The first meeting of the Sub Committee on Political Issues under the Viet Nam – European Union (EU) Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement (PCA) met in Ha Noi on 17 February 2020. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam To Anh Dzung, Head of the Vietnamese Delegation, and the Deputy Managing Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service Paola Pampaloni co-chaired the meeting.
The delegations had an open and constructive exchange on a wide range of subjects. They welcomed the positive vote in the European Parliament on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement on 12 February 2020 and looked forward to the swift entry into force of those agreements for the shared benefits of Viet Nam and EU. In the context of the 30th anniversary of Viet Nam – EU diplomatic relations (1990 – 2020), they evaluated the deepening of bilateral relations, agreed to step up dialogue and cooperation. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the overall relationship through the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement.
Priorities for the Vietnamese Government as well as perspectives for the European Union, including the new European Commission, were discussed, alongside global issues, the situation in the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea. They discussed the recent 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, and emphasised the importance of international cooperation and information sharing to tackle the threats presented by the Covid-19.
They analysed the regional situation and reiterated the shared commitment to multilateralism and the rules-based global order. Both parties expressed the desire to intensify the ASEAN – EU and Viet Nam – EU cooperation in the multilateral context as Viet Nam assumes ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 and UNSC non-permanent membership 2020 – 2021.
Both parties confirmed they will carry out a stocktaking of bilateral relations at the next Joint Committee that will take place in 2020 in Brussels.