From March 7th to 9th, 2023, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands embarked on a significant state visit to the Slovak Republic at the invitation of President Zuzana Čaputová. This royal visit aimed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Slovakia’s establishment as an independent nation while bolstering the strong partnership between the two countries.
Central to this state visit were the shared ambitions of transitioning to a circular economy, combating climate change, and preserving biodiversity. This common ground served as a strong foundation for discussions on how both countries could strengthen their collective efforts in these vital areas.
The visit commenced in Bratislava with a grand welcome at the Presidential Palace by President Čaputová. The state banquet held at the Reduta concert hall on the first day of the visit underscored the warmth of bilateral relations, with speeches delivered by King Willem-Alexander and President Čaputová.
Accompanying this diplomatic mission was a robust business delegation, with about 40 Dutch companies participating. During the state banquet, they had the opportunity to connect with representatives of approximately 80 Slovak companies, fostering new partnerships and reinforcing the economic ties between the Netherlands and Slovakia.
On the second day, the royal couple participated in the ‘The Future is Now’ business forum, where Dutch and Slovak entrepreneurs engaged in discussions surrounding sustainability, health, and the circular economy. Several agreements were signed to further advance cooperation between companies and organizations from both nations. The visit also included a stop at a PET bottle and can collection point, demonstrating the practical application of the circular economy concept. Prime Minister Eduard Heger hosted a government lunch in honour of the royal couple. Later, a reception was held for the Dutch community in Slovakia.
The busy programme of the royal couple during the state visit concluded at Tatra National Park, where discussions centered around nature conservation, biodiversity, and the ongoing efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment.
This state visit not only strengthened the bonds of friendship but also laid the groundwork for fruitful business collaborations in the years to come.