Comprehensive and extensive development of Vietnam-EU relationship over three decades
Source: VNA

Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung (Source: VNA)

The two officials have expressed their satisfaction with the comprehensive and extensive development of the Vietnam-EU relationship over the past three decades.

As many as 90 representatives of Vietnamese ministries and agencies, the EEAS, the European Commission (EC), the Delegation of the European Union (EU) and the embassies of EU member states in Vietnam were among those in attendance, reported VNA.

The meeting took place amid the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam-EU diplomatic relations (1990- 2020) and after four months since the enforcement o the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Both sides reviewed their cooperation since the first Joint Committee in May 2019, highlighting the cooperation outcomes of the 4 sub-committees under the framework of the EU- Vietnam Joint Committee, while outlining orientations for future cooperation.

The pair expressed their wish to further deepen the strategic cooperation relationship between Vietnam and the EU through promoting delegation exchanges at all levels, maintaining existing cooperation and dialogue mechanisms, and boosting closer coordination in the effective implementation of the EVFTA. They also agreed to urge EU member countries' parliaments to early ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to help the two sides promote their economic recovery.

VNA also reported that the EU and Vietnam consented to further strengthen their partnership, both bilaterally and within multilateral fora, to uphold the international rules-based order and promote peace and prosperity through a sustainable recovery.

They highlighted their respective engagement in the areas of connectivity, the environment and climate action.

They also welcomed the launching of the EU-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Strategic Partnership during the Vietnamese ASEAN Chairmanship at the ministerial meeting on 1 December 2020.This will give both partners the opportunity to step up their engagement in support of effective multilateralism and the rule-based international order. It will also provide a platform for regular Summit-level talks.

The EU greatly appreciated the opportunity given by Viet Nam – Chair of ASEAN 2020 - to attend the Guests of the Chair Programme and the 10th Anniversary ceremony of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) held on 9 and 10 December 2020.

The Joint Committee discussed the state of play and next steps in the implementation of the different agreements underpinning EU-Viet Nam relations, notably the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the Framework Participation Agreement, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) - Voluntary Partnership Agreement. The Joint Committee also discussed the necessary measures in Vietnam to fight Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The EU encouraged Vietnam to further efforts to implement the European Commission’s recommendations on IUU fishing. The country hoped the yellow card warning would be lifted soon. The EU reiterated its availability to continue cooperating with Vietnam in this matter in the framework of the bilateral IUU formal dialogue.

The Joint Committee also exchanged views on the focal sectors of the development cooperation programme 2014-2020, notably sustainable energy, governance, and the rule of law. They reviewed proposals for cooperation in the field of human rights.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung welcomed the role of the EU in efforts to improve global governance efficiency and carry out the Asia-Europe connection plan, and strengthen the role of the Asia-Pacific region, including practical and effective support for Vietnam in natural disaster prevention and control, early flood warning and climate change response.

The EEAS Managing Director announced the EU's priorities for cooperation in such areas as climate change adaptation and digital transformation and highly appreciated Vietnam's terms serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 and the ASEAN Chair 2020. He thanked the Southeast Asian nation for its important contributions to fostering the ASEAN - EU relations, and upgrading the ASEAN - EU ties to a strategic partnership.

The EU highly valued the achievements Vietnam has recorded in socio-economic development and in COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control thanks to the spirit of solidarity, and right direction at all levels.

The EU affirmed its support for maintaining maritime and aviation security and safety, and upholding the law in the South China Sea known as the East Sea in Vietnam, and appreciated Vietnam's position in the region. They also emphasized the increasingly important role of ASEAN in maintaining peace, stability, security and defence in the region.

Vietnam thanked the EU and its member nations for showing their clearer and stronger views on many regional and international issues, including those related to the South China Sea. The EU and Vietnam concurred to step up cooperation in global affairs, actively support multilateralism and contribute to strengthening peace and development in the region and the world as a whole.

The meeting approved a joint press release and agreed that the next Joint Committee meeting is set to transpire in Hanoi next year./.


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