A chance for change: A civil society briefing on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement negotiations between Vietnam and the European Union
June 21, 2017

This briefing takes stock of the VPA between Vietnam and the EU at a key juncture: as the Agreement formally moves from its negotiation to ratification phase.

It assesses the VPA – and the negotiation process – from a civil society perspective. The findings that emerge raise a number of concerns.

Vietnam has undoubtedly made steps to halt illegal logging within its own borders. The Vietnamese government has also made progress in recognising the value of civil society contributions. Yet despite this, up until the initialling of the VPA at least, civil society’s input into the process has been limited, and access to VPA texts has been restricted.

What’s more, when measured against the indicators of good forest governance – accountability, participation, transparency, coordination and capacity – the VPA process in Vietnam has so far fallen short of the standards expected.

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