The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and the Minister of national defence of Vietnam, General Ngo Xuan Lich, signed on 17 October in Brussels a Framework Participation Agreement, establishing a legal framework for the participation of Vietnam in EU-led civilian and military crisis management operations. The signature comes two months after Mogherini’s visit to the country.

The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy provides the Union with the capacity to deploy civilian and military operations, while Framework Participation Agreements are an instrument to strengthen the involvement of EU’s partners. The missions are done at the request for assistance of the country, in respect of international law.

Vietnam becomes the second partner country in Asia to sign an agreement of this kind with the EU, after the Republic of Korea, and the first in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Including the one signed today, the EU now has Framework Participation Agreements with 19 partner countries.