Marcos meets with 10 Euro leaders in ASEAN-EU Summit

Published December 9, 2022, 4:19 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will be conducting bilateral talks with at least 10 state leaders from the European Union to bolster the Philippine ties with the Western world, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

The countries whose leaders the President will talk with are: Belgium, Estonia, Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and the European Union.

Marcos will conduct these extensive meetings at the sidelines of his three-day participation at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-European Union (EU) Summit in Belgium starting December 12, DFA Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Daniel Espiritu said.

“So, this will be a very busy trip for the President,” he said in a press conference.

With Belgium, Marcos is expected to discuss the country’s plans to expand cooperation in agriculture and renewable energy, Espiritu said.

According to Espiritu, the President’s meeting with Estonia, Czech Republic, and Denmark are also important since the Philippines have partnerships with them in the areas of cybersecurity, defense and maritime, respectively.

Marcos will meet with his Spanish counterpart as well as since Spain will be the next president of the EU council. Spain just also acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), which the Philippines is part of.

Since the Philippines is the current coordinator between the ASEAN and the EU, Marcos will sit down with the EU leader to talk about “preparations and the way forward” in the relations between the two regional blocs, Espiritu said.

This might include the pending free trade agreement particularly between the Philippines and the EU, he added.

Espiritu said he hopes Marcos’ first participation at the summit between the two regional blocs “will redound to a lot of benefits for the Filipino people, not only for ASEAN.”