Scene of the congress (Source: VNA)
Prague (VNA) – Representatives from Vietnamese communities in 16 European countries gathered in Prague, the Czech Republic, on October 29 for the first Congress of the Union of Vietnamese Associations in Europe.

Addressing the event, Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Truong Thi Ngoc Anh conveyed congratulations of VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan to the congress.

She spoke highly of the initiative to form the Union and acknowledged efforts made by the union’s temporary executive board, which was elected in its meeting on May 10, 2015.

Through the union, Vietnamese associations in Europe will be strongly developed in the future, she said, calling for support and direction of Vietnamese ambassadors in European countries for associations’ operations.

Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovak, which currently holds the rotating EU Presidency, sent a congratulatory letter to the Congress, which stressing integration efforts of Vietnamese communities in Slovakia as well as in Europe in general.

The Congress approved the Union’s statutes and operation orientation from now to 2020, which focuses on strengthening solidarity, supporting overseas Vietnamese in Europe, and boosting friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and European countries.

It elected a 29-meber executive board and Hoang Dinh Thang, Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in the Republic Czech, was elected as the Chairman of the Union.

On the occasion, participants raised 10,800 USD to support flood victims in central Vietnam.

Some 700,000 Vietnamese expats are living, studying and working in Europe, mostly in France with 300,000 people; Germany, 85,000; the Czech Republic, 65,000; Russia, 60,000; the UK, 50,000; and Poland, 35,000.-VNA