The EU Delegation to the Philippines is one of 140 diplomatic missions that represent the EU across the globe. It aims to strengthen EU-Philippine relations in particular through:
- Promoting strong economic and trade ties
- Developing EU-Philippines dialogue through the recently-signed Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
- Supporting the Government in its peace efforts in Mindanao
- Working with the Philippines' Administration to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals.
The Delegation was officially opened on 15 May 1991 following the influx of official development assistance to the country after democracy was restored under the Aquino administration in 1986. Since then, the Delegation has essentially been the information nerve centre in the Philippines, keeping EU headquarters in Brussels aware of local developments and serving as the natural point of contact between EU and Philippine officials. The Delegation has five sections: Political, Press and Information; Trade; Cooperation; Contracts and Finance; and Administration.
The EU Delegation does not deal with tasks of a consular nature (like issuing visas or providing tourist information), which are dealt with by the EU countries' Embassies in the Philippines and instead functions as an official channel of bilateral relations, be it political, development, economic or cultural.
The Manila Delegation is a fully-fledged diplomatic mission and officially represents the EU in the Philippines. It plays an essential part in its political, economic and commercial relations with the country and provides information on the policies and institutions of the EU.
The Delegation plays a crucial role in supervising the implementation of EU co-operation programmes in the Philippines, a role that is steadily increasing following the deconcentration of co-operation activities from Headquarters to Delegations foreseen in the reform of the management of the EU's external assistance.
The Delegation works closely with the diplomatic missions of the EU countries, serving as a venue for meetings and press conferences that involve the EU as a whole, acting as the contact point for joint cultural initiatives, and offering EU countries resources for specific information such as EU market access to the Philippines. The Head of the Delegation is formally accredited as the official representative of the EU to the Government of the Philippines and is referred to as His Excellency, Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines.