Ceremonial Hall, Malacañan Palace
July 31, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. raised a toast to the continued success of the European Union (EU) when he hosted a luncheon in honor of Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, at the Ceremonial Hall in Malacañan Palace.

“As the Philippine economy seeks to reclaim the momentum lost during the pandemic and embarks on a high economic growth path, your visit, Excellency, deeply heartens us to the support of the European Union and its Member States, especially since strengthening our bilateral ties in trade, development, digital connectivity and other sectors will undoubtedly positively impact our respective economies,” the President underscored, adding that this visit also signifies the Philippines and EU’s renewed commitment to work together towards achieving peace and prosperity, as guided by the shared values and principles in bringing a global community that upholds democracy, human rights and rule of law.

“I am deeply thankful for the EU’s support and I sincerely wish and hope that this warm kinship developing between us will set the tone of the relationship and enrich the enduring bonds of friendship between our governments and peoples in the years to come,” President Marcos Jr. added as he conveyed the nation’s gratitude to President von der Leyen for undertaking an Official Visit to the Philippines — the first by a President of the European Commission in nearly 60 years of diplomatic ties.

Earlier today, the two leaders held a bilateral meeting where they agreed on revitalizing the Philippines-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), amongst other areas of mutual interest. They also witnessed the signing of an agreement by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and Ambassador of the EU to the Philippines Luc Veron on the Joint Declaration on the Green Economy Program between the Philippines and EU, a financing agreement in the form of a grant worth 60 million euros that aim to support the Philippines in areas such as the circular economy, renewable energy and climate change mitigation.

“The European Union and the Philippines indeed will soon celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties and I’m looking forward with optimism to the next 60 years of our relations,” President von der Leyen said in response, as she likewise raised a toast to the promising future and enduring friendship between the European Union and the Philippines.

Prior to the luncheon, the two leaders, together with First Lady Louise Araneta Marcos, held a photo opportunity at the Reception Hall in Malacañan Palace.