July 31, 2023
The president of the European Commission will be visiting the Philippines for the first time from July 31-Aug. 1 to mark six decades of European Union-Philippines bilateral relations.
In a statement dated July 27, the EU delegation to the Philippines said European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen will be “the first European Commission president to ever pay an official visit to the Republic of the Philippines in almost six decades of diplomatic relations.”
President Marcos invited her when they met during the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit held in Brussels in December 2022.
The two will be meeting again and will discuss “trade, investment and Global Gateway cooperation,” the EU delegation said.
The EU Global Gateway strategy “aims to address partner-countries’ infrastructure needs while addressing the most pressing global challenges… (including) inter alia fighting climate change, improving health systems and boosting competitiveness and security of global supply chains,” the delegation said.
“The visit aims to give a new impetus to the EU-Philippines bilateral relations and engage in discussions on matters of mutual interest, in particular in the areas of trade, the green and digital transition and security,” it added.
President von der Leyen will also speak at a high-level business event organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Makati Business Club.
The EU and the Philippines signed a 2012 partnership and cooperation agreement to strengthen their bilateral relationship and to ensure a rules-based order anchored on respect for democracy and human rights.