On the operational front, the agreement also opens the door to more concrete security cooperation between the EU and Vietnam in certain areas. The VPA is the legal basis for facilitating Vietnam`s participation in civil and military crisis management operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), which are part of a cooperation partnership in the field of defence and security, until now known as «defence and security cooperation». And while the form of Vietnam`s participation is not yet clear – Mogherini stressed that Vietnam is already interested in one of the EU`s training missions in Africa – both sides cited this component as an important example of a common commitment to a multilateral, rules-based approach to international peace and security. From a strategic point of view, the agreement is another concrete example for the EU of its growing role as a security player in the region. The agreement gives the EU its first VPA partner in Southeast Asia and the fourth largest in Asia-Pacific (after Australia, New Zealand and South Korea). For Vietnam, it strengthens Hanois` approach to strengthening relations with a number of major powers, including the EU, despite the challenges that EU-Vietnam relations continue to face on issues such as human rights. IN WITNESS WHEREOF have signed this agreement by the undersigned, both of whom have been duly approved by the parties concerned. Federica Mogherini, the European Union`s head of foreign policy, and Vietnam`s Minister of National Defence, General Ngo Xuan Lich, signed a framework participation agreement in Brussels on 17 October establishing a legal framework for Vietnam`s participation in EU-led civil and military crisis management operations. The signing comes two months after Mogherini`s visit to the country. Such an agreement should be without prejudice to the Union`s decision-making autonomy and not prejudge Vietnam`s decision to participate in a crisis management operation led by the Union. For the EU, the signing of the VPA will help promote cooperation with Vietnam, which will enable the EU to strengthen its cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam and the EU intend to set general conditions for Vietnam`s participation in EU crisis management operations in an agreement that would establish a framework for possible future participation, rather than setting these conditions on a case-by-case basis for each transaction concerned. 1.
Without prejudice to Article 8, Vietnam pays all costs related to its participation in a civil crisis management operation conducted by the European Union, with the exception of operating costs, as defined in the operational budget of the operation.