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EU lawmakers’ focus on elections puts Taiwan visits on hold

Reporter Dimtiri Bruyas
Release time:2024/02/23 16:35
Last update time:2024/02/27 20:23
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BRUSSELS (TVBS News) — Amid heightened global attention on Taiwan and its democratic processes, the deputy spokesperson of the European Parliament confirmed on Thursday (Feb. 22) that all missions and delegations to Taiwan are suspended until the conclusion of the current legislative term. This development comes at a time when international relations with Taiwan are under intense scrutiny, particularly in light of recent visits by U.S. lawmakers to the island.

European Parliament's Stance on Taiwan

 
Delphine Colard's remarks underscore the European Parliament's cautious approach towards its foreign engagements as it wraps up its legislative term. "Until the end of the term, all the missions and delegations are suspended," Colard said, attributing this pause to the finalization procedures of the legislative term. Despite this, she acknowledged the importance of Taiwan in the European Parliament's foreign policy considerations, especially concerning democracy and foreign interference.

The deputy spokesperson highlighted the European Parliament's ongoing interest in Asia, noting that a special committee on interference had previously visited Taiwan. "There is attention brought to the question of democracy by this house of foreign affairs committee, SEDE committee, but also this foreign interference members of this parliament have been focusing on the question," Colard explained. However, she indicated that it's unlikely for any delegation to visit Taiwan in the coming weeks, emphasizing the Parliament's current focus on the upcoming European elections.

The Future of EU-Taiwan Relations
The announcement reflects the European Parliament's broader strategy of engagement with Asia, balancing its commitment to democratic processes with the practicalities of its legislative calendar. While an official visit to Taiwan may not be on the immediate horizon, the region remains a significant concern for European lawmakers, signaling a continued interest in monitoring developments and engaging with democratic institutions abroad.
 

Asked about the possibility of an official visit to Taiwan for the inauguration of President-elect Lai Ching-te in May, ahead of the European elections in June, Colard was non-committal. "I cannot tell you at this stage information or the delegation will go there, and it’s unlikely for the next weeks, as I said, because, we are finalizing the legislative term," she remarked. However, she also noted that the decision ultimately rests with the conference of the president of the European Parliament, leaving room for future diplomatic initiatives.

The European Parliament's stance on Taiwan, particularly during a time of global political sensitivities, highlights its careful navigation of international relations. As lawmakers focus on their re-election campaigns, the implications of this pause in delegations to Taiwan could influence the EU's foreign policy direction in the coming years, particularly in its commitment to supporting democratic processes and combating foreign interference.
 

Taiwan Affairs

#European Parliament#Taiwan#democracy#foreign interference#legislative term#EU elections#missions and delegations#Delphine Colard#President-elect Lai Ching-te#Asia

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