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IP/10/841

Brussels, 25 June 2010

EU and Philippines initial Partnership and Cooperation Agreement

The European Union and the Philippines initialed today in Brussels the text of a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), following the successful completion of the negotiations on 3 June. The formal signature of the agreement will follow later this year, once the necessary procedures have been completed on both sides.

The text was initialed by the two chief negotiators, European Commission's Asia Director Mr James Moran and the Philippine Ambassador to the European Union, HE Mr Enrique Manalo. EU Member States representatives in Brussels witnessed the ceremony.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Commission Vice-President Catherine Ashton welcomed the initialing of the Agreement: “This agreement is the first-ever bilateral comprehensive agreement between the two sides. The agreement will give us a framework which is fit-for-purpose for the 21st century. It will strengthen considerably the dialogue, cooperation and action across the whole spectrum of our relations, specifically in the political domain, on trade and investment, justice and security, migration as well as on economic and development issues".

The Philippines is the second ASEAN country to complete negotiations for a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU following the signature of the PCA with Indonesia in November 2009. Negotiations are underway with Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.

Background

Since 1980 the relationship between the Philippines and the EU had been governed by the EEC-ASEAN Cooperation Agreement. In 2004, the EU decided to upgrade its relationship with ASEAN countries through the conclusion of Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs). Formal negotiations between the EU and the Philippines commenced in Manila in February 2009. They were concluded at the seventh round of negotiations, held in Brussels on 2-3 June.

The agreement provides the legal basis for both parties to cooperate in a wide range of areas. Its scope encompasses dialogue and cooperation:

  • on political matters, including on peace process and conflict prevention, on human rights, and on regional and global security issues, such as non-proliferation

  • on trade and investment, including investment, SPS, TBT, customs and trade facilitation, as well as IPR

  • on justice and security, including the fight against drugs, money-laundering, organised crime and corruption

  • on migration, including protection, admission, readmission, migration and development, and the fight against trafficking and on maritime labour, education and training

  • and on a wide range of economic, development and sectoral issues, including employment and social affairs, development cooperation, disaster risk management, energy, environment, agriculture, regional development, transport, science, ICT, tourism, health, education

The PCA is not a free-trade agreement. While it enhances cooperation in various trade matters, it does not include specific trade concessions by either party. However, should the EU and Philippines decide to negotiate an FTA, the PCA would facilitate its conclusion.


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