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Jessen optimistic on PH-EU relations

European Union (EU) Ambassador Franz Jessen is leaving Manila with optimism that the EU and Philippine relations will further flourish.

“All relationships need to be maintained, this applies to personal, as well as to international relations. We have succeeded in this,” he said in his farewell message.

Jessen, who served as the EU’s ambassador to the Philippines for four years, ended his tour of duty on Friday.

“Relations also need to develop, and I am by nature quite ambitious and would have liked to see even greater growth in our bilateral cooperation,” he said.

On the progress in EU-Philippines engagement, Jessen highlighted the high-level visits of EU Council President Donald Tusk and EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini in Manila, as well as the ratification of the EU-Philippine Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

“The Philippines and the EU remain free-market economies, remain to be democracies, remain value-driven societies with the vibrant press and very active civil societies,” he said.

Meanwhile, the diplomat remains optimistic that the Philippines “will do very well.”

“My optimism is based on your intrinsic strength. We see that in here, we see it in Europe, where the overseas Filipino workers do an incredible job, and we see how easily they adjust and enjoy the European way of life while working and living in Europe,” Jessen said.

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