The European Union and Bangladesh met for their second Diplomatic Consultations on 15 February 2017 in Brussels. The EU delegation was led by the Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, Gunnar Wiegand; the Bangladeshi delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque.
The consultations were held in a constructive and cordial atmosphere, covering a wide range of issues of common interest. The agenda included political developments on both sides: the EU Global Strategy, trade and investment - including Everything But Arms - and other issues of bilateral importance. Matters of regional and global interest where the EU and Bangladesh can intensify collaboration were also discussed, such as connectivity, migration, peace and security, terrorism, Agenda 2030.
The EU and Bangladesh agreed to launch an information and awareness raising campaign on the risks of irregular migration with a workshop on 28 February 2017 in Dhaka. In this context, it was also agreed to finalise work on the Standard Operating Procedures regarding the return of irregular migrants with no right to stay in the EU as soon as possible.
The EU and Bangladesh also agreed to intensify cooperation on HORIZON 2020 and jointly explore new areas for cooperation such as: science, technology, and innovation, space issues.
Finally, both parties recognised the importance of ongoing people-to-people contacts, including under the ERASMUS programme, and emphasised on the need to jointly explore new avenues for such contacts which could, inter alia, be of particular benefit to youth.
Both parties agreed to work on this common agenda with a view to reaching concrete progress and deliverables, which will be reviewed in the course of the next consultations, to be held in Dhaka in 2018.