By Roy Mabasa
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Union and the Philippines finally entered into force Thursday.
The Agreement, signed in 2012 and ratified by the Senate last January 22, will provide a new and enhanced legal framework, enabling the European Union and the Philippines to strengthen their bilateral relationship, in particular on political, social and economic matters, including human rights.
“I am happy to see the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement coming into force,” said European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen in a statement. “The EU-Philippine relations are now firmly anchored on an ambitious and shared agreement.”
According to Ambassador Jessen, the PCA “reflects the longstanding partnership the European Union has with the people of the Philippines and the European Union’s commitment to investing in a strong and beneficial relationship that benefits both EU and Filipino citizens.”
He said through ratification of the said agreement, the EU and the Philippines reaffirmed their joint commitment to the principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, the promotion of social and economic development, as well as to peace and security in the region.
“The PCA will help to shape the wider relationship between the EU and the Philippines moving forward, contributing to enhanced political and economic ties through enhancing cooperation across a wide range of areas of mutual interest, including justice and security reform, migration, trade and development cooperation, regional challenges, the environment and political dialogues,” Jessen added.