May 23, 2023 | 07:00:00 GMT+7 | Weather 26°
Follow us:
70th anniversary of Hanoi's Liberation Day Vietnam - Asia 2023 Smart City Summit Hanoi celebrates 15 years of administrative boundary adjustment 12th Vietnam-France decentrialized cooperation conference 31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Sep 28, 2023 / 07:37

Ambassador Julien Guerrier: Vietnam and EU have common aspirations

EU Ambassador believes that with the EU's long-term experience in sustainable development, green transition, innovation, and modern technology, the EU has many advantages to support Vietnam in implementing sustainable development goals.

Newly accredited European Union Ambassador Julien Guerrier has just accepted a new term in Vietnam and presented his credentials to President Vo Van Thuong on September 26.

On September 27, he had his first press meeting and shared with The Hanoi Times about expectations for cooperation between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) during the term.

Strengthen cultural cooperation

How do you feel when you receive your new assignment in Vietnam?

Vietnam is very close to me. Previously, when I was studying in Paris, there were many Vietnamese students in my class and they left a deep impression on me. I have also been to Vietnam many times to travel. On the diplomatic front, 27 years ago, I was a member of the EU's negotiating team on Vietnam's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since then, I have witnessed a lot of changes in Vietnam. Specifically, Vietnam has revised many policies, institutions, and laws to open the economy and attract investment from abroad. That is why Vietnam is as dynamic and strong as it is today.

Personally, I think that the people of Vietnam and the EU have common aspirations. That is reflected in the motto of the State of Vietnam: "Independence - Freedom-Happiness." The EU people always want the same.

 The Ambassador presented his credentials to President Vo Van Thuong. Photo: VNA

From the perspective of people-to-people exchanges, I realize that many cultural events organized by the European Union Delegation in Vietnam have received enthusiastic responses from the people. In the opposite direction, Vietnam Days in European countries also left a good impression. So, how do you evaluate the importance of people-to-people exchanges in promoting diplomatic relations?

Vietnam and the EU have had cooperative relations and cultural and heritage exchanges for many years. Activities promoting European literature, cinema, and education take place annually in Vietnam and receive great response from the people.

Vietnam is an attractive tourist destination for European tourists and vice versa.

In terms of education, for many years, Vietnamese students have chosen Europe to study. Many young Vietnamese people have received the Erasmus Mundus scholarship, the largest master and doctoral program in Europe. The upcoming Study in Europe event taking place on October 1 in Ho Chi Minh City and October 7 in Hanoi will provide a lot of useful information about life and education in Europe.

I believe that it is the force of international students and the large Vietnamese community in EU member states that contribute greatly to people-to-people exchanges.

We are also about to organize a European Film Festival in some major cities in Vietnam.

I hope that the two sides will strengthen cultural cooperation. European countries have a long history and today still retain their national cultural identity in the process of development. We are ready to share that experience with Vietnam.

 Artists performing at the European Village event in May 2023. Photo: The Hanoi Times

Five mechanisms to support Vietnam

In general, what kind of cooperation prospects do you think Vietnam and the EU will have in the near future?

The Indo-Pacific region is an important region, becoming the center of the world today. In 2021, the EU officially developed the Indo-Pacific Strategy identifying seven priority areas of action, including: Sustainable and inclusive prosperity; green transition; ocean governance; digital governance and partnerships; digital connectivity; security and defense, and human security.

In this region, Vietnam has an important economic, population, and geographical position and is an important partner of the EU.

We will support Vietnam to achieve its goal of becoming a developed country by 2045 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

 Ambassador Julien Guerrier speaks during the Opening Ceremony of Hanoi Pride Week 2023.

With the experience in sustainable development, green transition, innovation and modern technology, in modernizing while preserving cultural heritage and diversity, the EU have many advantages to supporting Vietnam.

Specifically, during your term, how will you participate in the cooperation process to help Vietnam achieve the above goals?

People can count on me and the EU as a reliable and suitable partner for Vietnam

During the presentation of credentials to President Vo Van Thuong on September 26, I shared with the President the tools and mechanisms from the EU so that both sides can use them optimally to support Vietnam's sustainable development process.

First, with the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), trade exchange between the two sides increased by 32%, of which Vietnam's exports to the EU are 4 times higher than the EU's to Vietnam.

Second, the EU has the Global Gateway capital mechanism, worth 300 billion euros to invest in infrastructure projects and establishing economic relations to achieve sustainable growth in areas such as transportation, education, health, digital transformation, green transformation... This mechanism helps recipient country achieved its development goals but did not cause public debt problems.

Third, the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JEPT) will mobilize $15.5 billion in public and private financing over the next three to five years to support the green transition of Vietnam. The program will support Vietnam's ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, accelerating the pace of reaching peak greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Fourth is the Horizon Europe, the EU's key funding programme for research and innovation. Before coming to Vietnam, I was in charge of building overall policy for Horizon Europe. We encourage Vietnamese scientists and institutes to apply for being funded and have the opportunity to exchange with partners from the EU.

Fifth, in terms of defense and security, the EU and Vietnam have common interests in ensuring peace and security in the region and the world, specifically security in the East Sea. The two sides have reached Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) to facilitate Vietnam’s participation in and contribution to the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations. 

These are very specific mechanisms for the two sides to expand the scale of cooperation in peacekeeping activities, cyber security, maritime security..., contributing to ensuring peace and stability in the region.

Thank you for your time.