The European Parliament is to send its first official delegation to post-handover Hong Kong shortly after the election on May 24. The 12-member delegation will meet politicians to discuss the poll and examine the possibility of strengthening links between the SAR and European body. The group will also meet Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. Members will arrive in Hong Kong on June 8, shortly after an unofficial delegation that is being sent to observe the election. Etienne Reuter, head of the European Commission, said he expected the question of granting SAR passport holders visa-free access to European countries would be raised. 'It is an opportunity for the representatives of the Hong Kong Government and business community to make the case for visa-free access to Europe,' he said. Among European Union states, only Britain and Ireland have given visa-free entry to SAR passport holders. The Government has made attempts to seek visa-free status elsewhere, but little progress has been made. Hong Kong is the delegation's last stop. Members go to the mainland on May 29.