With regard to investment protection, both sides have already accomplished much, including agreement on important protection provisions, such as national treatment, and an agreement on key rules for material investment protection. In May 2007, a permanent investment dispute settlement mechanism was established, which authorized the Commission to negotiate a Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement (CPA) with Vietnam in November 2004 on the basis of the approval of negotiations with Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei in May 2007. Negotiations with Vietnam began in Hanoi in November 2007. Both sides signed the APC in Brussels on 4 October 2010. The APC was signed in Brussels on 27 June 2012. The CPA with Vietnam will replace the current legal framework of the 1995 agreement between the European Community and Vietnam and the 1980 cooperation agreement between the European Economic Community and the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which was extended to Vietnam in 1999. The CPA with Vietnam is an important step towards increased EU political and economic participation in Southeast Asia. It includes EU standard policy clauses on human rights, the International Criminal Court, weapons of mass destruction, small arms and light weapons and the fight against terrorism. The APC strengthens sectoral cooperation in a wide range of policy areas, such as taxation, migration, health, environment, climate change, energy, education and culture, work, employment and social affairs, science and technology and transport. It also covers legal cooperation, money laundering and terrorist financing, organised crime and corruption, and covers areas of particular interest to Vietnam, such as cooperation in the areas of human rights and the rule of law, war delays and the prevention of natural disasters. The APC will form the basis for a more effective engagement of the EU and its Member States with Vietnam in the areas of development, trade and the economy and will facilitate the conclusion of a free trade agreement with Vietnam. The conclusion of the CPA is in line with the EU`s objective of creating a comprehensive and coherent economic and political framework for EU-ASEAN relations. The Commission notes that the Council`s 2012/272/EU decision on the signing of the Philippines APC is the subject of the Court of Justice`s C-377/12 case: the Commission asked the Court of Justice to overturn this decision as the Council has added legal bases for transport (Articles 91 and 100 of the TFUE), readmission (Article 79, paragraph 3, TFUE) and the environment (Article 191, 4, of the TFUE).
The 2012/279/EU decision on the signing of the APC Vietnam raises, mutatis mutandis, the same legal issues as the 2012/EU Decision on the Signing of the Philippines APC. The C-377/12 case is therefore also important for the Council`s proposed decision on the conclusion of the CPA with Vietnam. Subject to the judgment of the Court of Justice in 377/12, this council`s proposal for a decision on the conclusion of the APC Vietnam is based on Articles 207, 209 and 218, paragraph 6. The Commission draws the Council`s attention to the recital of the agreement on the specific position of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark on the basis of Protocols 21 and 22 of the Treaties. The addition of this recital is due only to the birth of this text. Depending on the outcome of C-377/12, which is currently pending before the Court of Justice, this recital may have to be abandoned or reformulated at a later date.