The EU and Vietnam held on 15 December 2015 in Hanoi the fifth round of their annual enhanced Dialogue on Human Rights in the spirit of the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed in 2012. The EU delegation was led by Mr Ugo Astuto, acting Managing Director Asia and the Pacific in the European External Action Services (EEAS). The Vietnamese delegation was led by Mr Vu Anh Quang, Director General of the International Organizations Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and included officials from various ministries and agencies.
The Dialogue allowed the two sides to exchange views on a wide range of issues and was conducted in a constructive and result-oriented manner. As stated in the joint press statement of 2 Dec. 2015 by President Donald Tusk, President Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, both sides agreed that their strengthened partnership will allow to better address future challenges on the road towards prosperous, democratic and just societies. They reiterated their conviction that good governance, respect for human rights, the rule of law and adherence to the international rules-based system are determining factors for development.
The EU and Vietnam had a detailed exchange of views on a wide range of human rights issues. The EU commended Vietnam for continued progress in socio-economic rights in Vietnam while expressing persisting concerns over political and civil rights.
There were extensive discussions on legal and judicial reforms in Vietnam. The EU noted the revision of the Criminal Code, of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Law on Custody and Temporary Detention. The EU, however, regretted that the revision of the Criminal Code was not seized to bring the national security provisions in line with international standards and with the principles established in the 2013 Constitution. The EU welcomed the reduction of crimes carrying the death penalty, but reiterated its call for further steps towards abolishment of the death penalty. In this context the EU enquired about the situation of several prisoners on death row such as Mr Le Van Manh, Mr Ho Duy Hai and Mr Nguyen Van Chuong.