Thimphu, 21 October The European Union Commissioner for Development, H.E. Mr. Andris Piebalgs, arrived in the country today on a six day official visit. He is accompanied by Ambassador Joao Cravinho, Ambassador of the EU to Bhutan in New Delhi and other officials from the European Union Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
The European Union in August last year announced tripling of their bilateral assistance to Bhutan.EU will provide Euro 42 million assistance to Bhutan for the period 2014-2020 which will focus to strengthen civil society, local governance, and develop sustainable rural livelihood. To welcome the EU decision, Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Dorji and the Commissioner Piebalgs will sign the EU Multi-annual Indicative Programmee (MIP) document in the evening of 22nd October.
While in the country, Commissioner Piebalgs will call on the Prime Minister, meet Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials. He will also inaugurate the first EU Film Festival today evening and visit places of cultural interests.
Bhutan and the European Union established diplomatic relations in August 1985. Given the importance of the European Union (EU) and the RGOB’s growing interaction with the member states of the EU, Bhutan opened its embassy in Brussels in May 2009.
Commissioner Piebalgs’ visit to Bhutan is a reaffirmation of the importance attached by the European Union to its relationship with Bhutan. The visit will further strengthen close ties of friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and the European Union.