A new one-day music festival bringing together music, food, art and culture across three different venues, all within a stone's throw of one another in the Grund and Clausen, is on the cards for Saturday 24 June. Created by Den Atelier and the Abbaye de Neumünster, the summer festival is designed to attract city dwellers and visitors alike
The Main Stage, as they are calling it, will be in the open air in the courtyard of the Abbaye de Neumünster, with Melusina providing a different vibe with its club ambience and finally Eglise St. Jean provides a truly different venue which will be graced with the presence of Francesco Tristano whose fusion of piano and synthesiser, classic and techno will be specially adapted to the environment of the church. Headlining on the Main Stage will be Oscar & the Wolf supported by, among others, James Vincent McMorrow, Ry X, Ásgeir.
Coming back to Melusina, the festival’s name is inspired by the same river nymph who gave her name to the club venue, and with the combined input of the artists of Bamhaus in Dommeldange subtle references to Melusina can be seen in the title font as well as evocative images of the Alzette Valley in the background of the advertising poster.
Not content with the musical side of things the Bamhaus artists will have an exhibition of their works and products in the Abbaye’s central courtyard, the Agora Marcel Jullian, and a number of top quality eating and drinking opportunities will present themselves including a tasting of biodynamic wines at the venue’s associate wine bar, Vins Fins in The Grund, and street food from The Food Truck, Joo and others.
Tickets are now on sale at €48, and further information can be obtained from the event website: www.sirenscall.lu
At a conference of the European Foundation for Progressive Studies in Rome today, held to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Luxembourg’s labour minister, Nicolas Schmit, addressed the audience including the president of the EU Policy Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, and vice-president of the European Parliament, and called for a new progressive European incarnation, one that is more social, more in solidarity with its people, more democratic and which no longer fallsl for the false promises of austerity.
“The European Union is the construction of a trans-national democracy, albeit still imperfect but unique in the world,” said Minister Schmit, before asking, “but can this ultimately a rich record satisfy us as representatives of the progressive forces?”
“Certainly not when we look at the state of the European Union, where for almost a decade unemployment has risen sharply, inequalities have truly exploded and where the increasing distrust of the citizens is translated electorally by a rise of nationalist and Euro-phobic populism,” was his answer.
The minister traced the rise of nationalism to blind faith in the power of markets, and the unbridled globalisation that has driven vast quantities of wealth into the hands of a few while the number of losers continues to grow.
“These are the main reasons that today cause a majority of citizens to doubt the benefits of Europe which has disappointed their expectations. It is not an outright rejection of the European idea that remains firmly anchored, but these fears, these privations, the feeling that this Europe very impregnated by the neo-liberal ideology pays little attention to these unemployed young people and families plunged into insecurity and exclusion.
“In short, our societies are fracturing and the prospects for millions of fellow citizens are darkening,” said the minister.
The minister condemned the senseless promise that austerity could generate growth and prosperity for all as a serious mistake.
Minister Schmit called for concrete alternative solutions that reconnect with Europe’s values and dismissed talk of a “multi-speed”, split-level Europe. He pointed out that the question of whether we should have more or less Europe is a false one, when it misses the real questions that concern Europe’s citizens.
“Who wants more Europe when it means more liberalisation, less public services, labor market flexibility leading to more precariousness, budgetary policies that restrict investment and increase inequality?” asked the minister.
For him, the question is not how much but what kind of Europe do we want. The ultra-liberal one with its blind confidence in the markets, or one which provides more economic, social and political security in order to deliver on the promise of prosperity for all and demolish the power of the populists and their desires that would plunge us back into our disastrous history while providing no answers to today’s problems.
“Europeans aspire to peace, stability and cooperation. Europe is their only insurance, provided it can afford it,” said Minister Schmit, suggesting that current policy is not up to the task without a flexible, integrated defence network, without becoming a fortress.
On economic security, the minister highlighted that globalisation is irreversible and has benefited hundreds of millions of men and women who have emerged from destitution. But it has also brought down the lives and expectations of millions.
“Markets do not compensate for these losses and ignore these human tragedies,” said the minister, adding, “The debate on free trade is distorted by an ideological stance that is not confirmed by the facts. This mobilisation of large sections of civil society against new-types of free trade agreements must be taken seriously and European policy must be readjusted in a more democratic sense.”
As an example, Minister Schmit referred to the case of Greece.
“This country is undoubtedly the tragic example of a conservative dogmatic policy that ignores economic and social realities,” he said.
Calling for reform, Minister Schmit, said we need to correct the initial weaknesses of the European Monetary Union, through a revival of investment in new technology, beyond the Juncker programme, re-orientation of economic activity in the direction of recarbonisation, consolidation in the context of a fiscal stance for the euro area which should no longer be the juxtaposition of national economies and budgets, creation of a genuine budgetary capacity for the euro area, coordination of taxation which excludes all practices of fiscal dumping.
Minister Schmit raised the Report of Maria Joa Rodrigues to the European Parliament on the Social Rights Platform, which makes proposals to integrate social issues into the legal framework, adding “A few days ago, under the presidency of the French Prime Minister, twelve ministers belonging to the progressive family, adopted a declaration reaffirming these principles and outlining an ambitious social Europe that reconnects with the aspirations of the vast majority of our fellow citizens who are asking questions about their future and the future of their children…
“…A revival of Europe must be based on clear choices. It must mobilise our civil societies, trade unions, workers, intellectuals and artists. Europe is at first a civilisation based on values and a culture that is distinguished by its great diversity. It is also a social model that respects the individual and offers everyone protection through a solidarity approach. Europe is also at the forefront of the fight against climate change, a great threat to the natural equilibrium of our planet ... Today we must defend the achievements achieved over the last 60 years. But we must also change course and open up new perspectives. For our political family, it is a natural task. It is up to us to do it.”
Luxembourg’s secretary of state for economy, Francine Closener, launched the new official classification of hotels in Luxembourg yesterday at the Horseca General Assembly.
Developed by the Hotelstars Union which is present in sixteen countries, the classification is based on a uniform system based on guidelines and criteria common to participating countries. The system is voluntary, and the ministry of economy will bear the costs for participating hotels during their first year, 2017/2018.
Hoteliers can carry out a self-assessment online. As of 31 March 2017, the ministry will proceed, together with Horesca, to register the first hotel classifications.
Minister Closener said she hoped that hotels would see the benefits, to themselves and to guests.
"I hope that many institutions will participate in the official classification of their establishment in order to create a transparent offer of tourist accommodation structures in Luxembourg. The classification is for the customer a guarantee of high quality ensuring that a 4 star establishment also offers a service of 4 stars. The new system will contribute not only to the satisfaction of our visitors, but also to the attractiveness of the Grand Duchy as a tourist destination."
It is also planned to introduce a similar classification system for campsites, with criteria adapted to such infrastructures. Currently, the ministry of economy is working closely with the Camprilux professional association to carry out this project, which should be launched in the autumn of 2017.
Seniors interested in becoming security advisors are invited to an information meeting to discover more about what the role entails, and the training involved. The next meeting is at Mamer Schloß at 15:00 on 4 April.
Security advisors are volunteer senior citizens who support crime prevention activities of the police by helping to disperse information about dangers, risks and preventive measures to allow people to take positive steps towards securing their own safety. The free training is offered by the police during.
Those interested can register by telephone: 247-86544, or e-mail: email@example.com.
Sports Minister Romain Schneider accompanied LL.AA.RR. The Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess in heir to greet Luxembourg’s athletes at the opening of the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 in Schladming and Graz, Austria this weekend, later adding support to the Luxembourg athletes who secured the Grand Duchy’s first two silver and bronze medals.
Luxembourg went on to score its first gold medals today, picked up by Aloyse Hoffmann in the Alpine Intermediate Super G, Pascal Closter in the men’s 200 metre snowshoeing event, and by Beatrice Cannels, in the women’s 200 metre snowshoeing event.
This adds to Luxembourg’s tally so far won by Kelly Toex and Alistair Lesire who won silver and bronze on Sunday’s Alpine Intermediate Super G events. Elise Georges picked up a bronze at today’s Alpine Intermediate Giant Slalom, while Lynn Streitz won silver in the 1k cross country freestyle, and Pierre Frank won a bronze medal for his timing in the 200 metre snowshoeing event.
The Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held until 25 March 2017 and Luxembourg is participating for the 7th consecutive time in these games since 1993.
Image: © Astrid Steiner Fischer
At the meeting of the health ministers of the 28 Member States in Valletta, Luxembourg’s Lydia Mutsch welcomed the priorities chosen by the Maltese Presidency in the field of health.
The first item on the agenda is the fight against childhood obesity in Luxembourg. Like her counterparts, the Luxembourg minister has advocated the added value of an inter-ministerial action involving all actors and starting at an early age in order to put a stop to this disease which is thought to account for 7% of health spending in member states.
"We must strengthen and expand our national efforts to reach the entire population. The European Commission and the World Health Organisation can help us in these efforts,” said Minister Mutsch.
Protecting children from marketing exposure to unhealthy products and the use of taxation measures have been advocated by a large number of stakeholders.
Ministers also expressed their political support for the Malta Declaration, which proposes a number of concrete actions at an early date in order to counteract the worrying development of the HIV / AIDS epidemic. European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis commended Luxembourg for its inclusion efforts focused on the at-risk population of drug users and cited the Abrigado Center as an example of good practice.
Minister Mutsch has launched a call to the pharmaceutical industry to bring medicines to the market at prices that guarantee adequate treatment for all concerned.
The subject of access to innovative medicines, which forms part of the discussions under the Luxembourg Presidency in relation to access to personalised medicine, brought ministers to the added value of the exchange of good practices and of voluntary cooperation agreements between Member States in order to lower the prices of new medicines.
The cooperation initiative between Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg aimed at influencing the price of drugs for rare diseases was repeatedly cited as an example of good practice. "We must do everything possible to ensure that sick children have access to medicines that are tailored to their specific needs," said Minister Mutsch.
The Luxembourg Minister participated in the margins of the Council at the Socialist and Social Democrat Socialists' meeting organised by the European Social Democrats (PES) in the presence of Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.
The ministers expressed their support for the guarantee of children, which aims to ensure free access to health care and adequate food and housing for all children in Europe. The participants agreed to continue their work on the vision of a progressive EU health agenda to better coordinate health policies.
The meeting will be reconvened in June in Luxembourg on the sidelines of the formal Council of Ministers of Health.
Image: Christopher Fearne, Minister of Health for Malta; Lydia Mutsch; Ray Azzopardi, Malta's ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and NATO; Vytenis Andriukaitis, Euoprean commissioner for health and food security
Les Amis de la Musique Militaire will host a special concert celebrating 175 years of military music this Saturday evening at the Luxembourg City Conservatory, led by Major Jean-Claude Braun, Chef de la Musique Militaire Grand-Ducale.
Also commemorating the 20th anniversary of Les Amis de la Musique Militaire, the evening will start at 20:00. Tickets are priced at €15 or €10, plus online fees, and can be purchased online: www.luxembourg-ticket.lu, or telephone: 47 08 95-1.
Neumünster’s Spring Sessions conclude this Sunday with a performance by Pol Belardi’s Urban Voyage, an 11-piece crossover ensemble based in Amsterdam who present their own boundary and frontier breaking style.
Hailing from all corners of Europe, this band has joined up with De Läb for this concert, for this particular evening, blending hip-hop, jazz, electronic, R&B, and more, in unique style.
The concert is at the Neumünster Abbey, Salle Robert Krieps, starting at 11:00. Tickets can be bought online: www.neimenster.lu, or telephone: 26 20 52-444.
Image: photo supplied
Luxembourg energy supplier, Enovos, and Belgian electric mobility company, Powerdale, who have been cooperating since 2010 to meet and develop Luxembourg’s electric mobility market, have now signed an agreement for the deployment of an additional 800 electric charging stations for electric vehicles across the Grand Duchy by 2020.
This public initiative, implemented by the distribution network operators, will accelerate the development of electric mobility in Luxembourg.
To anticipate future developments and needs beyond public infrastructure, Enovos and Powerdale have signed a commercial agreement for the deployment in Luxembourg of the Nexxtender terminals combined with the national monitoring platform Chargy Nexxtmove.
Enovos' offering will include the sale of Powerdale terminals, installation of terminals by trained local installers, commissioning, maintenance and servicing as well as mobility and load services. This offer will be aimed at public and private players as well as professionals and individuals.
“As a key player in Luxembourg's energy transition, Enovos aspires to be one of the driving forces behind the promotion and evolution of eco-mobility. The partnership with Powerdale will allow us to continue our development in this sector," said Marc Reiffers, CEO of Enovos Luxembourg.
Luxembourg satellite company, SES, and Media Broadcast Satellite are extending their contract with an Astra satellite on SES’s prime orbital position 19.2 degrees east.
The multi-year extension will allow Media Broadcast Satellite to continue to use a full transponder on a pan-European ASTRA satellite to serve its customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“This new contract with Media Broadcast Satellite confirms their trust in us as a strong partner. This contract extension demonstrates that satellite plays an important role for TV distribution, and how it will remain key for the video business from a long-term perspective,” said Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer of SES.
Image: photo supplied