TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The European chapter of the Formosa Club on Monday (May 17) held a virtual meeting with some of its new members, who hail from 24 countries.
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) attended the meeting, saying he was honored to be in the company of club co-chairs and parliamentarians and that he is thankful for their friendship, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Wu pointed out that the Formosa Club in Europe was the first to be established.
Launched in October 2019 by the European Parliament and pro-Taiwan parliamentarians from the U.K., France, and Germany, it has now grown to 150 members of parliament from 28 countries. It has also led to the creation of chapters in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Indo-Pacific, and the Caribbean.
The Formosa Club has now become the most powerful transnational parliamentary platform in the world for supporting Taiwan on the international stage, Wu said.
The foreign minister thanked the club’s co-chairs for penning a letter to World Health Organization (WHO) Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 12, collecting 1,084 signatures from European parliamentarians advocating for Taiwan’s participation in this year’s World Health Assembly.
Wu said that he believes the club’s support will give Taiwanese strength while they try to defeat the epidemic and continue to contribute to the international community.
European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group Chairman Michael Gahler, who presided over the meeting, said that he will continue to urge the European Commission to start negotiations with Taiwan on a Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA) as soon as possible. Both he and the friendship group’s Vice Chairman Andrey Kovatchev also called on parliamentarians from various countries to exert their influence and urge their respective governments to take concrete actions supporting an EU-Taiwan BIA.
Parliamentarians attending the meeting represented the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and the European Parliament.