Category Archives: featured post

Belgian parliament passes resolution backing Taiwan

The Belgian Chamber of Representatives passed a resolution, July 16, calling on the Federal Government and the EU to support Taiwan’s democracy, strengthen bilateral relations, and encourage the country’s meaningful participation in international organisations.

The resolution passed in a overwhelming fashion, by 130 votes to 0, with 13 abstentions. Introduced by members Georges Dallemagne and Els Van Hoof, co-Presidents of the Belgium-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, the resolution is the first of its kind since 2015.

The resolution acknowledges Taiwan’s freedoms; system of government; and current contributions to addressing global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, it recognises the ever-closer ties between Taiwan and Belgium.

In turn, the resolution implores the Belgian government to act on a number of issues related to strengthening the Belgium-Taiwan relationship, including supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations such as the World Health Organisation. The resolution also requires the Belgian government to urge the European Commission to move forward on strengthening relations between the EU and Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs greeted the resolution warmly, thanking the Belgian Parliament for its passage. The ministry added that Taiwan will continue to deepen and broaden bilateral relations with Belgium on the basis of the existing good foundation of ties between the two nations.

Taiwan’s stance on China’s imposition of the Hong Kong national security law

Below the response of the government of Taiwan to China’s imposition of the Hong Kong National Security law on June 30, 2020.

Taiwan urges the international community to strongly condemn and jointly oppose China’s hegemonic expansion in order to safeguard freedom and democracy.

Below the key points of Taiwan’s stance on this issue.

The offenses targeted in the new law spell an end to the Occupy Central and anti-extradition bill movements in Hong Kong, as well as any similar protests in the future, and are designed to suppress democratic forces in Hong Kong through shock and awe. The Chinese Communist Party(CCP) is seeking to legitimize its intervention in Hong Kong’s autonomy and control of related personnel affairs, as well as establish a legal basis for the entry of armed police into the territory.

The law applies to the entire world, severing Hong Kong’s links with the international community and strengthening the CCP’s authoritarian rule. Article 38 of the law stipulates that “this law shall apply to offenses under this Law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the Region.” This is equivalent to asserting extraterritorial jurisdiction in every corner of the world.

The CCP national security authorities are now the puppet masters over the Hong Kong government, and Taiwan may be China’s next target. The law defines the offense of secession as separating Hong Kong or “any other part” of the PRC from the PRC. This demonstrates its intention to deliberately suppress collaboration between what the CCP commonly refer to as the Hong Kong and Taiwan independence movements, and to use this national security law to impose restrictions on cross-strait relations.

Totalitarian China’s renunciation of its international commitments exposes its ambition to impose its will and reshape the international order. By imposing this national security law on Hong Kong, the CCP has seriously violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration, shattered Hong’s “one country, two systems” framework and high degree of autonomy, renounced its commitment to Hong Kong and the global community. It also exposes the CCP’s intention to disrupt the rule-based international order.

China’s use of authoritarian rule to trample on democracy and human rights proves that autocracy and democracy are incompatible. Taiwan urges the international community to recognize the true nature of the CCP’s autocratic regime, and calls on like-minded countries to engage in concerted opposition.

If the international community fails to take any countermeasures, the CCP will spread its autocratic system even farther, and take a leading role in shaping the international political and economic order.

Taiwan occupies a key position in safeguarding democracy in Asia, and hopes the international community will jointly support the people of Hong Kong and protect Taiwan. The global community must take seriously the expansion of the CCP’s authoritarian system and ideology throughout the international arena. Taiwan stands on the global democratic community’s first line of defense, and the survival and development of democratic Taiwan are key to regional peace and stability. We urge the international community to come together to counter China’s hegemonic expansion and work collectively to safeguard Taiwan’s democratic system and protect it from destruction at the hands of totalitarian China.

Les jeunes et l’emploi dans le tourisme: Marc Dans au Skål

C’est le directeur de PagTour, Marc Dans, qui sera le prochain orateur du Skål Club de Bruxelles International, sur le thème des jeunes face à l’emploi dans le tourisme.

Les millenials boudent-ils les emplois en tourisme ? les jeunes sont-ils sous-informés sur les possibilités qu’offrent les métiers du tourisme ? comment positionner le tourisme comme secteur d’emploi de choix ? Telles sont quelques-unes des questions auxquelles Marc Dans tentera d’apporter une réponse lors de la prochaine conférence-débat qu’organise le Think Tank du Skål bruxellois.

7 raisons d’aller en Slovénie, cet hiver

Ce petit pays surprend par ses stations de ski modernes, ses merveilles naturelles, ses luxueux centres de bien-être et ses villes romantiques. Il est grand temps d’y passer vos vacances d’hiver, que vous skiiez ou non. Voici 7 raisons de choisir cette magnifique destination en hiver.

1. D’une station de ski à l’autre, en moins d’une heure
Lorsque vous skiez en Slovénie, vous pouvez découvrir différents domaines en une journée, grâce aux courtes distances qui les séparent.
Il est possible de passer d’une piste à l’autre, avec un forfait – valable pour les principales pistes slovènes. L’ensemble de ces dernières sont bien entretenues et conviennent à tous les skieurs, débutants ou chevronnés. Des forfaits individuels et familiaux sont disponibles pour un jour ou plusieurs, voire pour toute la saison. Les enfants sont très bien accueillis partou

Austrian among the Top 10 most punctual Airlines in Europe again

  • Study: 79 percent of all arrivals in 2019 were on time
  • 10th place among the most punctual airlines in Europe
  • Measures taken to improve punctuality are effective

In 2019, Austrian Airlines was once again among the most punctual airlines in Europe. This is confirmed by a recently published study by the travel data and analytics expert Cirium. 79 percent of all arrivals were on time. That means 10th place in the ranking (see table). “I am pleased, that we are among the most punctual airlines in Europe again. However, there is still room for improvement”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech. “Punctuality is as important to us as the red-white-red on our planes.”

Love is in the air… Fêtez la Saint-Valentin à Malte

Malte est l’île des amoureux, et le décor parfait pour de merveilleux moments romantiques. À l’occasion de la Saint-Valentin, Malte sera une destination incontournable pour tous les couples d’amoureux. Voici quelques idées inspirantes à forte dose d’amour…

Citadelle de Gozo
Pour profiter du calme et de la sérénité, les couples embarqueront à bord du ferry pour l’île tranquille de Gozo. Ils pourront s’y promener et profiter des paysages et des charmants petits villages. La seule grande ville de l’île est sa capitale, Victoria. Après la fermeture du musée, vous pourrez vous rendre à la Citadelle et surprendre votre partenaire avec un moment féérique à la lumière du soir. Le décor parfait pour s’embrasser !

Vlaamse ontwerpster realiseert droom bij Europa-Park

Ontwerpster Michelle Homburg (25) uit Antwerpen werkt sinds een tijdje bij Europa-Park, het grootste attractiepark van Duitsland. Daar maakt ze ontwerpen voor het nieuwe indoor waterpark, Rulantica. “Mijn droom is uitgekomen.”

Al tijdens haar studie Interieurarchitectuur raakte Homburg geïnteresseerd in de wereld van attractieparken. Om er meer over te weten te komen, besloot ze om stage te lopen bij Plopsaland De Panne. “Toen wist ik het meteen: in deze wereld wil ik werken.”

Netwerken
Na haar afstuderen in 2019 besloot Homburg om te proberen haar droom te realiseren. “Je hebt niet alles in de hand, maar je kunt zelf wel veel beïnvloeden.” Ze startte met het vergroten van haar netwerk door zich als vrijwilliger op te geven voor de jaarlijkse attractieparkenbeurs van de International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). Daar kwam ze in contact met een werknemer van Europa-Park die haar voorstelde aan de creatief directeur. “Na dat gesprek bood hij mij vrijwel meteen een stageplaats aan. Ik mocht zes maanden gaan helpen bij Rulantica, het nieuwe indoor waterpark van Europa-Park dat op 28 november 2019 is geopend.”

Ryanair’s Kharkiv kick-off at Budapest Airport

Photo caption: Budapest Airport’s Airline Development Manager, Máté Ritter kicks off the gateway’s route launches of 2020 by welcoming Ryanair’s twice-weekly service to Kharkiv last Friday.

Budapest Airport kicked-off its route launches of 2020, welcoming Ryanair’s 48th service from Budapest on 16 January. The new Kharkiv route will operate twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays. With the LCC’s twice-weekly operation to Kharkiv, the Hungarian gateway now offers 26 weekly flights to Ukraine throughout S20. Kharkiv joins Odesa and Lviv (starting in March) as Ryanair’s served Ukrainian destinations from Budapest. Hungary’s capital city airport recorded a 31% growth in Ukrainian visitors last year when compared with 2018.

Shama expands Bangkok presence with two additional locations in Phrom Phong and Yen Akat

The serviced apartments brand will be present in four prime Bangkok neighbourhoods by late 2020

Bangkok, 27 January 2020 – Already a fast expanding Asia-Pacific serviced apartments brand with two properties in two prime locations in Bangkok, Shama Serviced Apartments by ONYX Hospitality Group is doubling its neighbourhood presence in the Thai capital by adding Phrom Phong and Yen Akat to its portfolio in 2020.

The two new properties – Shama Sukhumvit 39 Bangkok and Shama Yen Akat Bangkok – will complement the existing Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok in Ploenchit and Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok.

Douglas Martell, President & CEO, ONYX Hospitality Group, said: “We are excited to welcome the new decade with the expansion of Shama to four prime locations across the Thai capital – Ploenchit, Asoke, Phrom Phong and Yen Akat. This follows an exciting 2019 where we opened our second Shama property in Hangzhou, relaunched Shama Lakeview Asoke and Amari Pattaya following extensive refurbishments and signed our first hotel in Japan with Amari Niseko. As we enhance our presence across the Asia-Pacific region, we are equally committed to expanding our reach within Thailand where we are headquartered.”

Druk op asielopvang door langere verblijfsduur van asielzoekers in Wallonië

Door Theo Francken, Yoleen Van Camp

De verblijfsduur van asielzoekers in de Waalse gemeentelijke asielopvang ligt gemiddeld twee maanden hoger dan in de Vlaamse opvang, zo blijkt uit een parlementaire vraag van Kamerleden Yoleen Van Camp en Theo Francken. Dat zorgt voor meerkosten van 5 miljoen euro per jaar, uitgaande van een gemiddelde forfaitaire kost van 40 euro per bezette plaats.

De kostprijs van lokale asielopvang is aanzienlijk. “Voor een volwassene gaat het om 40 euro per persoon. De verblijfsduur moet daarom tot een minimum beperkt worden en dit zowel in het belang van de maatschappij als dat van de asielzoeker zelf. We merken dat daar aan Franstalige kant blijkbaar minder aandacht voor is, waardoor de kosten nodeloos oplopen.” Theo Franken wijst op de onaanvaardbare druk op het opvangsysteem: “De langere verblijfsduur in Wallonië kan te wijten zijn aan langere beroepsprocedures aan Franstalige kant, maar ook aan laksheid bij het uitzetten van afgewezen asielzoekers.”

Vlaamse kleuters vaker aanwezig in school

Viceminister-president van de Vlaamse Regering en Vlaams minister van Onderwijs, Sport, Dierenwelzijn en Vlaamse Rand

De meeste Vlaamse kleuters zijn voldoende aanwezig in de klas. Vorig schooljaar steeg het globale percentage naar 97,5 procent – iets meer dan het schooljaar daarvoor (97,4 procent). Vlaanderen is internationaal een koploper, maar Vlaams minister van Onderwijs Ben Weyts wil de lat nog hoger leggen. “Vanaf 1 september 2020 verlagen we de leerplicht naar 5 jaar”, zegt Weyts. “We willen echt elk kleutertje in een warm leerbad trekken.

Vlaanderen stimuleert ouders om kinderen jonger dan 6 jaar toch al naar de kleuterklas te sturen. Zo ontvangen ouders een schooltoelage als hun kind voldoende aanwezig is op school. Een kleuter van 3 jaar moet minstens 150 halve dagen aanwezig zijn, een kleuter van 4 jaar minstens 185 halve dagen en een kleuter van 5 jaar minstens 220 halve dagen.

Fraport Receives Climate Certification for Frankfurt Airport

FRA re-certified for 2020 under European Airport Carbon Accreditation – Exemplary CO2 reduction confirmed by independent experts

FRA/gk-rap – Fraport AG has been systematically implementing stringent climate targets since 2008, when the airport operator first defined these goals. For the eleventh consecutive year, Fraport has now received climate certification for Frankfurt Airport (FRA) under the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program. Launched by the Airport Council International (ACI) Europe, the ACA program assesses how successful airports are in decreasing their carbon footprint.

ACI Europe’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program comprises four climate certification levels for airports: Mapping, Reduction, Optimization, and Neutrality. Assessments for granting the certification are carried out by independent experts. For 2020, Fraport again achieved the “Optimization” level for Frankfurt Airport. Compared to 2001, Frankfurt Airport cut its CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent – the equivalent of some 127,000 metric tons.

During 2019, ACA-certified airports worldwide achieved total CO2 savings of over 320,000 metric tons. Fraport AG’s head of environmental management, Dr. Wolfgang Scholze, said: “In 2008, we set international standards by contributing to the development of the ACA climate protection program. In 2009, we were the first airport operator in the world to be certified.” In addition to Frankfurt, six more airports in the Fraport Group are now certified under the ACA program.

In 2018, Fraport’s carbon footprint for Frankfurt Airport amounted to 188,631 metric tons of CO2. The 2019 figure is not yet available, but it is forecast to be at around 175,000 metric tons. “We are making consistently good progress,” emphasized Dr. Scholze. Over the next ten years, Fraport intends to cut its CO2 emissions at Frankfurt Airport to 80,000 metric tons a year. The company is striving to fully reduce emissions and be CO2-free at FRA by 2050.

Steps to achieve this goal include implementing the airport’s first large-scale photovoltaic system by mid-2020 at a new cargo warehouse in FRA’s CargoCity South. More and more apron vehicles are being gradually replaced by zero-emission alternatives. Fraport is currently testing two electric buses for passenger transportation at FRA. Moreover, Fraport intends to invest in wind and solar energy. The goal is for Frankfurt Airport’s power requirements to be met almost entirely by renewable energy sources.

image_pdfimage_print