This week, we learned that enhancing Brazil's national image through soccer has pitfalls and obstacles (thanks, Germany).

America is still sore after its World Cup dreams came to an end last week. Aside from the humiliation, it has another reason to be upset – it owed pancakes to the Belgians. In the diplomatic heartland of London, a bet was made this month between U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Belgian Ambassador Guy Trouveroy. “Since we are both soccer (football) fans and our two countries’ teams face each other tonight in the World Cup, I thought I would offer up a friendly wager,” Barzun wrote. 

June 29, 2014

Culture can play a crucial role in diplomacy, according to the director general of the Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) in Brussels. In an interview with New Europe, Paul Dujardin, who also serves as the centre’s artistic director, described culture as a “soft power”.

The president will land in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday morning where he will help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the solidarity movement. He then heads to Brussels for a G7 summit on Wednesday. He’ll dine privately with French President François Hollande in Paris on Thursday and commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy on Friday — all while Russian President Vladimir Putin is nearby.

The world loves pandas. The enigmatic, retiring and adorable creatures have become a global symbol of international friendship since China first began sending them as gifts to foreign countries in the 1950s. This adorable animal returned to the spotlight during Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to Europe.

President Obama and six other world leaders said Monday that they would not meet at the so-called Group of Eight summit in June in Sochi, Russia, and instead would convene at that time in Brussels, without Russia, to discuss the “broad agenda we have together.”

On February 23, two giant pandas arrived in Belgium on a 15-year loan, where they received a red-carpet welcome. Among those waiting on the tarmac were 2000 people, many of them excited kids, and also the Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

Discussions focused on local, regional and international cultural identities and the role of cultural exchange in shaping an inspiring dialogue rhetoric that uses cultural diplomacy as a means to achieve sustainable human development and real peace.