Greater awareness of EU affairs key to relations

Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 12:12

The improved awareness and understanding of EU affairs would be "fundamental to strenghthen EU-Viet Nam relations. — File Photo

HCM CITY (Biz Hub)— Vietnamese officials and the general public need to better understand EU affairs, including the functioning of its institutions in the context of current events, so as to strengthen EU-Viet Nam relations, a senior diplomat said yesterday.

Franz Jessen, ambassador and head of the EU Delegation to Viet Nam, said that the improved awareness and understanding would be "fundamental" to "bringing forward the partnership that has been elevated by the official singing of the EU-Partnership Co-operation Agreement last year".

Shortly after Jessen's opening remarks, a public lecture on the impact of financial and sovereign debt crisis on EU institutional reform and foreign relations was given by Prof Steven Blockmans, senior research fellow and Head of the EU Foreign Policy Unit at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

He provided an assessment on the changing roles of EU institutions in its transformation process, the legitimising mechanisms of the European bloc's decision-making process and the impact of austerity measures on its global position.

Students from several universities in Ha Noi including the Ha Noi National University, Foreign Trade University, University of Social Sciences and Humanity, the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam and the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences attended the lecture.

Also in attendance were representatives from the EU member states' embassies in Ha Noi.

The lecture is one of a series of events that the European Union Delegation in Viet Nam is organising in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Other events include a high-level roundtable discussion and a training workshop in EU affairs for officials in Ha Noi and other provinces.

A press release from the EU delegation said the events aim to strengthen knowledge of EU institutional arrangements and decision-making mechanisms "in the context of recent developments including the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty - that entered into force in December 2009 - and the impact of the recent debt crisis".

The high-level round table discussion on EU-Affairs will take place on August 26.

Senior officials and leaders from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will discuss the role of the EU in global and regional issues, the principles, values and objectives of it's external actions and the evolution of its mandate and powers since the Lisbon Treaty.

A two-day training workshop providing information on these issues will be held in central Da Nang City on August 27-28 for 50 officials from provincial departments.

The events are part of the EU-Viet Nam Strategic Dialogue Facility, a three-year programme that aims to support Viet Nam's development through the implementation of activities in areas covered by the EU-Viet Nam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

This EU-funded Euro 2.9 million project will continue until January 2016. — VNS

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