On the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, Tshogpon Jigme Zangpo, Hon’ble Speaker of the National Assembly, led a parliamentary delegation comprising of members from both the National Assembly and the National Council on an official visit to the European Parliament in Brussels from 17 to 19 October 2017.
During the visit, Tshogpon Jigme Zangpo met Mr. Tajani, President of the European Parliament and discussed wide range of issues concerning cooperation between the two Parliaments. The Parliamentary delegation also met the Vice President of the European Parliament, Mr. Ramon Luis Valcarcel Siso, who hosted a lunch for the delegation.
The Bhutanese delegation and the members of the European Parliamentary Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia led by Chairperson Madam Jean Lambert held the 7th inter-parliamentary meeting.
The delegation met with Ms. Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director (Asia and the Pacific), European External Action Service of the European Commission.
The leaders of the European Parliament commended Bhutan’s remarkable progress both economically and politically and assured the Bhutanese delegation of EU’s continued support beyond the present cycle which ends in 2020.
The delegation was also received by Mr. Siegfried Bracke, the President of the Belgian House of Representatives of the Belgian Federal Parliament.
The European Parliament and the Parliament of Bhutan have maintained regular dialogue through inter-parliamentary meetings. The European Parliamentary Delegation for relations with South Asia has paid regular visits to Bhutan. The most recent visit was in May 2017 for the 6th inter-parliamentary meeting. This is the first instance of a Parliamentary Delegation from Bhutan visiting the European Parliament.
Bhutan and the European Union established formal diplomatic relations on 9 August 1985. The European Union has been an important development partner for Bhutan since 1982. EU assistance is focussed on renewable natural resources and good governance.