Ambassador Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor presented his Letters of Credence to Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council accrediting him as Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the European Union on 8th September 2021.
President Charles Michel welcomed Ambassador Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor’s appointment and said that Bhutan and the European Union shared common interests and the European Union’s relationship with Bhutan was unique. He commended Bhutan’s leadership role in addressing issues related to climate change, despite the many challenges Bhutan faced. He also commended Bhutan for its vaccination campaign and for the measures adopted in addressing Covid -19 pandemic.
Ambassador Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor conveyed the warm greetings of His Majesty the King to the President. He also conveyed the appreciation of the Royal Government and the people of Bhutan for the development assistance provided by the European Union for over 40 years. He expressed his commitment to further deepen the relationship between Bhutan and the European Union through engagements in shared common interests of the EU and Bhutan.
The European Union is among Bhutan’s largest development partners and assists Bhutan in its sustainable economic development and democratic transition process. Under the Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP 2021-2027), the European Union has committed € 31 million for the three year period (2021-2024) focusing on three priority areas – Climate Change; Green Growth and Self-reliant Bhutan; and Digital Transition: a driver for change in education and public services delivery. The EU will provide support amounting to € 15 million, in 2022, as the first action under the new MIP, in order to contribute to the sustainable Agro-Food Systems, notably by strengthening food resilience and supporting carbon-neutral development. Assistance for the remaining MIP period until 2027 will be announced after the midterm review in 2024.
Diplomatic relations between the EU and Bhutan were established on 9th August 1985. However, engagement started in 1982 when the EU first started financing development projects in Bhutan.