European Union Delegation to Singapore

Singapore and the EU

26/05/2016 - 18:55
EU relations with Country

Singapore's relations with the European Union go back decades, and the EU views the city-state as central to its engagement in South-East Asia. This partnership, built on shared values and a commitment to a peaceful and prosperous world, is one that both sides have sought to strengthen in recent years.

Singapore's relations with the European Union go back decades, and the EU views the city-state as central to its engagement in South-East Asia. This partnership, built on shared values and a commitment to a peaceful and prosperous world, is one that both sides have sought to strengthen in recent years.

On 14 October 2013, Chief Negotiators initialled the text of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Singapore. This agreement broke new ground on cooperation in education, transport, energy, as well as science and technology. As with other industrialised countries, the EU's engagement with Singapore seeks to underline public diplomacy and the establishment of people-to-people links.

When High Representative Federica Mogherini visited Singapore in June 2015, she emphasized the EU's growing role as a diplomatic and strategic actor. "We are ready to take more responsibility to bring security and stability in our part of the world, together with our neighbours; and with our global partners - Asia included," she said. This commitment to security and stability extends to maritime disputes in Asia-Pacific, and represents another milestone in the bilateral relationship.

The EU views Singapore as a key partner in a dynamic and rapidly evolving region.

The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) and the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA), signed on 19 October 2018, are cornerstones of our economic ties. The agreements aim to eliminate nearly all customs duties and remove barriers to trade in goods, services and investment. The EUSFTA includes ambitious provisions in the fields of government procurement, intellectual property (including Geographical Indications), customs, rules of origin, renewable energies, green growth and sustainable development. The EUSIPA will further encourage EU companies to invest more in Singapore, and Singaporean companies to invest more in the EU. Key highlights and the full text of the agreements can be found on the website of the European Commission (

Upon entry into force, the EUSFTA and EUSIPA will further boost trade and investment relations. In fact, the EU is already Singapore's most important trading partner when taking goods and services together, and the EU is Singapore’s most significant source of Foreign Direct Investment.

In 2017, bilateral trade in goods and services passed the symbolic €100 billion mark, an increase by almost 30% compared to 2013. The EU is Singapore's leading investor, representing 25% of the city state's FDI stock, to the tune of €227 billion in 2017.

In the broader ASEAN region, bilateral trade in goods has expanded significantly from €137 billion in 2008 to €227 billion in 2017, while bilateral trade in services jumped to €88 billion in 2017. The EU was also ASEAN's largest investor, holding some €330 billion in FDI stocks in 2017.

The EU views Singapore as the focal point of its investment strategy in South-East Asia and its role will only grow as this vibrant region develops.

EU-Singapore Trade & Investment Agreements. Read more:


The EU Business Avenues in South-East Asia is a business support programme that is organised and funded by the EU. This aims to help European SMEs establish long-lasting collaborations in South-East Asia through matchmaking and business support services. In 2019, the missions to Singapore will cover different business areas, including environmental & water technologies, information & communication technologies, healthcare & medical technologies, organic food & beverage, and construction & building technologies.

For more information about the programme in South-East Asia, visit the EU Business Avenues in South-East Asia website.

For more information on how to register and apply to the programme, visit the EU Gateway Website.


The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) in Singapore will present its 30th edition in 2020.

The 29th edition ran from May 10-19, 2019 at National Gallery Singapore

Three years ago, EUFF was re-branded for #EU60 in line with broader EU Global & Cultural Relations Strategy

The European Union Film Festival, popularly known as EUFF ibrings Singapore and European communities together and opens up an important space for inter-cultural dialogue through cinema.

The European Union Film Festival (EUFF), the EU's flagship cultural event in Singapore, has grown much in 29 years, providing a platform for ongoing inter-cultural dialogues between Singaporean and European communities.

In 2017, in ts 27th edition #EU60 offered us an opportunity to re-look, re-position and re-brand the festival. This was done by moving it from a commercial cinema setting and presenting it in the iconic arts institution: National Gallery Singapore.

The intent was 3-fold:

  • To deepen Europe and EU's long-standing cultural engagement with Singapore
  • To use cinema as a platform to discuss broader EU issues ranging from migration to inclusivity
  • Using cultural diplomacy to reach out to new audiences in Singapore while also having a platform for EU's cultural and global strategy

Watch the videos:

EUFF 2019 Trailer:

EUFF 2018 Trailer:

EUFF 2017 Trailer:

EUFF 2017 Highlights:

Read the reports:

Visit the website:

Launched in May 2017 in collaboration with the LASALLE College of the Arts, the European Union Writers' Festival (EUWF) celebrated the diversity of European contemporary literature through a one-and-a half day festival. This literary festival brought together Singaporean writers and European wordsmiths, publishers and artists based in Singapore. The intent was to bring European literature closer to Singaporean readers, celebrate European writers based here and to deepen our long-established cultural ties in the city-state.

Read more here :




See also

Scientific cooperation between the EU and Singapore is conducted through the EU Centre. The EU Centre in Singapore is a project funded by the European Union, in partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Launched in June 2008, it promotes knowledge and understanding of the EU and its policies. Its outreach activities and publications help raise greater awareness about cooperation between Singapore and the EU and also the latter with Southeast Asia.

The EU Centre is very broad based and works closely with different partners, from various schools and faculties in the two partner universities, to independent research and policy think tanks, to foundations, embassies and business chambers. It has a variety of programmes reaching out to different audiences. It is part of the growing network of EU Centres and Institutes in the Asia-Pacific and very active in networking and collaboration with these other Centres and Institutes.

EURAXESS ASEAN is a network of researchers of all disciplines and at all career levels in ASEAN. It is part of the multidisciplinary EURAXESS network that unites thousands of researchers from 40 European countries as well as China, India, Japan, Latin America and Carribean States, and North America in one global community.

EURAXESS is dedicated to helping mobile researchers to work together across borders.

Through its portal EURAXESS provides free information on job opportunities, fellowships and funding programmes available to researchers who wish to conduct research in or to collaborate with Europe.



The European Union sees human rights as universal and indivisible. It actively promotes and defends them both within its borders and when engaging in relations with non-EU countries.

The European Union is founded on a strong engagement to promote and protect human rights, democracy and rule of law worldwide. Sustainable peace, development and prosperity cannot exist without respect for human rights. This commitment underpins all internal and external policies of the European Union.

Within EU borders, those principles are embedded in the EU founding treaties, reinforced by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights adopted in 2000, and strengthened still further when the Charter became legally binding with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

Death Penalty

The EU is opposed to the death penalty and consistently advocates its universal abolition. In line with the majority of international views, the EU considers that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights. The abolition of the death penalty worldwide is one of the main objectives of the EU's human rights policy. In countries that maintain the death penalty, the EU uses all of its available tools to work towards the progressive restriction of the scope under which capital punishment is used and towards respect for the strict conditions set forth in several international human rights instruments, under which the capital punishment may be used.

The EU was instrumental in lobbying for the 2007 UN resolution calling, for the first time, for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The EU also lobbied for a second resolution in 2008. In addition, the EU has established a European day against the death penalty – the first of which took place on 10th October 2008. The date coincides with the World Day Against the Death Penalty.


The EU plays a key role in the fight against torture. The EU defines torture in accordance with Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). The EU also labels any pain or suffering arising from lawful or other inherent sanctions as ill treatment which equals torture.

In this context, the EU urges States worldwide to ratify and implement the Optional Protocol to the UN convention against Torture – the most important development in this area in recent years.


The EU attaches great importance towards children and the rights of children. To this end, the European Commission is currently developing, together with UNICEF, a tool kit that will provide practical tools to integrate children's rights into a range of political, legal and budgetary programmatic actions. Already in the developing world, the EU has initiated a wide range of measures to promote children's rights and needs.

Financial Cooperation

The EU funds its human rights activities primarily through the European Instrument on Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). This instrument provides funding for civil society actors worldwide working to promote human rights. The EU through EIDHR is, among other things, the leading global donor supporting both the international campaign against the death penalty and rehabilitations centres for the victims of torture both in EU Member States and in countries outside of the EU.

The EU views Singapore as a key partner in responding to humanitarian disasters around South-East Asia. The Singapore Armed Forces have often taken the lead in responding to such crises, and the EU stands ready to dispatch aid to the region. The EU has taken an active stance on helping developing regions and views Singapore as a key node of these efforts.

The EU and its Member States have a set of far-reaching climate and energy targets and are putting in place concrete measures to achieve them. Over the past two decades, emissions have dropped by 16%, whereas the economy has grown by 40% over the same period.

The Government of Singapore has committed to a 36% reduction in emissions intensity, with emissions peaking in 2030. 

The EU Delegation in Singapore is determined to promote sustainable development and innovation. We believe that Singapore is a key market for this kind of innovation and we are seeking to foster this through our Business Avenues programme.

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