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EU, Phl cherish 60th-year diplomatic ties with more partnerships

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Texts and photos by Marinel Peroy

Over the years, the European Union and the Philippines’ political and diplomatic relations have transitioned from primarily focused on developmental goals to adopting a more collaborative and mutually beneficial approach.

The Philippines, having established de facto relations with 15 of the early European Union members in 1948, established formal ties with the European Community (the precursor of the European Union) on May 12, 1964. As the EU Delegation to the Philippines was officially opened in 1991, both countries have been fostering their bilateral ties from supporting democracy to the rule of international law.

This robust bilateral relationship is hoped to flourish, with the promise of 2024 shining brightly as a year marked by shared values, collaborative endeavors, and mutual growth.

All around the globe with EU-Phl

The dazzling iconic globe at SM Mall of Asia lights up on Friday, January 12; and displays the logo of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the European Union and the Philippines and will continue to be visible until January 19, 2024.

The iconic globe at SM Mall of Asia lights on Friday, January 12, and displays the logo of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the European Union and the Philippines will continue to be visible until January 19, 2024.

H. E. Ambassador Luc Véron, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines, and Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Usec. Theresa Lazaro joined by SM Supermalls’ President Mr. Steven Tan to lead the lighting ceremony.

H. E. Ambassador Luc Véron, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines

The EU-Philippine 60 Years of Diplomatic Relations logo was made by Julie Ar Sibala, a graphic designer at the University of Immaculate Concepcion (Davao). Demonstrating a steadfast commitment to mutual understanding and collaborative problem-solving, it epitomizes the spirit of cooperation, solidarity, and harmonious synergy between two distinct regions.

“It’s a good representation of the continued progress of our relationship. Throughout 2024, The European Union and the Philippines will commemorate the sixty-year anniversary of diplomatic relations through various public and cultural diplomacy events,” said EU Ambassador Veron.

On the other hand, DFA Undersecretary Theresa Lazaro mentioned that the warm and friendly 60 years of diplomatic relations have been marked by productive cooperation — from peace and security, maritime cooperation, trade investment, sustainable development, and governance as well as the rules-based international order — especially that European Commission President H.E. Ursula von der Leyen visited the country last year.

DFA Undersecretary Theresa Lazaro

“This year, we hope to advance our green digital economy partnerships with the EU, as well as the possible resumption of the free trade agreement negotiations, among others, said Usec. Lazaro.

Furthermore, special events from a multi-media exhibition to an inter-collegiate quiz (EU Whiz), a choral competition, and many more will be held to celebrate this enduring 60th anniversary of the EU-Philippine bilateral relationship.

Other EU Member States’ Ambassadors from the Embassies that were also in attendance: H.E. Michel Parys of Belgium, Mr. Dalibor Mička, Deputy Head of Mission on behalf of H.E. Karel Hejč of Czech Republic, H. E. Juha Pyykkö of Finland; H. E. Marie Fontanel of France; H.E. Andreas Pfaffernoschke with Spouse Madam Marina of Germany; Mr. Georgios Kantartzis on behalf of H.E. Ioannis Pediotis of Greece; H. E. Titanilla Toth of Hungary; H. E. William Carlos of Ireland; H. E. Marielle Geraedts of Netherlands; H. E. Răduţa Dana Matache, Mrs. Amira Mihăilescu and Mr. Cătălin Mihăilescu of Romania; Borut Žunič of Slovenia; and Alvaro Moreno of Spain.

Beyond putting a spotlight on a myriad of milestones and key achievements in the six-decade partnership between the EU and the Philippines, the celebration serves as a testament to the enduring friendship and continuously strengthening ties between the European Union and the Philippines.

“2024 is a celebration of the values that the EU and the Philippines share – democracy, human rights, equality, the rule of law, and support for multilateralism and international law,” as highlighted by the European Union Ambassador.

Truly, the lighting ceremony serves as a compelling representation of the unbreakable bond between the Philippines and the European Union as both countries navigate exciting and fruitful mutual partnership not just in 2024 but beyond.

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