Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines

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The devastating explosions that hit Beirut last week killed and injured numerous people and have destroyed major parts of the city and the livelihood of many of its inhabitants. The international community, and in the first place the European Union and its Member States, has reacted quickly to mitigate the immense damage and suffering caused. However, as it is often the case when such disasters happen, the most important and difficult steps lie ahead: what thousands of Lebanese citizens are asking for is to tackle deeper-rooted problems. As a long-time friend of Lebanon, the EU will stand by their sides in their efforts to build a more prosperous and democratic Lebanon.  We owe it to the victims of August 4th.

As we mark the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the EU extends its solidarity to all indigenous peoples around the world at a time when their health, lives and livelihoods are endangered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every day we see deepening tensions between the US and China with clashes over a variety of issues. Positions are hardening with advocates of decoupling in the ascendancy in both Washington and Beijing. This US-China strategic rivalry will probably be the dominant organising principle for global politics, regardless who wins the next presidential US elections. In that context, we need to hold our nerve and frame our own EU approach. I would like to reflect here about a few principles that should guide us

The Internet plays a vital role in our lives, which is why we need to protect ourselves against cyber-attacks. Today, the EU imposed its first-ever cyber sanctions, to defend its citizens and companies from cyber threats.

We are celebrating the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, raising awareness for an issue many times invisible, but still present in our societies. The EU has been working on the prevention and fight against human trafficking through its actions on the ground and through the collaboration at local and international levels.

After tough negotiations, EU leaders agreed an ambitiously funded recovery package. With this deal, the EU demonstrates its internal resilience and solidarity. This is vital for European citizens but it also provides the basis for Europe to engage the wider world. Our internal unity determines our external strength.

To support partner countries in the fight against the coronavirus and its consequences, the European Union has mobilised a “Team Europe” package of over €800 million for the ASEAN region.

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