Members of the European Parliament to visit Taiwan
Date: 2016/09/22    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
September 22, 2016

Daniel Caspary, Coordinator of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, will lead a 14-member delegation to Taiwan from September 21 to 24. This visit will help members gain a better understanding of Taiwan’s latest economic and political developments, as well as cross-strait relations and trade with the European Union. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the delegation to visit Taiwan.

The delegation will have an audience with President Tsai Ing-wen and call at the Legislative Yuan, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, European Economic and Trade Office, and European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan. They will also meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs David Tawei Lee and attend a luncheon hosted in their honor by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Leo Chen-jan Lee.

In addition, the delegation will visit sites of cultural and economic interest such as the National Palace Museum, National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Bao-an Temple, and Taipei Confucius Temple.

In addition to Mr. Caspary, the delegation includes MEPs Iuliu Winkler, Salvatore Cicu, Artis Pabriks, Franck Proust, and Jarosław Wałęsa of the Committee on International Trade, Legal and Policy Advisor to the EPP group Joanna Warchol, and MEPs’ assistants.

The 751 members of the European Parliament represent the 28 member states of the European Union and the over 500 million residents thereof, making the EP vital to the ROC’s diplomatic network in Europe. Over the years, the European Union and the European Parliament have issued or passed multiple statements and resolutions friendly to Taiwan by favoring its participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization, Schengen visa waiver treatment for ROC passport holders, and the signing of an economic cooperation agreement between Taiwan and the EU. They have also affirmed the positive development of cross-strait relations, and called on the European Commission to launch negotiations with the ROC on an investment protection and market access agreement. On July 5, 2016, the European Parliament passed a resolution on the European Commission’s trade and investment strategy, which contains an article that calls on the Commission to immediately start negotiations with Taiwan on a bilateral investment agreement.

The EU is Taiwan’s fifth-largest trading partner overall, and Taiwan is the EU’s seventh-largest trading partner in Asia. In 2015, two-way trade reached US$46.4 billion. European enterprises are also Taiwan’s largest source of foreign investment, with total investment reaching US$37.9 billion as of the end of July 2016, bearing testimony to the strength of bilateral economic relations. In addition to economics, recent years have seen Taiwan and the EU expand bilateral cooperation multilaterally and multidimensionally in such areas as technology, education, customs, electronic communications, judicial assistance, youth working holidays, food safety, and innovative research, thus continuing to strengthen their partnership. (E)