In 2018, the EU and Macao maintained solid trade relations and enjoyed a good level of cooperation. The EU is looking forward to further strengthening and expanding its relations with the Macao Special Administrative Region.
The report concludes that in 2018, the ‘one country, two systems' principle continued in general to work well, although political opposition is limited and civil society not very vocal. The rule of law and the independence of the judiciary were upheld and the rights and the fundamental freedoms of Macao citizens were generally respected. Macao's media continued to express a broad range of views despite concerns about increasing self-censorship. In 2018, the Macao authorities undertook or announced several initiatives to strengthen national security, which brought the Special Administrative Region's policy more into line with the views of the mainland.
The EU reiterates its commitment to democracy, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and rights in Macao. The EU encourages the Macao authorities to provide for greater public involvement in the election of the SAR's Chief Executive and the Legislative Assembly. This would increase their legitimacy and public support, and strengthen governance.
Since the handover of Macao to the People's Republic of China in 1999, the European Union and its Member States have closely followed political and economic developments in the Macao Special Administrative Region under the ‘one country, two systems' principle.
The European Union adheres to its ‘one China' policy and supports the ‘one country, two systems' principle and its implementation.
This annual report on developments in Macao is issued in line with the commitment given to the European Parliament in 1997.