Diplomatic relations between Bhutan and the European Union (EU) were established on 9 August 1985. However, engagement between Bhutan and the EU started even earlier in 1982 when the first agreement on the Plant Protection Services Project was signed.
H.E. Mr. Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor , Ambassador of Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Belgium, is accredited to both the European Council and the European Commission. H.E. Mr. Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the EU to India, is concurrently accredited to Bhutan.
Under the EU Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2007-2013, EU support to Bhutan in the 10th Plan was in the RNR Sector, Good Governance and Trade Facilitation. The EU tripled its assistance to Bhutan in the MIP 2014-2020 cycle by supporting (i) Local Government and civil society and (ii) Sustainable agriculture and forestry. The EU also provided additional support for the “Establishment of Search and Rescue Training Centre” and “Water Flagship”.
Apart from bilateral development assistance, Bhutan also availed opportunities under several other EU’s thematic windows of funding such as Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), ERASMUS+ scholarships and regional programmes.
The EU also provided technical assistance in the following areas:
- Technical assistance facilitated by Migration In EU eXpertise (MIEUX) to enhance the capacity of the Department of Immigration, MoHCA in the field of border management and document security.
- INTER PARES – Parliament in Partnerships with the National Assembly and National Council from December 2019.