Vietnam, EP aspire to augment all-around cooperation
The European Parliament (EP) and Vietnam share interests in a wide range of fields and the EP looks forward to working with Vietnam to ramp up cooperation across multiple fields such as trade and investment, COVID-19 prevention and control, climate change response.
President of the European Parliament David Sassoli made the statement during a meeting on September 8 with National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and a high-ranking Vietnamese NA delegation.
President David Sassoli highly appreciated Vietnam's role in the region, especially its cooperation in dealing challenges to water resources, the ongoing saline intrusion and drought on the Mekong River that have seriously affected production activities and lives of the regional people.
In response, NA Chairman Hue affirmed that the EU is the most important partner in Vietnam's foreign policy and international integration.
The two sides have maintained high-level meetings, regular cooperation and dialogue mechanisms, effectively carried out a broad array of important cooperation agreements, thereby taking the Vietnam-EU comprehensive partnership to new heights, including cooperation between the National Assembly of Vietnam and the EP, Hue emphasized.
At the talks, both sides compared notes on a host of issues in order to deepen the relationship between the two parliaments, helping promote the strong development of Vietnam - EU relations for their mutual benefits.
To boost economic and trade ties comprehensively, the top Vietnamese top legislator expressed a wish that the EP would have a voice so that parliaments of countries that have yet to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) soon adopt this important agreement to ramp up investment cooperation as a means of meeting the need and interests of businesses, and continuing to facilitate the most effective implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
Regarding cooperation against COVID-19, the Vietnamese NA leader thanked the EP, representatives of relevant EU agencies and groups of parliamentarians at the EP for their support given to Vietnam in the fight against the pandemic.
He suggested the EP support the supply of COVID-19 vaccines from Europe, share unused vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, provide essential medical equipment and COVID-19 treatment drugs, and cooperate in vaccine production.
Hue asked the EP to support the removal of the regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) yellow card for Vietnamese fisheries, helping to ensure the livelihoods of Vietnamese fishermen. The nation Vietnam has exerted greater efforts to take many synchronous measures to deal with the issue and has obtained very positive results in this regard.
With regard to bilateral cooperation through the parliamentary channel, Hue underlined the need for the two sides to increase meetings at all levels and cordially invite the EP President to visit Vietnam to discuss issues of shared concern, and consider setting up cooperation frameworks between the National Assembly of Vietnam and the EP that are substantive, effective, and commensurate with the current relationship of strategic significance.
The EP President acknowledged Vietnam’s proposals and affirmed that the EVFTA is an exemplary model of cooperation. The EP has approved the he EVIPA, and is pushing for ratification by the parliaments of the remaining member states.
He also affirmed the EP's readiness to share Vietnam's current difficulties and make efforts to mobilize the supply of vaccines and medical equipment for Vietnam's COVID-19 prevention and control as soon as possible.
The two leaders agreed that the relationship between the Vietnamese legislature and the EP has progressed, with positive developments in both bilateral and multilateral channels.
Amid the pandemic, the two sides still maintain meetings via online formats in order to discuss EVFTA enforcement and international issues. They consented to intensify delegation exchange at all levels, and information and experience sharing in parliamentary activities, including legislative work.
During the meeting, the pair also discussed issues related to peace, security and cooperation across the globe and emphasized the role of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) in settling disputes and maintaining security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation.
They also concurred to boost closer coordination and make positive contributions to regional and international multilateral forums.
Immediately after the talks, NA Chairman Hue received a number of business leaders and the EP Friendship Parliamentary Group to discuss a score of measures to bolster specific cooperation in areas of shared concern, including trade and the EVFTA implementation.