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5月9日於歐洲經貿辦事處舉辦之歐洲日酒會英文致詞

  • 發布單位:歐洲司
  • 資料來源:歐洲司

Remarks by H.E. David Y. L. Lin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the reception in celebration of Europe Day 2014
May 9, 2014

Mr. Laplanche, head of the European Economic and Trade Office; Honorable European Representatives and Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Distinguished guests; Dear Friends; Ladies and gentlemen:
Good afternoon!

I am very honored and delighted to join all of you here at this reception to celebrate Europe Day. First of all, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all our European friends. Sixty-four years ago today, with the Schuman Declaration, Europe embarked on an unprecedented period of peace and development. For many people in Taiwan, Europe is a geographic region brimming with not just history and tradition, but also innovation, modernization, style, and fashion. We have always encouraged the young people of Taiwan to explore Europe’s rich culture, and take part in youth exchanges with the European Union, including the working holidays programs we have concluded with six European countries.

Europe holds a unique place in my heart due to my own working experiences in promoting EU-Taiwan relations spanning more than 20 years. I have witnessed the remarkable progress of the EU, from the development of the world’s largest single market, and the establishment of the euro, to the expansion of the EU to 28 member states. It has also gained in influence and competence, while reforming legislative and executive operations, especially after the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in 2009. Later this month the European Parliament (EP) elections will be held, and the EU Commission will be reorganized afterwards. I wish the EU the best of success in the future.

On this auspicious occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to my good friend Mr. Laplanche, Hon. representatives of European countries, and the European business community in Taiwan for their efforts to enhance substantive relations and cooperation between the EU and Taiwan. Last year, Taiwan signed 11 agreements with EU member states, thereby further strengthening our bilateral ties. These developments built on the milestone EU decision to grant ROC passport holders visa-waiver treatment for the Schengen Area. The Taiwan-EU annual consultations continue to effectively identify new areas for cooperation and address issues of mutual concern, such as healthcare, education, scientific research, nuclear safety, and anti-piracy.

As you are all aware, our government is carrying out economic reforms to boost Taiwan’s role as a regional center for trade and investment. The conclusion of economic cooperation agreements with New Zealand and Singapore last year demonstrates our commitment to trade liberalization and determination to achieve further integration into the regional economy, while laying the foundation for our participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Taiwan-EU economic and trade ties remain one of the most important pillars of our partnership. Last October the EP adopted a resolution calling on the EU Commission to launch talks with Taiwan on an agreement for investment protection and market access. To this end, I would like to call on the EU to begin discussions with Taiwan soon on a bilateral investment agreement (BIA), leading to a comprehensive and high standard economic cooperation agreement (ECA).

In conclusion, let me once again reiterate the great importance we have attached to our substantive relations with the EU. Now, please join me in a toast: to a wonderful Europe Day and to the everlasting friendship between Taiwan and Europe! Thank you.