EU relations with Fiji

Solar panel installation EU funded project, Fiji. ©EUSolar panel installation EU funded project, Fiji. ©EU

EU-Fiji relations are based on the respect for human rights, democratic principles, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law – essential elements of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.

Following the 2006 military coup and Fiji's violation of these values, the EU suspended its development assistance to Fiji.

Since then, the EU has promoted a return to democracy, the respect for human rights and the rule of law in Fiji via enhanced political dialogue. 

Aid

The EU gives aid to Fiji through several different routes:

  • measures for sugar producing countries (AMSP) – worth €50m in 2011-2013 (though much of that is conditional on agreement being reached on the constitutional consultation process).
  • 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and Instrument for Stability (currently under review to explore ways of giving extra support to the national dialogue process, the constitutional consultation process and election preparations).
  • European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights – €300,000 a year for 2012 and 2013, to support NGO activity on human rights and capacity building in democratic principles.
  • Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – signed in December 2009 but not yet implemented pending notification by Fiji of provisional application or ratification.

Democracy & elections

The EU is cautiously optimistic about a prospective return to democracy in Fiji, with the 2014 elections and the constitutional consultation process. It is following developments closely.

At the EU's insistence, the regime in Fiji requested a UN electoral needs assessment mission, which took place in mid-April 2012. The findings should provide a basis for EU assistance, in close coordination with international partners. At present, the EU plans to provide €2 million for a phase 2 of the NICE project for Fiji (NICE: national initiative for civic education), with a focus on the 2014 election.