Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay will be visiting Brussels, Belgium from 2-5 June 2015 at the invitation of the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker to participate in the European Development Days (EDD).
The EDD, which was instituted in 2006 by the European Union, brings together global stakeholders to debate on the current thematic global issues. Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay will participate in the high-level panel on “A climate change agreement: Towards Paris and beyond.”
The visit by Lyonchhen to Brussels, the Headquarters of the European Union, is a historic first by a Prime Minister of Bhutan.
He will have meetings with Mr. Jean-Claude Junbker, President of the European Commission, Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Mrs Jean Lambert, Chairperson of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia and Members of the European Parliament, Mr. Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, and Mr. Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management to discuss Bhutan-European Union cooperation.
Lyonchhen will have a bilateral meeting with Mr. Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, in what will be the first high-level meeting between the two countries, which established diplomatic relations in December 2011. The two Prime Ministers will discuss ways and means to further bilateral relations between the two countries; Lyonchhen will also interact with other leaders who will, be participating in the EDD.
Bhutan and the European Union established diplomatic relations in August 1985. The EU has been an important development partner for Bhutan since 1982 and has extended a cumulative aid of Euro 71.19million till the end of the 1Oth Five Year Plan. In what is the single largest aid endowment for Bhutan from the European Union, a sum of EURO 42 million has been allocated for the period 2014-2020 under a multi-annual indicative programme.
While in Brussels, Lyonchhen will also meet with Bhutan's Honorary Consuls, representatives from friendship associations/societies of Bhutan and Bhutanese citizens living in Europe. He is also scheduled to meet with business interest groups and individuals from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay will be accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.