The Republic of Fiji is a Melanesian Pacific island nation. The relationship between the European Union and Fiji is governed by the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which will soon be replaced by a successor Agreement. Fiji and the EU work together on a number of common values, interests and challenges, such as climate change, oceans and human rights, which they address both in bilateral Political Dialogues and at various ACP-EU policy dialogues, as well as at global multilateral level.
Political relations between the European Union and the Republic of Fiji
Fiji consists of an archipelago of two main islands and 330 smaller islands — of which about 110 are permanently inhabited — and a population of 900,000.
Fiji participates in comprehensive policy dialogues within the ACP-EU institutions from senior officials to parliamentary and ministerial levels. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2019-2021, and current President, Fiji cooperates closely with the EU to ensure our shared commitment to universal values and human rights principles are upheld at the international level.
The EU and Fiji hold High-Level Political Dialogues to address common interests and challenges, such as climate change, oceans, human rights, development cooperation, as well as economic and trade cooperation. The last Political Dialogue took place in a virtual format in October 2020.
Fiji and the EU are engaged in the Pacific region through the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and Pacific Community (SPC). The Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) coordinates the ACP-EU policy dialogues.
Fiji has been supported by the EU and its Member States through the Team Europe response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trade and Economic Relations
Trade and Economic Relations Between the EU and Fiji
Fiji is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), categorised as Upper Middle-Income Country. Its economic base comprises tourism, fisheries, agriculture (mainly sugar) and remittances.
Tourism accounts for around 35% of GDP and employs approximately 150,000 people directly and indirectly. Natural resources include timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil, and hydropower. Agriculture contributes ca. 10.75% of GDP (2018, WB) and employs 60% of Fiji's workforce.
In 2014, Fiji started the application of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the Pacific which it had signed in 2009. The EPA gives all Fijian products duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market — the world’s largest single market. It helps the country to alleviate poverty and create jobs based on international values and principles, including sustainable development and human rights.
Fiji exports fish, water, gold and sugar to the EU market. Fiji imports from the EU include manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, foodstuffs, and chemicals. Australia, Singapore, the US and New Zealand are also Fiji’s main trading partners.
The European Union’s Development Cooperation with Fiji
Between 2014-2020, the European Union has supported a wide range of cooperation projects that benefited Fiji in areas such as: climate change adaption, disaster risk reduction, sustainable rural livelihoods, public administration reform and governance, gender and human rights, to name a few.
Fijian civil society organisations receive EU cooperation funding under different programmes.