EU invites PBBM to visit Brussels

European Council President Charles Michel has invited Philippines President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to visit Brussels to discuss wide range of issues.

President Michel, who was not able to personally attend the inauguration, said in his letter to President Marcos Jr., “I would, however, like to extend an invitation to you to come to Brussels at a mutually convenient time. We have much to discuss, from our bilateral relations, EU-ASEAN ties, and wider foreign policy issues, to our support for the rules-based international order.”

EU Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Luc Véron, to President Marcos Jr., who represented the represented European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen relayed the invitation during the recent presidential inauguration.

The EU has also expressed the hope that President Marcos Jr would participate in the upcoming EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in Brussels in December this year.

The Philippines and the European Union have common interests and values, which are a strong basis for a partnership, based on respect and mutual benefit and in pursuit of the effective implementation of the EU-PH Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, said EU Ambassador Véron.

In a statement, EU said that the relationship between the EU and the Philippines is a longstanding one, which has broadened and deepened remarkably in recent years.

It cited that on March 1, 2018, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the EU and the Philippines entered into force. The Agreement provides an enhanced legal framework, enabling the European Union and the Philippines to strengthen their bilateral relationship, in particular on political, social and economic matters.

This year marks the 45 years of partnership between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The EU's relationship with ASEAN was elevated to a Strategic Partnership in December 2020. In 2021, the EU recognized the centrality of ASEAN in the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

“The EU is stepping up its strategic engagement with the Indo-Pacific region,” the statement added noting the region's growing economic, demographic, and political weight makes it a key player in shaping the rules-based international order and in addressing global challenges.

Last year, the EU launched its Indo-Pacific Strategy, which recommits the EU politically to the region with the goal of contributing to its stability, security, prosperity, and sustainable development, based on shared values and principles, including a commitment to respecting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.