The Taipei Representative Office in the EU & Belgium welcomed twenty EU-officials—including heads of units, policy officers, and project managers from the European Parliament, the European Commission, and Executive Agencies—to an orientation meeting on July 16, ahead of their trip to Taiwan. The group was leaving for Taipei in August, to take part in this year’s Taiwan Study Seminar, or Mandarin Training Program.
The meeting began with welcome remarks by Deputy Representative Pierre Chou, who was happy to see the large interest EU-officials have in learning more about Taiwan. He encouraged them to travel in Taiwan and learn about its rich cultural history and enjoy the wonderful cuisine his country has to offer, as well as taking part in the classes and activities arranged. Some former participants then gave a presentation on their experiences in Taiwan and shared many useful tips. Ms. Arianna Dellacca and Ms. Marlène Bartes, who participated in last year’s Taiwan Study Seminar shared anecdotes and tips, and some photos from their time in Taiwan, with the group. They were followed by Ms. Ida-Maria Fallesen and Mr. Michal Struk, who participated in last year’s Mandarin Training Program, and Mrs. Hélène Juramy, who participated in the Mandarin Training Program in 2017, who gave an idea of what to expect during the classes and planned activities. The meeting ended with a Q&A session to answer the many questions raised.
The Taiwan Study Seminar, and Mandarin Training Program began in 2007 and 2008 respectively, and since then more than 200 officials have participated in one or both. Participants in the Taiwan Study Seminar spend five days learning about the latest political, socio-economic, and educational developments in Taiwan, and the Mandarin Training Program participants spend ten days learning some Mandarin and exploring Taiwan’s culture. The visit also provides opportunities for networking and potential collaboration and have been instrumental in strengthening ties between the EU and Taiwan.