Parliamentary question - E-001927/2023(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell i Fontelles on behalf of the European Commission

The EU is concerned about the human rights situation in Vietnam, in particular with regard to the shrinking space for civil society. The trend of harassment, arrests and convictions of environmental and human rights defenders, journalists and others is alarming.

Appropriate measures, including the partial or full suspension of EU agreements, is legally possible in case of a material breach of their provisions. However, the preference remains to ensure continued engagement and dialogue.

The promotion and protection of human rights features prominently in the discussions of the EU-Vietnam Joint Committee established under the partnership and cooperation agreement[1] and is also the subject of a dedicated annual human rights dialogue, last held on 9 June 2023 in Hanoi. On that occasion, the EU called on Vietnam to release detainees and to guarantee the right to a fair trial for all.

The EU also frequently requests prison visits to inmates of concern and in selected cases assists inmates and/or their family members financially, including for legal representation. Dedicated EU programmes[2] also provide support for the rule of law and human rights in Vietnam as well as protection to human rights defenders at risk.

The EU will continue to monitor and use all the tools at its disposal for an improvement of the human rights situation in Vietnam.

Last updated: 8 August 2023
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