delegation of the Liberal Party of the
Philippines is currently in Brussels, Belgium to discuss "Free Trade,
Open Markets and Liberal Democracy - Relations of the EU and the Philippines
in the context of ASEAN," a relevant issue as talks about the Philippines'
preparedness for the ASEAN economic bloc persist.
Teddy Baguilat, Joselito Mendoza, Jesus Sacdalan, Cesar Sarmiento, Niel Tupas
Jr., Isidro Ungab and Mayor Donato Marcos flew to Brussels on October 7 for
a four-day meeting with Members of Parliament from the Alliance
of Liberals and Democrats of Europe (ALDE) and Liberal
International (LI). European Liberal Party
(ELDR) President Sir Graham Watson welcomed the group and discussed with them the
future of liberalism in Europe while LI President Hans van Baalen greeted them
at the European Parliament and introduced them to the work of ALDE.
delegation extensively discussed EU-PHL trade relations and the future of the
Association of South East Asian Nations
(ASEAN) where the Philippines is a member country, with EU Commissioner for
Trade Karel De Gucht. Issues on civil liberties, internet freedom, the economic
crisis and climate change were also debated with MEPs Chris Davies, Wolf Klinz
and Marietje Schaake, and best practices in networking and promoting active
citizenship were shared, amongst others with Hans Stein and Wulf Pabst of FNF
Europe, Wim Vandenbroucke and Jeroen Reijnen of ALDE, Didrik de Schaetzen of
ELDR and Susanne Hartig of the European
Liberal Forum (ELF). Philippine ambassador Vicky Bataclan organised a meeting
with the Philippine community in Belgium.
The visit was organized by the Friedrich Naumann for Freedom (FNF). "The
delegates not only had in depth discussions on EU-Philippine relations and on
liberalism, they also did a sterling job in putting the Philippines firmly on
the map with European decision makers. That is good for The Philippines, and
also for the EU," said FNF Philippines Country Director Jules Maaten who
accompanied the delegation to Brussels.