european union

EU keen to deepen ties with Pacific on number of issues

The EU is one of the region's largest donors, but the Suva-based ambassador, Sujiro Seam, said he was working to make the EU's relationship with the region more than an aid donor.

He said his bloc's support for the Pacific on issues like multilateralism and climate change were increasingly important.

"The top priorities of the new leadership of the European Union is very much on par with the Pacific priority issues. And mainly, it means that the new top priority for the European Union is the European Union green deal."

European Union enhances Tonga’s energy sector

This initiative has been made possible through the funding provided by the European Union (EU) to assist in the reform of the energy sector, including development of the Energy Bill. 

The government of Tonga is accountable for approving institutional, regulatory, and most sustainable policy options for the reform of the energy sector.

European FAO candidate promising Pacific focus

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle is up against five other candidates to head the office.

Ms Geslain-Lanéelle said the Pacific had little representation within the organisation, which needs to change as the challenges the region faces are immense.

"And this region is very much affected by climate change. We still have countries where have hunger, we have malnutrition and where we have food waste and loss. So this is important to address all of these challenges."

PNG deepens trading arrangements with EU, ACP

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rimbink Pato, who attended the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on 26 October, signed the ACP Administrative Cooperation Agreement (ACA).

This makes it possible for PNG to enter into intra-ACP trade relations with the cumulation of the rules of origin.

Under this WTO multilateral trading rule, countries within the same Trade Agreement region could cumulate rules of origin.

EU supports victims of cyclone Gita in Tonga

Initial emergency assistance of €100 000 (TOP 265 390) has been provided to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help provide life-saving aid, starting with the most urgent needs for shelter, water and sanitation, as well as health assistance. The Commission has also activated the European satellite mapping system Copernicus, which has already provided maps of some of the most affected areas of the archipelago. 

Pacific ACP leaders want no more cuts to EDF11 funding

The leaders and representatives of 14 Pacific ACP states met in Apia, Samoa today to discuss concerns about significant delays in the programming of the EDF 11 Pacific Regional Indicative Programme (PRIP) and other partnerships related to the EU.

At a press conference after the meeting, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor expressed disappointment at the delay.

“We are disappointed because our countries have been insisting on the drawdown of these funds and the negotiations have been protracted,” she said.

EU and Pacific to discuss Cotonou replacement in Apia

The agreement outlines the EU's commitments in terms of aid, trade and development to countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

There are 14 Pacific members of the ACP and the EU has already indicated it wants a more region specific approach.

The EU's Pacific Ambassador, Andrew Jacobs, said it had already been made clear that the Pacific wants a diversified approach that reflects the region's challenges.

EU slaps Google with record $2.7 billion fine

The European Commission found that the U.S. tech giant denied "consumers a genuine choice" by using its search engine to unfairly steer them to its own shopping platform.

Regulators said that Google must change its behavior within 90 days or face additional penalties.

Tonga, EU discuss bilateral relations

The meeting held Wednesday was chaired by Acting Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni and attended by EU Ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs.

Crown Prince Tupouto‘a ‘Ulukalala and the Minister of Fisheries, Semisi Fakahau also participated in the political dialogue.  

The parties also discussed possibilities to intensify trade relations and strengthen co-operation in regional and international matters of common concern.

EU eyes 'new era' of partnership with Pacific

With the EU's current partnership agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries expiring in 2020, they are working towards a new agreement.

Stefano Manservisi, the Director-General of DEVCO, is visiting the Pacific, taking in visits to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand.

He said the EU was proposing to embed in a new agreement a "specific Pacific pillar", based on common objectives.