The Seventh Biennial Consultations between Bhutan and the European Union was held in Brussels on 23rd November 2017. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Mr. Kesang Wangdi, Director General, Department of Bilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU delegation was led by Ms. Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and Pacific, European External Action Service.
The two sides reviewed the on-going development cooperation under the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme for the period 2014-2020. The Consultation noted with satisfaction progress in the implementation of the programme supported by the EU. The EU side confirmed that the EU commitment for the current cycle (2014-2020) has been revised to Euro 45.5 Million this represents an increase of 3.5 Million Euro’s from the original allocation.
The Consultation discussed Bhutan’s impending graduation from the Least Developed Countries category. The Bhutanese side briefed the consultation on the 12th Five Year Plan and highlighted its priority areas. The Bhutanese side underscored the importance of EU’s engagement with Bhutan’s development plan beyond 2020. The EU reassured the Bhutanese delegation that their assistance to Bhutan would continue beyond 2020.
Bhutan also receives additional assistance from other regional and thematic funding mechanisms of the EU in areas such as education, climate change and trade.
Referring to Bhutan-EU relations as a model partnership, the EU delegation commended Bhutan’s achievement in areas such as good governance, combating climate change and in reducing poverty.
The next consultation will be held in Bhutan.