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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   21  December  2015  

European Parliament adopts Viet Nam-EU partnership agreement

December, 18 2015

The European Parliament (EP) adopted an official resolution ratifying the Viet Nam – EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA), at a plenary session in Strasbourg city, France, yesterday.

The resolution welcomes Viet Nam's outcomes in doi moi (renewal) and integration over the past time and hails the country's role and position in regional and global arena.

It said co-operation between the EU and Viet Nam has developed rapidly since they established diplomatic ties 25 years ago, moving from an initial focus on trade and aid to co-operation and comprehensive partnership.

The EP stressed that the signing of the PCA with Viet Nam demonstrates the strategic significance of the Southeast Asian country as a key partner of the EU in the region and ASEAN.

The parliament committed to widening and deepening the Viet Nam-EU relations across sectors such as social affairs, democracy, human rights, and settlement of regional and global challenges.

In its resolution, the EP expressed its deep concerns over illegal and unilateral actions that cause tensions in the East Sea, threatening peace, security, stability, international trade and fundamental benefits of the EU in the region as well as navigation safety and freedom on the union's main maritime trade routes.

The EP calls for more efforts from China and parties involved to reduce tensions in the East Sea while stressing it is necessary to address disputes via peaceful means, building trust, and holding bilateral and regional negotiations on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

French Senate ratifies agreement

Also yesterday, the Viet Nam-EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) sailed through the Senate of France in Paris with 100 per cent of the vote.

The PCA is a framework agreement that looks to adjust the relationship between Viet Nam and the EU and replaces the 1995 Viet Nam-EC Framework Co-operation Agreement.

The deal allows Viet Nam to access the EU market more easily on the basis of the equal, long-term, and stable partnership and comprehensive co-operation.

Signed on June 27, 2012, the pact will come into force after it is ratified by all EU members.

Speaking at a discussion in Paris, Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, elaborated on the French Government's views which lauded developments in the comprehensive co-operation between Viet Nam and France over the past time, especially in economics, trade and investment.

She commented on the increasing bilateral trade and the stronger flow of French investments in the Southeast Asian nation.

Helene Conway-Mouret from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces of the Senate, presented a draft law which is comprised of eight chapters and 65 articles stipulating economic, trade and investment ties, development co-operation as well as the collaboration in justice, education, training, health care and the environment between the two nations.

The majority of the senators at the event echoed the French Government's views on the fruitful Viet Nam-France relations.

They agreed that the agreement should be soon ratified in order to create a legal framework for the affiliation between Viet Nam and the EU, including the Viet Nam-France relations.

Michel Billout, senator from Seine – et – Marne, held that the PCA will pave the way for a mutually beneficial and more intensive and sustainable co-operation framework between Viet Nam and the EU.

He explained that the EU is Viet Nam's leading economic and trade partner and the country's important importer.

The PCA, along with the strategic partnership signed by Viet Nam and France in September 2013, is expected to contribute to driving the bilateral relations towards a new period in a more effective and intensive fashion, meeting each side's demand for development, he said.

Noting with joy the Senate's ratification of the agreement, Helene Luc, a former French senator and Honorary President of the France-Viet Nam Friendship Association, said the approval has translated the resolve to promote the two countries' relations into a legal document that advance the bilateral ties to match the strategic partnership.

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