On Monday, July 20, 2015, His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium gave a pre-recorded speech on the occasion of Fête Nationale 2015.
A translation of His Majesty’s speech:
“Ladies and gentlemen,
The national holiday is a good opportunity to reflect on the quality of the links that unites us. These links are valuable. They are also constantly tested.
We live in an interconnected world, hyper-connected. Social media bring us closer. The advances in computer technology and the internet are fascinating. They have a fundamental impact on our lives, on our work. They offer an excellent asset to face the challenges of globalization and make our sustainable world. Indeed, the computer allows us to efficiently manage our business, health care, our production and our mobility, while reducing costs and impact on the environment.
But this hyper-connection also has shadows. Sometimes the virtual world into your lives and is imposed on us without our really have decided. Having significantly reduced the time and space, it pushes us to want everything immediately. This can lead to superficial relationships that no longer allow time to cement human ‘take’ and build sustainably. Furthermore, the information overload we often comes in the form of a “ready to think” pre-formatted. It may at times take precedence over a more personal reflection.
More than virtual or immediate, we need real and profound relations themselves are developing the personality and critical thinking, encourage them to give the best of oneself, let alone talent to express themselves fully and each of find his place in society.
During our travels around the country, the Queen and I have met many people who invest daily in this social and human capital. I think for example of these schools and to those companies that stimulate creativity and initiative. I think of those networks of entrepreneurs who help young people start their own business. I think of those associations which, through sports, theater and other activities, helping vulnerable people to give new impetus. All these initiatives are based on real relationships that are a renewable energy source for human society.
Similarly, it is essential to create strong and sincere real links between peoples. I again saw during our state visit to China. With federal, regional Prime Ministers and hundreds of businessmen and university rectors, we primarily sought to maintain a safe space in the interest of both countries. The links with China involve the future.
At the gates of Europe are held dramas that can not leave us indifferent. Civil wars are rampant, states disintegrate, thousands of refugees pour. It is illusory to think that we can isolate. Europe needs to support in countries that surround it, the forces that promote political and economic participation shares.
Finally, I want to talk about the links between the peoples of Europe. After dotted with centuries wars between Europeans has created a Union that benefits all countries that are members. The Union makes a unique mutual enrichment of peoples and cultures. We realize this unity through a common faith in the human being and the capital gain that arises from the sharing of our talents. When the European project through a difficult period, as is the case today, let’s avoid that our country rise up against each other. On the contrary, deepen the bonds between us on the basis of a newfound confidence.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Whether for ourselves, as citizens of our country, of Europe or of the world, yes, we are able to tell the difference by creating and nourishing deep, strong and lasting relationships. They are the cement of our civilization, our security and our future.
The Queen and I, and our entire family, wish you a great National Day.”