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PH, EU forge stronger ties; agree on trade, climate change, maritime security, green economy expansions

MANILA -- The Philippine government and the European Commission affirmed on Monday their commitment to stronger bilateral relations as they both agreed on the expansion of trade, and enhanced cooperation on climate change, maritime security and green economy. 

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said that he has just concluded a successful and productive bilateral meeting with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the Malacañan Palace.

This occasion served as the first ever visit of an EU Commission President to the Philippines.

“During our meeting, we discussed the economic relations with particular focus on revitalizing trade between our two regions,” President Marcos said in his speech during the official visit of Von der Leyen on Monday. 

The chief executive said that he also welcomed the conduct this year of the scoping exercises between the European Commission and the Philippines towards negotiations for a Philippines-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA). 

“On development cooperation, we committed to conclude an agreement on the Green Economy Program in the Philippines, a grant worth 60 million euros, which aims to support the Philippines in areas such as circular economy, renewable energy, and climate change mitigation,” he added.

President Marcos also acknowledged the EU’s staunch support for the Bangsamoro Peace Process as well as the development of the Philippines in terms of the rule of law and justice, agriculture, space cooperation, and disaster management.

The President also expressed his gratitude to the EU Commission “for their dedication to extend the recognition of STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) certificates issued by the Philippines” as he emphasized that it has a positive impact on the employment of over 50,000 Filipino seafarers working onboard EU-flagged vessels. 

“As I mentioned to Madame President von der Leyen, the Philippines and the EU are like-minded partners through our shared values of democracy, sustainable and inclusive prosperity, the rule of law, peace and stability, and human rights,” the chief executive said. 

“The continued exchanges between Her Excellency and myself, which started in Brussels last year, is a testament to our joint desire to bring our bilateral relationship to greater heights,” he added, recalling his meeting with Von der Leyen in Brussels in 2022. 

President Marcos expressed hope that the visit of the EU Commission President to the Philippines marks the beginning of stronger and deeper ties between the EU and the Philippines. (PND)

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Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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