee crisis and the Brexit.
These developments "reveal divisions within our society", Filip told the Belgian people in his televised speech in Dutch, German and French, the official languages of Belgium. Divisions "between rich and poor, young and old, people with or without access to information and knowledge, people who have a home and people who don't."
"We should prevent that false prophets, make their benefit from division and vulnerability, abusing people's emotions. They find easy scapegoats, thus widening the gap between religions, people, and in the end between all of us."
King embraces the young generation
In the second part of his speech, Filip highlighted the characteristic of courage.
"Courage overcomes ordeals, focusing on what's beautiful and great. It brings about an internal strength that surmounts the comfort of defeatism. The queen and I have recently experienced this, after the 22 March attacks." Filip also praised the Belgian security services and those providing emergence aid just after the Brussels blasts.
The king lauded the young generation, because they are open for other countries and cultures. "This leads to the exchange of ideas, to creativity and innovation, cultural enrichment and self-development."
"No coincidence that youngsters voted pro EU"
Last but not least, King Filip spoke about the European project, saying it needs the same strength as people showed after the Brussels attacks.
"It is no coincidence that most 'Remain' supporters were young people. They did not let themselves be confused by the false choice between the European Union and member states. Both are complementary. And our Union is now more necessary than ever. Courage will also be needed in this matter, to continue to defend the Union and put effort into it."