21 October 2021
The adoption of the European Parliament’s initiative report is a strong signal that the EU is increasingly ready to upgrade its relationship with Taiwan.
ECR Rapporteur on the document Charlie Weimers said: “the European Parliament voted in favour of better relations with Taiwan. Communist China didn’t succeed in stopping this. Now, it is time to take the next step in the EU’s friendship with Taiwan. Building on truth and respect, we will improve peace and democracy, and increase investment, trade as well as growth.”
The report recommends that the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Commission work closely with the Member States to intensify EU-Taiwan political, economic and scientific relations and to pursue a comprehensive and enhanced partnership. The report calls for an urgent impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise on a Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA). The European Parliament also expressed grave concerns about China’s continued military belligerence towards Taiwan. The report highlights a need to ensure freedom of navigation and overflight in the East and South China Seas as well as the importance to pursue peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. It also calls for changing the name of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan to the European Union Office in Taiwan.
Mr Weimers strongly advocated for Taiwan’s meaningful participation as an observer in meetings, mechanisms and activities of international bodies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Speaking in the debate ahead of the vote, Mr Weimers said:
“Taiwan is a like-minded partner, with whom Europe shares many common values. In a region where this is not always a given and in light of Taiwan’s robust democracy and technologically advanced economy, it is crucial that the EU and Taiwan pursue a comprehensive and enhanced partnership that underpins the rules-based order.
“In order to prepare for negotiations to deepen our economic relations, the EU needs to urgently begin an impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise on a Bilateral Investment Agreement with the Taiwanese authorities.
“It is instrumental for the EU to increase and strengthen cooperation and engagement with Taiwan, including at the highest levels”.
The report was adopted with 580 votes in favour, 26 against and 66 abstentions.
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