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EU, Phl mark 60 years of Diplomatic Relations through an exhibition

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The European Union and the Philippines are commemorating their sixty years of diplomatic relationship through a multi-media exhibition titled “Shared Journey: 60 Years of EU-Philippines Diplomatic Relations” at the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Makati City. The exhibition is ongoing until 14 June 2024.

The exhibition documents the sixty years of EU–Philippines relations since the presentation of credentials by the first Philippine Ambassador to the European Commission H.E. Vicente I. Singian, in 1964. The EU Delegation to the Philippines was officially opened on May 15, 1991.

The exhibition uses images sounds, and objects to chronicle the friendship and cooperation between the EU and the Philippines over the last six decades.

The exhibition is one of a series of events organised by the EU Delegation to the Philippines to celebrate six decades of partnership and friendship with the Philippines. Recently it also conducted a choral festival “Sounds of Celebration: Sixty Years of EU-PH Relations” in partnership with the University of Santo Tomas, Manila.

Shared Journey: 60 Years of EU-PH Diplomatic Relations

H. E. Luc Véron, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines together with Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega opened the exhibition with Yuchengco Museum Executive Director and Curator Jeannie Javelosa.

Ambassador Véron underscored the longstanding partnership of the European Union with the Philippines and their shared commitment to a rules-based international order.

The EU Ambassador also mentioned the collaboration on circular economy, sustainable energy and enhanced connectivity to build a greener and more interconnected future.

Over the years, political and diplomatic relations between the EU and the Philippines have transitioned from being primarily focused on developmental goals to a wide range of areas, including political relations, trade and economic cooperation, security, transport, education and culture, health, etc.

In 2018, the EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation entered into force. This agreement signaled the initiation of collaboration across various areas of mutual interest, encompassing politics, society, economics, counterterrorism, transnational crime prevention, human rights, justice, peace efforts, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, trade, migration, maritime labour, employment, disaster risk management, and health.

From 1991 to 1994, the Philippines served as country coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue relations. The Philippines is once again the country coordinator from August 2021 until August 2024.

Europe Day Reception 2024

Meanwhile, Europe Day reception was held on May 9, 2024 with Ambassador Véron and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Antonio Morales and the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Most Reverend Charles Brown, leading the toast. Europe Day marks the founding of the European Union and is celebrated by EU Delegations across the globe.

The award-winning choir in the choral festival “Sounds of Celebration: Sixty Years of EU-PH Relations”, “Los Cantantes de Manila”, conducted by Darwin Vargas, rendered the anthem of the Philippines and the EU Hymn. The choir was the Grand Prix Winner 2015 Busan Choral Festival and Competition and First Prize 2017 and 2023 editions of Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition in Germany. In July of this year, the choir is set to represent the Philippines in competitions in Italy, Spain and Hungary. Atty Karen Jimeno was the master of ceremonies.

Iconic buildings and monuments such as the Rizal Monument and Dancing Fountain in Rizal Park, the National Museum of the Philippines, the De La Salle University and Heroes Square hosting the Honorary Consulate of Georgia, in Manila, the Mabalacat City College, and the University of the Philippines in Miagao, were illuminated in the EU flag blue and yellow colors to mark this occasion.

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