The European Union (EU) covers a large part of the continent of Europe, from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Aegean Sea. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'member states') are all committed to the same fundamental values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They seek to promote these values, to build and share prosperity and to exert their collective influence by acting together on the world stage.
Over half a century, the Union has raised its citizens' standard of living to unprecedented levels. It has created a frontier-free single market and a single currency, the euro. It is a major economic power and the world leader in development aid. Its membership has grown from 6 to 25 nations. A further two expect to join in 2007. The enlarged EU of 27 countries will have a population of nearly half a billion.
The EU today faces new challenges, not least globalisation. To become more competitive while remaining a fair and caring society, the EU needs to et more people into new and better jobs and to give them new skills. The EU is over four times more densely populated than the United States and about 40 times more so than Canada. But it has only about a third the population density of Japan. Population density puts pressure on the environment and natural resources which is one reason why sustainable development is a top priority for the EU today.
The EU is deeply committed to protecting and nurturing the environment. The EU has become more and more effective in environmental protection by agreeing policies, passing laws and introducing measures to implement them, providing help to clean up pollution, carrying out groundbreaking research into environmental innovations, and making people more aware of the issues. On a worldwide level, the Union continues to play a decisive role, for example taking the lead in pressing for countries to implement effective measures to combat climate change.
EU - Taiwan trade relations
The EU is Taiwan's fourth overall trading partner, after China, Japan and the United States, but the EU is Taiwan's third largest client, in front of Japan. In 2004, according to Taiwan Customs Statistics, the total bilateral trade between the EU and Taiwan reached 39 billion USD, 11.4% of Taiwan's total external trade.
From a European standpoint, Taiwan is the EU's 10th biggest trading partner, with approximately 2% share of the EU's external trade. Taiwan, which ranks higher than more populated EU trade partners such as Brazil or India, kept this outstanding position in 2004.
An Excellent 2004 Vintage
Indeed, EU - Taiwan bilateral trade has continued to grow in 2004! Overall, the EU - Taiwan trade in goods grew by 18.6% in 2004, following a more than 9% increase in 2003. With these high figures, a historical record was broken, and the trade volume surpassed its highest level since 2000.
BACK TO NORMAL? The move would be part of a gradual easing of curbs monitored by the CECC, which would retain the quarantine mandate if case numbers rise again The Cabinet yesterday approved a plan to next month reopen Taiwan’s borders to all visitors and lift the quarantine mandate for arrivals, provided the nation’s COVID-19 situation does not escalate. The changes are likely to take effect on Oct. 13 as part of a phased easing of border controls that is to start on Thursday next week when a negative polymerase chain reaction test result would no longer be needed, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Arriving travelers would instead be given four rapid antigen home test kits, Lo said. The three-day quarantine requirement followed by four days of mandatory
The Chinese navy has the ability to blockade Taiwan, but doing so could prompt a coordinated response by the international community to intervene to resolve the crisis for Taiwan, US Vice Admiral Karl Thomas said. “Clearly if they do something that’s non-kinetic, which, you know, a blockade is less kinetic ... then that allows the international community to weigh in and to work together on how we’re going to solve that challenge,” the commander of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Monday. While he could not predict whether China would launch a full-scale
‘NO SURRENDER’: A blockade or outlying island seizure would be an act of war, and China’s drills last month have emboldened Taipei in its response plans, an official said The Republic of China Army Command Headquarters has agreed to purchase 5,000 Kestrel close-range anti-armor missiles worth NT$400 million (US$12.63 million) from the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, according to the military’s latest arms purchase bid notice. The army asked the institute to complete the order within 13 months, a military source said on condition of anonymity. Kestrel missiles are designed to penetrate armored vehicles and are used in anti-surface warfare, as they feature optical sights and night vision, and can be operated in all weather conditions. The missile has a 400m range, or a 150m range when used for breaching brick
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758