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Originally, the role of the European External Service was to represent the EU in trade negotiations and to undertake development co-operation activities. Over the years the External Service, in the form of delegations and representative offices, has also come to represent European interests in many other areas of EU activity. The development of new areas of EU action, and in particular the Common Foreign and Security Policy, has given an additional dimension to the work of these offices. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the role of the EU Delegation has been expanded to include duties previously discharged by the local (rotating) EU Presidency, such as conducting political dialogue and making diplomatic representations (demarches) on behalf of the EU and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The creation of the EU's External Action Service is leading to significant changes in the way the EU does business in third countries, with Member State diplomats being seconded to serve alongside EU officials in EU Delegations.
The Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, like the other 130 delegations and representations of the External Action Service in the world, serves the EU by:
Beyond these tasks, the Delegation represents the European Union in its relations with Vietnam, and plays an essential part in EU political, economic and commercial relations with the host country, as well as providing information on the policies and institutions of the EU. The Delegation also provides support and assistance to other institutions and actors of the EU, including the European Parliament.
Although it has the status of a diplomatic mission, the EU Delegation does not deal with tasks of a consular nature (like issuing visas or providing tourist information), which are dealt with by the EU Member State Embassies and instead functions as an official channel of bilateral relations, be it political, developmental, economic or cultural.
For centuries, Europe has been a leading power house in science, education and technologic innovation. On the ruins of war, we have built over fifty years new European institutions to develop virtuous cooperation and achieve lasting peace among our nations. As the largest economy, Europe is now the most prosperous region on earth, leading the transition towards a green economy. In foreign policy, we are becoming a major player in the establishment of a new world order and increasing our contributions to peace keeping and crisis management.
Thus, and as the European Union (EU) institutions and its 28 Member States have achieved strategic steps in their political integration, including by the adoption of a strong, single currency - the euro- , we are today reaching out to our partners in building a new international agenda defined by common objectives for peace by sustainable development and the rule of law. In the 21st century, Asia and, in particular, Vietnam, holds a central place in this approach.
The year 2016 marks the 26th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations beween the EU and Vietnam. Emerging from a long period of conflict, during those 26 years, Vietnam has experienced impressive economic growth. The country underwent significant social changes and has become a middle-income country. Vietnam is an important player within ASEAN. The EU and its Member States accompanied Vietnam on this journey, as major donors contributing to Vietnam’s development, while strengthening and deepening bilateral ties through trade and investment, training and education, governance, and increased cooperation in foreign policy. This solid, all-rounded partnerships have culminated by the signature between the European Union and Vietnam of a Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) in 2012, and the recent conclusion of the negotiations of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in December 2015, which are crucial milestones in the partenership between the EU and Vietnam.
In close coordination with the Embassies of our Member States, the European Union Delegation in Vietnam ensures the unity, consistency and effectiveness of the EU's relation with Vietnam. The EU Delegation is the single and permanent interlocutor of Vietnamese authorities, civil society organizations and other stakeholders for all those EU-related matters.
On behalf of all our team, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the official website of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Vietnam. You will find here an open door to the EU, its institutions and its policies. It provides an overview of our activities in Vietnam in the fields of foreign policy, development cooperation, trade and economy, human rights, climate change, higher education as well as culture. It is also a useful platform to seek information on the EU's contribution to regional integration and cooperation with ASEAN.
In our aim to bring the European Union closer to the Vietnamese public, we undertake the utmost to make our site interesting and useful and sincerely hope you will become a frequent visitor. If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your feedback will be very welcome.
With warm regards,
Ambassador Bruno Angelet
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam