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Congratulatory and Valedictory Letters from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the European Commission and European Council, 2 December 2019

02 December 2019

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written valedictory letters to outgoing President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who officially stepped down on 30 November 2019.

 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has also written congratulatory letters to incoming President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, both of whom officially assumed office on 1 December 2019.

 

The text of the letters are appended.

 

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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SINGAPORE

2 DECEMBER 2019


 

Valedictory letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to outgoing President of the European Council Donald Tusk

 

30 November 2019

 

Dear President Tusk,

 

As you step down as President of the European Council, I write to thank you for your contributions to strengthening the EU-Singapore partnership over the past five years.  

 

Under your guidance, EU-Singapore relations have grown steadily with the implementation of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the signing of the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement and EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.  I am deeply appreciative of your strong support for these agreements and am confident that they will set the foundation for us to strengthen our multifaceted relationship.   

 

I also appreciate your support for ASEAN-EU relations, including your presence at the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit in 2017 to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN-EU Dialogue relations. ASEAN and the EU are natural partners. We share similar views on many issues, including our commitment to a rules-based multilateral system and our recognition of the importance of tackling climate change. Our relations are on a strong footing, and I am confident that they will continue to grow in the coming years.

 

You can step down with satisfaction in the knowledge that the EU has become a stronger and more effective organisation under your leadership. You kept the EU and its Member States united and resilient when dealing with the growing complexity of internal, regional and global challenges. This was no mean feat, but you rose to the occasion, and can be proud of what you have accomplished. 

 

My best wishes for your continued good health and success.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

LEE HSIEN LOONG

 

His Excellency Donald Tusk

President

European Council


 

Valedictory letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to outgoing President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker

 

30 November 2019

 

Dear President Juncker,

 

As you complete your term as President of the European Commission, I write to commend you on your leadership, and to thank you for strengthening EU-Singapore relations.

 

You successfully led the EU through multiple internal and external challenges, while respecting and maintaining its core values. We need to muster all the support we can to strengthen the global consensus on the virtues of multilateralism and free trade. In this regard, the EU has provided critical leadership in defending the rules-based international order, and in tackling urgent global issues such as climate change.

 

EU-Singapore relations have also grown from strength to strength under your leadership, culminating in the signing of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA) and EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EUSPCA) in October 2018, and the entry into force of the EUSFTA on 21 November 2019. These will bring tangible benefits to our peoples and businesses, and bind us even closer together.

 

We also appreciate your support for strengthening the EU’s relationship with ASEAN. As two thriving and vibrant regional organisations, we have been able to build a substantive partnership to deal with transnational challenges. You have been instrumental in laying a solid foundation for future leaders to build on.

 

Best wishes for your good health and continued success.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

LEE HSIEN LOONG

 

His Excellency Jean-Claude Juncker

President

European Commission


 

Congratulatory letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to President of the European Council Charles Michel

 

1 December 2019

 

Dear President Michel,

 

I wish to congratulate you on your election as President of the European Council. Your appointment reflects the strong confidence your fellow EU colleagues have in your ability to take the EU forward.

 

EU-Singapore relations are excellent, multi-faceted and underpinned by common interests. The recently concluded EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement and EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement provide a solid foundation for us to seize opportunities and tackle common challenges together. I was pleased to be able to discuss with you, when we met in New York during the UN General Assembly in September, how to strengthen our relationship further. In this regard, I am happy to inform you that Singapore Airlines is seriously reviewing the commercial feasibility of direct flights between Singapore and Brussels.

 

As country coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, Singapore will continue to work closely with the EU to expand and deepen the cooperation between our regions. As large and diverse regional organisations, we share a common interest, and unique ability, to foster dialogue and cooperation on transnational challenges such as climate change.

 

I am confident that we will be able to grow the partnership between Singapore and the EU in the coming years, and look forward to working with you to realise this.

 

I wish you every success in your new appointment.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

LEE HSIEN LOONG

 

His Excellency Charles Michel

President

European Council

 


 

Congratulatory letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen

 

1 December 2019

 

Dear President von der Leyen,

 

I warmly congratulate you on your appointment as President of the European Commission. 

 

Singapore and the EU enjoy excellent relations, with close cooperation in many fields. Our ties are anchored by our common interests and perspectives. Singapore is one of the EU’s largest trade and investment destinations in Asia, and the largest in ASEAN. The conclusionof the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA) and EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EUSPCA) will further deepen our economic ties. I am particularly happy at the expeditious entry into force of the EUSFTA, just last week. It will give impetus to stronger ties, and enable us to work together to seize new opportunities in the fast-changing global economy.

 

As country-coordinator for ASEAN-EU relations, Singapore looks forward to working closely with your Commission to explore ways to deepen our relationship. The ambitious provisions of the EUSFTA serve as a pathfinder for other similar agreements, including a potential ASEAN-EU FTA. 

 

I look forward to meeting you soon to discuss ways we can further strengthen our bilateral and regional relations.

 

I wish you every success in your new appointment.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

LEE HSIEN LOONG

 

Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen

President

European Commission

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