Visit: On the invitation of the European Commission (EC), Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will be in Brussels, Belgium from June 2-5, according to a foreign affairs press release.

The visit by Lyonchhen to Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union, will be the first made by a prime minister of Bhutan.

The European Commission’s President, Jean-Claude Juncker has invited Lyonchoen to participate in the European Development Days (EDD). The EDD, instituted in 2006 by the European Union, brings together global stakeholders to debate on current thematic global issues.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay will participate in the high-level panel on “A climate change agreement: Towards Paris and beyond”.

Besides a meeting with the President Jean-Claude Juncker, Lyonchoen will also meet the European Council’s President, Donald Tusk, Chairperson of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia, Jean Lambert, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, to discuss Bhutan-European Union cooperation.

Lyonchoen will have a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Luxembour, Xavier Bettel. This will be the first high-level meeting between the two countries. Bhutan and Luxembourg established diplomatic relations in December 2011. The two prime ministers will discuss ways to further bilateral relations between the two countries.

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 71.19 million till the end of the 10th Five Year Plan.

ln 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, Lyonchoen will also meet with Bhutan’s Honorary Consuls, representatives from friendship associations and 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.

Foreign affairs officials will be accompanying the prime minister.

By Staff reporter