BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union (EU) praised President Benigno Aquino III for the reforms his administration has put in place and promised to double its support for the administration’s agenda for job creation, sustainable energy, and judicial reforms.
In a statement issued by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy following his meeting with President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday at the European Council Headquarters, he promised to increase the EU’s development cooperation with the Philippines in the next six years.
“The European Union’s development cooperation with the Philippines will more than double in the next six years,” Rompuy said. “It is increasing from 130 million euros to 325 million euros with the focus on judicial and legal reform, sustainable energy and job creation.”
Citing President Aquino’s good governance, Rompuy believed that the Philippines could now “boast as the fastest growing economy in Asia”.
“It is an engine of growth in its region and will progressively raise millions of people from poverty. It was also a forerunner in democratic transition in South East Asia and in this context I pay tribute to President Aquino’s good governance agenda,” he said.
He noted that the fight against corruption is one of the key elements of the Philippines’ current success.
Rompuy likewise said he and President Aquino have underlined the importance of partnership and cooperation agreement, which will enhance relations in many areas such as migration and disaster risk management.
“I look forward to strengthening our trade and investment relations. The European Union is negotiating free trade agreements in the region and remains open to start further negotiations,” he said.
At the time, Rompuy noted the valuable contribution of Filipino migrants living and working in the region to both the Philippines and Europe.
He noted that Filipino migrants sent 2.3 billion euros back to the Philippines in 2013.
“The European Union is the second largest source of remittances to the Philippines and the largest employer of Filipino seafarers,” he said.