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Norway opens new conference facilities

Norway’s new conference venue in Brussels was formally opened when about 150 guests found their way to the Embassy of Norway and the Mission of Norway to the EU Tuesday 29 May.

06/06/2006 :: Rue Archimede 17 in the heart of the Brussels EU-area has been the location of the Mission of Norway to the EU since 1971. In 2003 the Norwegian Government, by the Directorate of Public Construction and Property, bought the building. The ground floor, that previously housed a flower shop and a tavern, has gone through a total transformation and has become a top modern conference hall with the latest in audio-visual equipment.

During the opening reception of the new conference facilities the Belgian soprano Martje Vande Ginste performed compositions by the Norwegian composers Edvard Grieg and Magne Hegdal. The Norwegian Seafood Export Council catered the guests with Norwegian traditional and modern style fish and seafood.

The opening celebration furthermore marked the end of a long and successful service for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Norway’s bilateral ambassador to Belgium, John Bjørnebye, who finish his diplomatic career in August this year. He was pleased to hold one of the opening speeches at the reception.

”The new conference hall is an important part of the work done in Brussels in order to draw attention to Norwegian interests. The bilateral Embassy of Norway to Belgium and the Mission of Norway to the EU are located as close as possible to the European Commission without being members of the EU,” Ambassador Bjornebye said after the opening reception.

The Mission and the Embassy’s new conference hall contains 180 square meters and can facilitate meetings for up to 140 visitors. The interior design is based on light wood and Norwegian slate. Two decorative paintings by the Norwegian artist Thomas Sæverud are bought by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(Published: 06.06.06)

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From the left: Øivind Christoffersen, Director General of the Directorate of Public Construction and Property, Ambassador John Bjørnebye, Ambassador Oda Sletnes and State Secretary Liv Monica Bargem StubholtPhoto: Mission of Norway to the EU, Silje Grønaas

the Belgian sopran Martje Vande Ginste and the pianist Barbara BassezPhoto: Mission of Norway to the EU, Silje Grønaas

Photo: Mission of Norway to the EU, Silje Grønaas