Political and human rights dialogue
The European Union considers Vietnam as an important partner in South East Asia. The exchange of high-level visits between Europe and Vietnam and frequent meetings of leaders from both sides have allowed to maintain and deepen the bilateral relationship over the years, reaffirming the priority the European Union places on closer engagement with Vietnam and other Asian countries. Inter alia, an “Informal EU-Vietnam Leaders Meeting” took place on 7 October 2004 in Hanoi, in the margins of the ASEM 5 Summit. This was the first meeting between the EU Troika and Vietnam meeting held at Heads of Government level.
These meetings and high-level visits provide an opportunity for discussions on a whole range of bilateral and regional issues, including international security issues and global challenges, regional developments and integration, human rights issues, as well as economic and trade relations.
Concerns about human rights remain a major theme of EU-Vietnam relations. While recognising Vietnam's impressive record in reducing poverty and guaranteeing its citizens' economic and social rights, the EU remains actively committed to supporting its further transition towards an open society based on the rule of law. The EU seeks to promote a positive and result-oriented approach through dialogue and cooperation.
A human rights dialogue mechanism between EU Heads of Missions in Hanoi and the Government of Vietnam was initiated in 2001 and held twice a year. It was transformed in an annual capital-based Human rights dialogue in 2012. It constitutes a platform to engage Vietnam on sensitive issues, and allows channeling EU concerns directly to the Vietnamese authorities in an open and constructive atmosphere. The dialogue is conducted in line with the EU's overall principles on the promotion of human rights and democratization throughout the world, including its guidelines on Human Rights [194 KB] . The EU is committed to giving further momentum to the dialogue, and to making it more results-oriented and better connected to decision-making in Vietnam so that it brings more tangible improvements.
The process is complemented and reinforced by the EC-Vietnam Sub-Group on "Cooperation in the areas of institution building and administrative reform, governance and human rights". The Sub-Group seeks to identify areas of mutual interest, share experiences and identify suitable areas for EC-Vietnam cooperation projects and programmes as a means to bring the process forward. Relevant cooperation instruments include the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and Non-State Actors (NSA) and Local Authorities (LA).Back to Political & economic relations