Opening Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Opening Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy

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Opening Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished organisers and participants, I am very pleased to welcome the First Macao Sino-Europe Debate. I am convinced that it will contribute to improving mutual understanding between Europe and China.

In today’s world, European and Chinese societies face common challenges, in particular the European Union and China are strategic partners, and work closely together, also to address global issues, such macro-economic imbalances, climate change, and peace and security. Challenges which neither of us can overcome on our own Nevertheless many perception gaps remain, and we must strive to bridge them, and to promote convergence of our ideas and values.

China is now in the middle of its leadership transition. The political, economic and social policies pursued by China will have far-reaching consequences not only domestically, but also internationally. Macao and Hong Kong could serve as a source of inspiration for political and economic reforms. Fundamental freedoms and rule of law form the basis for progress for any society. The European Union is very attached to the principle of One Country, Two Systems.

Following the global economic crisis, Europe has been going through difficult times, particularly in the Euro Zone. But it has faced up to the need for reform, and is slowly emerging from the crisis, more integrated, more resilient. Our efforts to promote peace and security over the last 60 years have been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. And we are very pride of this achievement, But also see it as an encouragement to continue our chosen path of integration and our efforts on the international scene.

The European Union remains strongly committed to assume its responsibility as a global player and alongside all the strategic parties, such as China, to strive for a better, more open and more prosperous world for all.

I wish all of you a successful and fruitful debate!