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President Tsai meets European Parliament delegation
President Tsai meets European Parliament delegation

On the morning of November 4, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation of members of the European Parliament's Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE). In remarks, President Tsai noted the special significance of the occasion, which marked the first official visit to Taiwan by a European Parliament delegation, and said that Taiwan is willing to share its experience in combating disinformation with our European friends to deepen our partnership and safeguard our free and democratic way of life.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

INGE Chair Raphaël Glucksmann, I extend a very warm welcome to you and your delegation. This marks the first time that the European Parliament has sent an official delegation to Taiwan. Thank you all for supporting our country and for making this highly significant visit.

The European Parliament has recently been a focus of Taiwanese media coverage concerning international affairs. In addition to your visit, our Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) concluded a trip to Europe just a few days ago. His interactions with numerous members of the European Parliament attracted much attention. And last month, the European Parliament approved the EU-Taiwan political relations and cooperation report, the first such document on Taiwan-EU relations, by an overwhelming margin. This made headlines in Taiwan and sent a strong signal of support.

Indeed, our Representative to the EU and Belgium Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) told me that the report was passed with 86.3 percent support, representing the second-highest level of support for any report during the EP's current term. Once again, thank you all for your support. We believe that Taiwan and the EU can certainly continue strengthening our partnership in all domains.

Just last month, Taiwan and the Czech Republic signed an MOU to address cyberattacks and deepen our cooperation in information security. Mr. Glucksmann, I understand your delegation also wishes to learn more about how Taiwan handles hybrid threats and disinformation during this visit.

We hope to establish a democratic alliance against disinformation. In the past few years, the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) led by Taiwan, the United States, and Japan has continued to expand exchanges to include more countries, with Australia also becoming a full GCTF partner. We have also stepped up cooperation in international law enforcement to jointly tackle cybercrime and guard against the harmful effects of disinformation.

The challenges we face are global in nature. Therefore, the GCTF is not only working with partners in the Indo-Pacific region, but also inviting nations from other areas to join and collaborate with us. In September, the GCTF held its first event in Europe—a symposium in the Czech Republic on the restructuring of global supply chains. Taiwan is also willing to share its experience in combating disinformation with our European friends. This will deepen our partnership and help safeguard our free and democratic way of life.

Mr. Glucksmann, I once again extend a warm welcome to you and your fellow delegates, and I look forward to working with you to facilitate the steady growth of Taiwan-EU relations. In the meantime, I wish you all a fruitful and successful visit.

In his remarks, INGE Chair Raphaël Glucksmann noted that the occasion marked the first official visit by a European Parliament delegation to Taiwan, showing how important Taiwan's democracy is to European citizens. Chair Glucksmann stated that for the last 30 years, Taiwan has made history and is today the most vivid, robust, and enlightening democracy in the region––a treasure that all democrats around the world should cherish and protect.

Mr. Glucksmann added that the INGE delegation came here with a very simple, very clear message: Taiwan is not alone, as Europe is standing with Taiwan in the defense of freedom, the rule of law, and human dignity.

Mr. Glucksmann then alluded to the report passed by the European Parliament two weeks ago that recognized Taiwan as a "key like-minded partner and democratic ally" and strongly encouraged "increased economic, scientific, cultural, political, and people-to-people exchanges, meetings, and cooperation between the EU and Taiwan, including at the most senior levels."

Mr. Glucksmann stated that the INGE delegation represents various different political groups and that the delegates have very strong differences between them, but that they are all united in support of Taiwanese democracy, adding that they came to Taiwan to engage on this agenda at a senior level. Mr. Glucksmann then emphasized that it is high time for the European Union to step up its cooperation with Taiwan.

Mr. Glucksmann expressed respect for Taiwan's achievements in building a strong democracy while confronted with substantial stress and interference, and added that the European Union is currently facing very large-scale, pervasive actions orchestrated by authoritarian regimes aimed at reinforcing social polarization, undermining confidence toward public institutions, and ultimately weakening its democracies. Mr. Glucksmann said that Taiwan's success in confronting these threats while preserving a vibrant civil society and a free and open media environment are all areas in which the EU can learn from Taiwan.

Mr. Glucksmann commended President Tsai for her article in Foreign Affairs magazine, which mentioned that we are all in the same boat in this worldwide confrontation between authoritarian regimes and democracies. He then again affirmed that it is high time for the European Union to show that we are in the same boat, and that this visit should be considered an important step, as a very complete agenda of high-level meetings and concrete steps is needed to build a much stronger EU-Taiwan partnership.

Among the members of the multi-party INGE delegation led by Chair Glucksmann are former Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, Markéta Gregorová, Andreas Schieder, Petras Auštrevičius, Georgios Kyrtsos, and Marco Dreosto, all members of European Parliament, as well as officials from the European Parliament's Secretariat-General.

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