Mr. Nguyen Huu Hung and Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nghia from the Permanent Office of Vietnam National Steering Committee on Human Rights are spending seven weeks at RWI in Lund researching the relationship between the European Union (EU) and Vietnam.
“Our main goal is to improve the cooperation programme between the EU and Vietnam, especially in the field of human rights,” says Huu Hung.
The diplomatic ties between the EU and Vietnam were established in 1995. Since then, a lot has been achieved through cooperation in many fields, including human rights.
“Although Vietnam and the EU have some different viewpoints of human rights, we have a common point in the goal of protecting and promoting human rights. We are spending the time at the Institute to get in depth human rights knowledge to find ways to narrow the gap between Vietnam and the EU,” says Hoai Nghia.
They plan to focus on human rights in EU’s policy, both internal and external. “Human rights, democracy and rule of law form the core of the EU’s values underpinning all of its policies,” he says. “EU policy aims to protect fundamental rights within the EU and also to promote human rights in the world.”
The EU fellowship program is funded by the European Union and implemented by the EU-Vietnam Strategic Dialogue Facility, and Nguyen Huu Hung and Nguyen Hoai Nghia both hope the time spent at the Institute will be useful. “The main purpose is capacity building and to strengthen our role in order for our work to have impact on the progress of the relations between Vietnam and EU,” says Huu Hung.
Vietnam has been on the road to integration into the world, and signed the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the EU in 2012 to improve the inclusive cooperation.
Nguyen Huu Hung and Nguyen Hoai Nghia say that to be able to solve the challenges among the two sides, they have to learn more about EU regulations on human rights, rule of law and how to implement theory in reality. “We have to learn the human rights regulations from two sides, and the Institute provide us with useful tools to study the EU,” they say.
Even though Vietnam’s development level is different from many EU countries, the Fellows point out that because of the agreement and the common regulation, there are two sides and perspectives that have to be followed and respected. “RWI is the best place to study and learn about these kinds of issues since there is so much information available with enthusiastic instructors. It’s a good place to learn more about EU regulations and EU law on human rights,” says Hoai Nghia.