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MEP Kathleen Van Brempt leads European Parliament delegation to Taiwan
Date: 2017/04/18    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
April 18, 2017
No.049 

Vice-chair Kathleen Van Brempt of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats of the European Parliament is leading an EP delegation to Taiwan from April 18 to 22, 2017, at the invitation of the government of the Republic of China.

The visit will give the delegation a better understanding of Taiwan’s latest economic and political developments, as well as its current relations with mainland China and the European Union.

While in Taiwan, the delegation will have an audience with President Tsai Ing-wen, call on Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, and call at the National Security Council, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Justice, European Economic and Trade Office, and European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also host a luncheon to welcome the parliamentarians. During this time, the delegation will visit other sites of cultural and economic interest, such as the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and Dalongdong Baoan Temple. The programs will heighten their knowledge of Taiwan’s current events and government policies.

The other parliamentarians in the delegation are Dubravka Šuica, vice-chair of the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs; Valentinas Mazuronis; Alyn Smith; Jordi Solé; and Caterina Chinnici.

The European Parliament comprises 751 MEPs, representing the more than 500 million people of the 28 EU member countries. On multiple occasions, the EP has passed resolutions in favor of Taiwan, including support for Taiwan’s participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization, Schengen visa-waiver treatment for ROC citizens, and the signing of a Taiwan-EU economic cooperation agreement. The EP has also affirmed the positive development of cross-strait relations and called on the European Commission to launch negotiations with Taiwan on an investment protection and market access agreement. It also adopted a resolution on July 5 last year, calling on the European Commission to expedite negotiations with Taiwan on a bilateral investment agreement.

The European Union is Taiwan’s fifth largest trading partner, and Taiwan is the EU’s seventh largest trading partner in Asia, with bilateral trade reaching US$48.9 billion in 2016. European enterprises are also Taiwan’s largest source of foreign investment, with total investments reaching US$41.3 billion as of the end of February 2017, bearing testimony to the strength of bilateral economic relations. In addition, recent years have seen the two sides further expand cooperation in such areas as science and technology, environmental protection, education, customs and tariffs, information and communications technology, judicial assistance, youth working holidays, food safety, and innovation and research, thereby deepening the partnership between Taiwan and the EU.(E)