The Republic of Kiribati is a Micronesian Pacific island country. The relationship between the European Union and Kiribati is based on the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which will soon be replaced by a successor Agreement. Kiribati and the EU work together on a number of shared interests and common challenges, such as climate change, oceans and human rights, which they address in bilateral Political Dialogues, at various ACP-EU policy dialogues and at global multilateral levels.

Political Relations

Political Relations between the European Union and the Republic of Kiribati

Kiribati consists of 32 atolls and 1 raised coral island, and an approximate population of 120,000.

It participates in policy dialogues within the ACP-EU institutions from senior officials to parliamentary and ministerial levels. The EU also cooperates closely with Kiribati to ensure our shared commitment to universal values and human rights principles are upheld at the international level.

The EU and Kiribati hold High-Level Political Dialogues to address common interests and challenges, such as climate change, oceans, human rights, development cooperation, economic and trade cooperation.  The last Political Dialogue took place in 2018.

Kiribati 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. Both apply a short-stay Visa Waiver Agreement, to encourage people-to-people contacts, boost tourism and invigorate business.

Kiribati 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 Kiribati

Kiribati is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), categorised as Lower Middle Income Country.

The economy is mainly driven by public spending – particularly on infrastructure – but also relies on fishing license fees as a source of government income.
Kiribati’s exports to the EU market are limited mainly to fish and copra. 

It can export all its products to the EU free of tariffs or quotas under the ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) scheme until graduating from its classification as a Least Developed Country (LDC).

Kiribati can accede to the EU-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), currently applied between the EU and Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands. The EPA would give all of Kiribati’s products duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market — the world’s largest single market.

It is a party to the ‘Parties to the Nauru Agreement’ (PNA) fishing scheme and has a sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the EU, and a Protocol which is currently under renewal negotiations.

Development Cooperation

The European Union’s Development Cooperation with Kiribati

Between 2014-2020, the European Union has supported a wide range of cooperation projects that have benefitted Kiribati in areas such as climate change adaption, water and sanitation, clean drinking water, sustainable energy, fisheries and access to social services.