|Ambassador Hosts Lunch for HRVP Ashton|
AMBASSADOR HOSTS LUNCH FOR HR/VP ASHTON
19 April 2012 - Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan, Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union, hosted a luncheon in honor of H.E. Catherine Ashton, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission (HR/VP), at the Philippine Embassy in Brussels today.
Ambassadors and Chargé d'Affaires of the ASEAN Missions to the European Union were also in attendance.
The luncheon marks the first time that HR/VP Catherine Ashton attended a gathering of the ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC) since she was appointed High Representative in 2009.
Baroness Catherine Ashton is the first High Representative of the European Union appointed after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. She also serves as Vice President of the European Commission and chairs the Foreign Affairs Council.
The HR/VP was accompanied by Mr. David O'Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service (EEAS); Mr. Viorel Isticioaia Budura, Managing Director for Asia at the EEAS; Mr. James Morrison, the HR/VP's Chief of Staff, and Mr. Steven Everts, the HR/VP's chief adviser on Asia.
The primary topic of discussion during the luncheon was preparations for the forthcoming ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Brunei on 26 to 27 April 2012.
In her opening statement, Ambassador Bataclan noted that the recent flurry of cooperative activities provide much needed momentum to ASEAN-EU ties and could pave the way for elevating the relations to the strategic level.Ambassador Bataclan also took the opportunity to discuss bilateral issues with the HR/VP, such as the Philippines-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the proposed bilateral Free Trade negotiations. The Ambassador also briefed the HR/VP on recent developments in the West Philippine Sea and thanked the EU for the recent statement of support for a rules-based solution to the disputes made by Presidents Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso in their meeting with Vice President Jejomar Binay in Seoul.