The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) has proposed the establishment and coordination of dialogue with and between the European Union and the ASEAN during the 3rd Philippine-European Union Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) held in Brussels, Belgium on 30 June 2023.

In his country statement, PhilSA Director for Space Information Infrastructure Bureau Dr. Ariel C. Blanco said, the purpose of holding the said dialogue would be to support the Philippines and the European Union in using space-based technology and applications for climate resiliency response and the attainment of sustainable development goals. In addition, PhilSA has also expressed its interest in coordinating a dialogue between the EU and the ASEAN in light of the recent signing of the Copernicus Administrative Agreement between the European Commission and PhilSA.

“Along with the conduct of the Philippines-EU Space Dialogue, PhilSA also envisions the Philippines as a coordinator of dialogue relations between the EU and ASEAN. Anchored on the Copernicus agreement which is a first of its kind in Southeast Asia, PhilSA believes that our country should position itself as the facilitator between the two regional blocs to foster cooperation in the area of space science and technology. We propose the establishment of the EU-ASEAN Space Dialogue,” Director Blanco explained.

The Copernicus agreement will facilitate reciprocal exchange of satellite data and will encourage its use and application in addressing societal challenges of common interest, ranging from the long-term management of natural resources, monitoring of marine and coastal areas, water resource management, mitigating the impacts on climate, disaster risk reduction, food security, rural development, and public health. As part of the CAA, PhilSA will set up a data hub to distribute Copernicus Sentinel data and information in the Philippines and across the region, as well as to support pilot projects using Copernicus. The arrangement will serve as a basis for the implementation of a Copernicus capacity-building program for the Philippines, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA).

In addition to facilitating dialogues, PhilSA has also expressed its continued commitment to international capacity building and knowledge exchange that will provide exposure and development opportunities for Filipino scientists, researchers, and students in the field of SSTA. PhilSA is looking into partnerships with the European Space Agency, and scholarships programs of the European Commission.

About the Philippine- European Union Joint Committee Meeting

The Philippine-European Union Joint Committee meeting is the first joint committee meeting under the new European Union (EU) – Philippines Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) held in Brussels on 30 June 2023.

The launch of the Joint Committee allowed the Philippines and the EU to work in a systematic way to explore the full potential for cooperation in different sectors with a view to raising the bilateral relationship to a higher level and strengthening ties based on mutual interest and respect.  It also moved the bilateral relations to a higher level and should significantly strengthen PH-EU mutual ties.

The Philippine Delegation for the JCM’s third iteration on 30 June 2023 in Brussels was headed by DFA Undersecretary Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro and was participated by various government agencies including the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, and the National Economic and Development Authority, among others.