The European Union (EU) has renewed its commitment to supporting Vietnam’s multi-dimensional transitional process, as evidenced by its increase of non-refundable aid from 300 million EUR to 400 million EUR for 2014-2020 despite the austerity context in the continent.

Ambassador and head of the EU delegation to Vietnam Dr. Franz Jessen revealed the news as part of celebrations for the 25 th anniversary of Vietnam – EU diplomatic ties while chairing a press conference themed “EU – Vietnam: 25 years of deepening relationship and a bright future” in Hanoi on January 29.

On October 22, 1990, the EU’s predecessor, the European Community (EC) and Vietnam established diplomatic relations, laying a solid foundation for a long-lasting and all-rounded partnership. This was subsequently followed by the opening of a diplomatic representation of the EC in Vietnam and the Vietnamese embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg in Brussels in January 1996.

Vietnam has ridden through a long period of war to become a middle-income country and an important player within ASEAN. The journey has always seen the EU accompanying, as featured by the signing of the 1995 Framework Cooperation Agreement, and the 2012 Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA).

Up to 20 out of the 28 EU states have to date posted diplomatic missions in Hanoi, reflecting Vietnam’s important political position in the Southeast Asian region.
The celebration of the 25 th anniversary of Vietnam-EU diplomatic ties will also culminate with the conclusion of negotiations on a comprehensive and ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA), an important milestone in the commercial, economic and investment links between the two sides, Jessen said, adding that the EU has become one of Vietnam’s largest trading partners and investors as well.

A series of events for the youth, public lectures by European scholars, film and music festivals are to take place throughout 2015 as joint efforts by the EU delegation to Vietnam, the Foreign Ministry, European cultural centres and EU-funded projects.

On the occasion, a writing competition “What impresses you most about the EU, write it down and win a ticket to Brussels” was launched. The contest, open to Vietnamese young people nationwide, will last until April 29.

Other major events include the launching of an application “Europe in You” on smart devices and a laser show creatively projecting the EU iconic images and symbols. This promisingly spectacular show will be held in tandem with Europe Day (May 9) concert, European film festival and European music festival.
A dedicated website presenting detailed information on all activities during the year will be developed and launched as soon as possible.-VNA