Fifty Years of Bangladesh’s Relations with Europe: Changes and Continuity

Md. Saiful Islam

Research Manager, the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


The journey of Bangladesh in the last fifty years has been transformative. In passage of the transformation, Bangladesh has got the partnership of Europe. The affiliation dates back to 1971 when some European countries came with multitudinous supports. Later, in the stride of the trip, most of the European countries stepped forward with innumerable political, diplomatic, humanitarian as well as financial assistance. Later, they became the juncture of the ‘diplomacy of recognition’ and ‘economic diplomacy’ for the infant Bangladesh as their early recognition and substantial help influenced other countries to recognize Bangladesh. Since then, the defining ties between the two have been bonded on the solid ground of cooperation, partnership and fraternity. Europe has been trusted development partner while Bangladesh has made significant socio-economic progress in the last fifty years. From the first decade of twenty first century, the relations have been advanced to new momentum by multidimensional flourishment through widening of engagement and deepening of partnership. However, in recent times, the relations are facing challenges of global crisis and war in the soil of Europe. Therefore, growing partnership and increasing cooperation is crucial to face the challenges and elevate the relations to new height. Hence, paper tries to evaluate the relations and map out future directions.

Keywords: Bangladesh, Cooperation, Development, European Union (EU), Trade, Geopolitics, post-Brexit, Ukraine War.


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