The responsibilities of the Diplomatic Representation of Flanders were outlined in a 2009 policy paper. There is now a reviewed strategic framework, which has been recently approved by the Government of Flanders and put into a vision statement. This vision statement explains why a continued cooperation with the United Kingdom as well as with the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is necessary and what substance it may have. The United Kingdom remains a very important and friendly nation for Flanders.
As we move towards renewed cooperation, the Government of Flanders focuses primarily on five areas:
Political: the United Kingdom is a key member of NATO, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and has always been a strategic ally historically and we want to keep it that way. We seek constructive relations with both the UK and with the devolved nations.
Economy: As an open economy, Flanders benefits from the strongest possible trade relations with the UK, from attracting British investments to Flanders, and from promoting Flanders to British tourists and potential cooperation in the field of (renewable) energy and hydrogen.
Education & Research: as the Government of Flanders, we want to enable and promote the greatest possible exchanges of students and researchers between Flemish and British knowledge institutions, as well as to continue to invest in joint research programmes, including within the framework of Horizon Europe
Culture: for the arts and culture sector in Flanders, the United Kingdom is the gateway to the Anglo-Saxon world. Especially in music, the visual and performing arts, the United Kingdom is an important country for performing and presenting. As the Government of Flanders, we want to give maximum support to all kinds of cooperation.
Mobility & Transport: Flanders enjoys a unique position as the logistics hub of Western Europe and, with its ports, Flanders is an important gateway to the United Kingdom. Smooth mobility and fast transport connections between Flanders and the United Kingdom are therefore essential, both for passengers and freight.