Bruges, Belgium : Looking for the centre of Europe

Uploaded by Europeanregistry on 25.10.2011

I'm carrying around the centre of Europe,
I like the idea very much.
- My name is Rudy, I come from Atlético Portugal.
And I now play for Cercle Brugge.
I received this stone from a music band in Portugal.
- For me, Bruges is... Tasty chocolates?
- I think it's the chips, it's the chocolates, and then the beer.
- It's nice channels with water, and the people,
a bunch of people from all over the world, walking around the city.
- In general, here, you can learn lots from people,
you can learn a lot just from walking in the street.
- It's a small city, it's quiet. You can do anything, walking.
- Bruges has a very good image as a UNESCO world heritage city,
and has the image of a magnificent historical city.
- Well, I love Bruges.
- After World War II, and the collapse of Europe,
there were thinkers in this area that thought it was important to create an atmosphere:
Bring together Europeans
to work together in an environment without conflict.
And so, I think Bruges reflects this idea.
- It's an amazing city.
I mean it opens the way for you to understand the European culture.
And to feel it, to touch it.
- The city itself has some very innovative ideas.
And that's what we want to bring together: It's a perfect match, I think,
of bringing the new ideas into a very beautiful old city.
- If you want to go to the other side of the city, you may need a bike...
You never need a car.
- I run a small but very lively bike tour company out here,
in the city of Bruges.
We take tourists out in the streets of Bruges,
and let them know the history of this beautiful historical town.
And also the outskirts of town, which are very flat and easy to cycle.
I've got a very easy approach with tourists.
Some of them are not the best cyclists in the world,
so that might be a bit dangerous
because they're uneasy on the cobblestones.
But once they get a bit accustomed to the bike, they love it.
- Well, the College of Europe is the oldest institute
offering post-graduate students from all over the world
a one-year training in European Affairs.
We have over 55 different nationalities.
- When we got here, we started finding
lots of differences between different European countries.
But going further, in the last analysis,
we see that there are lots of things that are common in Europe.
That make these countries come together.
- Sometimes it is challenging, but that is what makes the College so unique.
- They're beautiful in their diversity.
- And I think another very positive aspect of Europe is
that we have so many different nationalities and different languages, and cultures.
And also the history of our different countries is so rich.
- Yes, the main language is Dutch.
But if I have to tell them something individually,
I sometimes have to speak French and English.
I am the manager/coach of Cercle Brugge,
who play in the first division of the Belgium League.
The cooperation with Lisbon, for us, is very important.
Because we can get very young players who didn't play at the highest level yet in Portugal.
But they can develop here,
and normally players of that standard, we can not pay.
So for us it's very important to cooperate with them
and give the players the opportunity to develop
and to get games under their belt.
- Creativity and innovation is...
Adapting to the situation, and the future.
- We make entrance mats for every possible door you can imagine.
We started making entrance mats from airplane tires.
So we make strips of it, and then we punch holes
so that we can assemble them with alumnium profiles.
The airplane tire is built with high-quality nylon,
and this nylon can be extracted
by taking 1 millimeter of the rubber off the tire, so that the fluff comes out.
It can absorb the water perfectly.
We are proud to say that people are welcomed all over Europe over our mats.
- The 'Concertgebouw' in Bruges
is an international music and performing arts centre.
We are also the leader of a newly created network,
an international platform with the name 'Muzemuse',
in order to promote this region
as a very important region for classical and contemporary music.
With a mobile communication tool, we want to go to the audience,
the future audience we hope to create with this.
- Well, design is not art, for one thing.
Design should be industrial.
If it's not industrial, it's handcrafted. This is not design anymore.
- The Lace Centre is an organisation that tries to maintain the art of lace-making.
And therefor, we give courses all over Europe.
- I'm very fond of laces -
The first house next door I have also covered with lace.
- This is a handcraft from the 15th century.
But here in Bruges they found a method,
beginning of the 20th century here in the school,
with colour codes.
And that code became the international standard for lace over the whole world.
- You should see it... I mean, I'm very fond of those things.
I started making glasses, about 25 years ago.
And it was the start of a new business.
We're always on the edge, a sharp edge,
looking for new techniques, new possibilities to create.
New techniques can offer new possibilities,
but everything that is new can give some advantages
and at the same time some disadvantages.
And lots of the times these techniques are not implemented yet in optical business.
- What makes us unique, is the Belgian fries, they are very good,
and secondly the Belgian food is known as quality food.
And the two combined,
gave us the idea to make a Belgian fries shop with the best quality.
The culture around a Belgian fries shop,
as we know it from years ago under the church and next to the railway station,
we want to export that, but in the conditions of today.
Contemporary yes, you see the design is different from 30 years ago.
But also the quality. We want a quality of today
with the nostalgic idea of 20 years ago.
- We have, like, 2 soccer teams, and it's always been a little bit
that Cercle Brugge is the little brother of Club Brugge.
- Well, Club Bruges is actually the most popular football club in Belgium.
You have to have a clear view, a clear strategy and communication.
So that fans as well as business partners know very well who you are,
what you mean and what you're aiming for.
The highest ambition for a Belgian team
is to get in the Champions' League group phase. And that's what we
will try to achieve in the upcoming years.
Innovation is in fact that we have this double led boarding,
which is unique in Belgium, following the trend in Europe.
Innovation and research is of key importance to stay on top of the Belgian League,
and to have international ambitions.
Our new slogan is 'No sweat / No glory',
and it's a slogan that comes out of the heart of our fan base.
It means that you will never get something for granted.
You have to work for it. And only then you will get results.
- Vienna is a pop-punk band from Bruges. It's just my band, and I like it, so...
We abuse the social media...
Really, we are spammers.
You have to use it, social media.
Nowadays it's very important, you can get your band noticed.
- For growth, we needed to expand to the European market,
and this network formed very quickly.
So, for a long time now, we have over 70 percent export,
so that's why when we launched our new website, we needed a dot-eu.
- We use .eu because someday, EU will be a standard,
and we'll forget about Belgium, France, Germany, whatever.
- So we though, Europe is known as an ancient continent, for quality.
So let's use the .eu to underline that.
- We are a .eu institution because we truly believe in the European idea.
- We use .eu because we found .be was too small for all the people we have to reach.
- We have .eu to say that we are not only a Belgian team, but also a European team.
- Because we used to play in the Euro League last season.
I think it's important if you play Euro League, that they can get some info from your website.
- Every person who tries and who sees the future of Europe, in cooperation,
in mutual understanding and in keeping its diversity at the same time,
I guess that person can call himself European.