The European Union (EU) provides some 55% of the world's development assistance. This is delivered in two ways: assistance provided on a bilateral basis by individual EU Member States and assistance funded through the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU. This section details the cooperation activities funded by the European Commission that involved in Thailand from the beginning of 2003 onwards.
In the early days the European Commission was involved in funding mainly rural development and poverty alleviation type activities. Crop diversification efforts were a priority. Over the years, the nature of the cooperation changed in step with the dynamic process of development Thailand underwent. Today, the EU-Thailand relationship is one of equals with trade and economic matters to the fore. We also work closely together on the larger stage and recognize the leading role Thailand plays in regional fora such as ASEAN.
With so much emphasis placed on trade affairs it is perhaps easy to lose sight of the many other areas in which we cooperate. Large-scale bilateral cooperation activities that were once common are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The emphasis now is on a number of key areas. These include sharing of knowledge and technology, health, environment, economic cooperation and uprooted populations/social support.