European Parliament delegation to meet with President Tsai Thursday

A European Parliament (EP) delegation visiting Taiwan will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Thursday, according to the Presidential Office.

The delegation, which arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday, comprises seven members of the EP's Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE), and their aides.

It is the first formal delegation from the European Parliament to visit Taiwan.

During the delegation's three-day visit, its members will meet with President Tsai on Thursday and Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun (???) on Friday, the Presidential Office said in a statement Wednesday.

They will also discuss topics including disinformation and cyberattacks with other government officials, experts, and non-governmental organizations, the Presidential Office said.

The delegation declined to be interviewed after touching down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Wednesday morning, but INGE Chair and delegation head Raphaël Glucksmann told reporters, "We are very happy to be here."

Glucksmann said on Twitter prior to departing for Taiwan that the delegation is the first from the EP to visit Taiwan and is a strong sign of support for Taiwan's democracy.

"Taiwan has established itself as a model of democracy in Asia since the 1990s," Glucksmann said, with freedom of expression, media pluralism, and free elections.

As Beijing wishes to "end the Taiwanese experience," Europeans need to help this democracy survive, he tweeted.

INGE was established in June 2020, after the European Parliament took note of attempts to interfere in the functioning of democracy in the European Union (EU).

The special committee was also observed that this was part of a wider trend experienced by democracies worldwide, with foreign interference being used in combination with economic and military pressure to harm the bloc's unity.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the committee only plans to send delegations to Taiwan, the United States, and EU member states before its term ends in March 2022.

All members of the delegation are visiting Taiwan for the first time, the source said.

Other than Glucksmann, who is from France, the delegation includes EP members Andrius Kubilius (Lithuania), Markéta Gregorová (Czechia), Andreas Schieder (Austria), Petras Auštrevicius (Lithuania), Georgios Kyrtsos (Greece), and Marco Dreosto (Italy).

In addition to sitting on the special committee, many members of the delegation are also on the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs committee.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel