Manila, Philippines – The Philippines and the European Union (EU) are coming up with a more comprehensive bilateral agreement that will further strengthen the dialogue, cooperation, and action in their partnership, specifically the issue of migration. The more than 600,000 Filipino workers and migrants now in Europe stand to benefit from the new accord.
The Philippines and the 27 EU states – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom – recognize that global migration continues to grow, presenting both opportunities and challenges to states and regions.
The new agreement, called the Philippines-European Union Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), covers legal migration, undeclared migrant workers, maritime labor, and education and training. The agreement also provides for dialogue and cooperation on political matters, including the peace process; on trade and investment, such as customs facilitation and intellectual property rights; on justice and security; and on a number of economic and sectoral issues such as environment, energy, agriculture, tourism, health, and education.
Since 1980, relations between the Philippines and EU have been governed by the European Economic Community-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Cooperation Agreement. In 2004, the EU decided to upgrade its ties with the 10 ASEAN members – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam – through negotiations of partnership and cooperation agreements. Talks between the Philippines and the EU started in Manila in February 2, 2009, and were concluded at the seventh round of negotiations, held in Brussels on June 2-3, 2010.
The Philippines is the second ASEAN country – after Indonesia – to complete negotiations for a partnership and cooperation agreement with the European Union. Negotiations are underway with Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. CONGRATULATIONS!