TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first European Parliament (EP) delegation in history to visit Taiwan arrived on Wednesday (Nov. 3) for a three-day tour.
A delegation of EP members from the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes (INGE) arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7:12 a.m. via EVA Air Flight BR-88. The 13-person group includes seven MEPs and six assistants.
Leading the delegation is committee Chair Raphael Glucksmann (France), who is joined by Andrius Kubilius (Lithuania), Marketa Gregorova (Czech Republic), Andreas Schieder (Austria), Petras Austrevicius (Lithuania), Georgios Kyrtsos (Greece), and Marco Dreosto (Italy). The purpose of their visit is to "discuss Taiwanese experiences in the fight against disinformation, attempts at interference in Taiwanese democracy, media, culture, and education, as well as Taiwan’s efforts to reinforce its cyber-resilience," according to a statement issued by the EP.
The statement noted that Taiwan uses "innovative tools and involves the whole Taiwanese society" to deal with interference in its democracy without constraining free speech or media. Before departing for Taiwan, Glucksmann was quoted by the EP as saying, “The experience of Taiwan in addressing repeated and sophisticated attacks through the mobilization of its whole society, and without restricting its democracy, is unique. In the work of the INGE special committee, we have a lot to learn from the Taiwanese partners."
During their visit, the delegation will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), Deputy Foreign Minister Harry Tseng (曾厚仁), and Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃). They will also participate in a number of roundtable discussions on disinformation with experts from Taiwan and Europe.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stated that this is the first official visit by a formal EP delegation to Taiwan. It follows a number of EP recommendations on political relations and cooperation with Taiwan adopted on Oct. 21.
In a statement released on Wednesday, MOFA wrote that it sincerely welcomes the arrival of the delegation. The ministry pointed out that the EP has passed 12 resolutions involving Taiwan this year and that the report on EU-Taiwan political relations and cooperation was the first official document specially tailored to improve political relations between the two sides.