Ever since 2004, it has been a tradition for the heads of state of the German-speaking countries to meet up informally once a year to talk politics. Every year the event is hosted in a different country. While German-speaking countries in this context usually means those states in which the majority of the population speaks German as a native language (Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), this year things are a little different and German President Joachim Gauck also invited those two countries where German is an official language, Belgium and Luxembourg, for the events taking place in Germany.
As such Grand Duke Henri and Hereditary Prince Alois, who in his capacity as regent is Liechtenstein's acting head of state, will join the German President, Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter as well as King Philippe of the Belgians for several events taking place in Rostock, Bad Doberan and Warnemünde on September 18. The heads of states are traditionally also accompanied by their significant others - see last year as well as the agenda of the Belgian royal website - and so we can also expect to see Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa and Hereditary Princess Sophie in Germany on Thursday next week.
Remembering the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall will take centre stage during the informal meeting (and is possibly also the reason why the invitations have been extended to Luxembourg and Belgium). The get-together will start in Bad Doberan, where the heads of state will also discuss the demographical changes faced by their countries while there usually is a seperate programme for the ladies, and continue in Warnemünde and Rostock where all of them will visit a former prison of the Ministry of State Security of the German Democratic Republic as well as the St. Mary's Church, where President Gauck used to work as Lutheran pastor and organised meetings of members of the opposition prior to the end of the GDR.