On 1 December 2020, the European Union and Vietnam held their second consultations on security and defence, hosted by Vietnam via video conference. The first consultations had taken place in Brussels on 22 November 2019.

During their second consultations, the European Union and Vietnam discussed the global and regional situation, including in the South China Sea. They reaffirmed their commitment to upholding the rules-based international order, to freedom of navigation and to the universal and unified character of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas should be carried out. The European Union and Vietnam called for maritime disputes to be resolved peacefully in accordance with this Convention.

Furthermore, the European Union and Vietnam discussed the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Framework Participation Agreement on the participation of Vietnam in European Union Common Security and Defence Policy civilian and military missions and operations, which came into force in May 2020. In particular, they discussed the possible participation of Vietnam in one of the EU’s training missions in Africa. They looked forward to the United Nations conference on Women, Peace and Security in Hanoi on 7-9 December, with the EU’s participation. They also looked forward to the EU’s participation in the Guest of the Chair programme and in the ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus, which will take place in the margins of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus on 9-10 December 2020.

Finally, the European Union and Vietnam discussed future activities in the areas of cybersecurity, maritime security and crisis management.

The consultations were co-chaired by Pawel Herczynski, Managing Director for Common Security and Defence Policy and Crisis Response at the European External Action Service, and by Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Vice Minister of Defence of Vietnam.