The Independent State of Samoa is a Melanesian Pacific island nation. The relationship between the European Union and Samoa is governed by the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which will soon be replaced by a successor Agreement. Samoa 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 in bilateral Political Dialogues, various ACP-EU policy dialogues, and at global multilateral levels.

Political Relations

Political relations between the European Union and the Independent State of Samoa

Samoa is a Polynesian Pacific island nation consisting of two main islands and a population of 205,000.

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

The EU and Samoa 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 Brussels, in February 2020.

Both 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.

The EU and Samoa apply a short-stay Visa Waiver Agreement, to encourage people-to-people contacts, boost tourism and invigorate business.

Samoa 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 European Union and Samoa

Samoa is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), categorised as Upper Middle-Income Country.

The economy is structured around tourism (17% of GDP), remittances (20% GDP) and development aid (grants 10% of GDP). Subsistence agriculture provides a livelihood for over 60% of the population and with agriculture (7% GDP) contributing 90% of the country’s exports.

Samoa’s main exports are fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates (28%). Main imports include mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation, bituminous substances and mineral waxes (19%). Samoan exports to the EU have increased by more than 38% over the last decade. Samoa’s main trade partners are New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, USA, and China.

In 2018, Samoa acceded to the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the Pacific. The EPA gives all Samoan 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.

Development Cooperation

The European Union’s Development Cooperation with Samoa

Between 2014-2020, the European Union has supported a wide range of cooperation projects that has benefitted Samoa’s Water and Sanitation Sector. The Water Sector Support programme has helped Samoa develop a significant amount of capacity in the sector and establish a permanent institutional framework to govern and manage it.  Samoan civil society organisations also received EU cooperation funding under different programmes.