Foreign Affairs Committee delegation ends visit to Indonesia and Vietnam
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Foreign Affairs Committee delegation ends visit to Indonesia and Vietnam

MEPs in Indonesia and Vietnam demonstrate the EU’s strong interest in engaging more with partners in South East Asia at a time of geopolitical change.

On 21-23 February 2023, the European Parliament delegation headed by the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister (EPP, Germany), travelled to Jakarta, and Hanoi to reaffirm the EU’s interest in furthering the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership and enhancing bilateral relations with Indonesia and Vietnam.

One year since the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Members asked Indonesia and Vietnam to stand on the side of the United Nations Charter. Indonesia and Vietnam, bilaterally and within ASEAN, are important partners in the defence of multilateralism and a rules-based international order. Acquiring territory by force is a barbaric act that belongs to another era and should be a matter of deep concern for our South-East Asian partners, said MEPs.

Indonesia

After the high-level meetings with the Indonesian Government and House of Representatives, David McAllister said: “We value Indonesia and ASEAN’s commitment to multilateralism and to an international rules-based order. The EU stands firm on the need to guarantee the international legality in the South China Sea. Preserving peace, stability and the freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region remains of critical importance for the EU. These navigation routes need to remain free and secure. The EU and Indonesia must seize the opportunities that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will offer with a combined market of above 750 million people. We also assured Indonesia of the EU’s support for its energy transition, in particular via the Just Energy Transition Partnership signed last November 2022 with international partners worth $20 billion.”

In Jakarta, which is also the seat of the ASEAN Secretariat, MEPs exchanged views with H.E. Ar. Siti Rozaimeriyanty Dato Haji Abdul Rahman, Secretary General of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary General of ASEAN, in particular on stepping up the EU’s strategic engagement with the vital Indo-Pacific region and as regards the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. Members expressed support for ASEAN and for finding a solution to the Myanmar crisis, in particular by implementing the Five Point Consensus.

Vietnam

In Hanoi, MEPs held high-level meetings with Vietnamese authorities.

After the meetings, David McAllister said: “We value Vietnam as a trusted and reliable partner, bilaterally and within ASEAN. EU-Vietnam trade is a positive story and we need to do more. We should also strengthen our cooperation in the areas of maritime security, cyber security and crisis management. Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries with regard to climate change and we welcome Vietnam’s ambitious commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. The EU will support Vietnam’s efforts towards energy transition through the Just Energy Transition Partnership signed last December 2022 with international partners worth $15.5 billion. We also conveyed our concerns about the situation of human rights, including workers’ rights, which are an essential element of our partnership with Vietnam. We have encouraged our Vietnamese partners to take positive steps within the framework of our human rights cooperation.

Composition of the Delegation

Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McALLISTER (EPP, DE), Tonino PICULA (S&D, HR), Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES), Javier NART (Renew, ES) and Stelios KOULOGLOU (the Left/EL).

You can find the programme of the visit here

For further information, please contact:

Office of Mr David McAllister, tel. +32 2 284 51 30, e-mail: david.mcallister@ep.europa.eu