On September 2, the European Union and Thailand finalised the text of the EU-Thailand Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). Respective Chief Negotiators initialled the text, closing the negotiation process, at a ceremony held at the European External Action Service in Brussels.
The PCA will enhance the political dialogue on issues of global concern and will give more scope for mutually-beneficial cooperation in a wide number of policy areas, including environment, energy, climate change, transport, science and technology, trade, employment and social affairs, human rights, education, agriculture, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, the fight against corruption and organised crime, migration and culture. It will be a roadmap, which will positively frame EU – Thai relations in the years to come.
The initialling ends a process that started in November 2004, when the Council authorised the Commission to negotiate individual Framework Agreements on Partnership and Cooperation with Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. The signature of the PCA will take place at a date jointly agreed, after the completion of internal procedures necessary on both sides. It will enter into force once it has been ratified by the parties.
Thailand is the sixth ASEAN partner to finalise negotiations for a PCA with the EU following Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and, most recently, Malaysia.
The PCA with Thailand was first initialled in March 2013 but its signature was put hold in 2014 after the military take-over in the country. Following the Council Conclusions of 2019, the EU considered it appropriate to take steps towards broadening its engagement with Thailand by preparing for the timely signature of the PCA. The negotiations on the Agreement were resumed on 13 July 2021 and were concluded following the seventh round on 11 June 2022.
For the time being, EU – Thai cooperation is based on the 1980 EU – ASEAN Cooperation Agreement. The Agreement initialled today will give EU – Thai relations a new legal foundation, which is more comprehensive and up-to-date and will respond better to current challenges.
Source: European External Action Service