I am proud to be a Belgian Citizen, and through that nationality a citizen of Europe. It is my roots and my country. I recently felt the need to post on my Huffington Post a strong rebuffing of Belgian Bashing.
I was born and raised in Belgium and took my first international flight to Andalucía for my honeymoon. For many years, I dedicated my efforts and attention to my country, despite its small size and the disappointments that the evolution of Belgium provoked. It was only after the government of Belgium granted dual citizenship that I decided to apply for citizenship in the United States, as I could not consider losing the nationality of my origins: it would have felt like a betrayal of my family and friends. To me, it is a question of belonging to the complex reality of a country, even though I perceive it as often dysfunctional. I have listed below several of my associations and positions that exemplify my continued commitment to Belgium. I would like to add a personal element of that attachment: my respect for the Belgian Monarchy, and King Philippe. It is not easy to navigate the prejudices and difficulties of their tasks. I know that, like most European reigning families, they are fully committed to the well being of their countries and people.