The European Union expresses its sincere congratulations to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its establishment. The principle of one country, two systems has generally worked well in practice and Hong Kong today remains a success.
The relationship between the European Union and the HKSAR has continued to develop positively in all fields since Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. People-to-people contacts were supported by granting visa-free access to the EU for Hong Kong residents. Moreover, the EU-HKSAR Customs Co-operation Agreement of 1999 also helped to underpin the independent functioning of the HKSAR economy.
In the view of the European Union, applying the principle of “one country, two systems”, as set out in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, has ensured the continued stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.
Furthermore, the European Union supports the respect for human rights and individual freedoms set out in the Joint Declaration and enshrined in the Basic Law of the HKSAR, particularly in relation to the autonomy and independence of the executive, legislature and judiciary of the HKSAR
The European Union also expresses confidence that the high degree of autonomy, guaranteed to Hong Kong in the Joint Declaration and enacted by the Basic Law, will be maintained in the future, and that substantial progress will be made soon towards universal suffrage.
In order to contribute further to Hong Kong’s political, economic and social development, the European Union will continue to develop and deepen its cooperation and dialogue with the HKSAR.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.