The European Union (EU) and the Republic of Seychelles have solid diplomatic, political, economic and trade as well as development cooperation relations. They are based on shared values such as respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and a strong commitment to promoting a rules-based global order. 

This partnership has changed over the years, and now covers key areas like maritime security, trade and investment, sustainable fisheries and blue economy, environmental protection and climate change. Seychelles benefits from regional programmes implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission in the areas of maritime and port security, sustainable fisheries and climate change.

Political Relations 

The annual Political Dialogue at the highest level provides the EU and Seychelles the opportunity to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues. It also provides a platform to set common objectives for a strengthened political partnership in order to work together on global issues of shared interest, such as the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

The first Political dialogue of the EU with the Government of Seychelles took place in 2012. The last EU-Seychelles Political Dialogue took place on 7 October 2021. 

Economic and Trade Relations

Trade relations

The Seychelles (together with Mauritius, Madagascar and Zimbabwe) signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) with the EU in 2009. The agreement has been provisionally applied since May 2012. The Comoros ratified the ESA EPA in February 2019 and began applying the Agreement immediately. 

EPAs are reciprocal and go beyond conventional free-trade agreements. It opens EU markets fully and immediately, allowing long transition periods for partner countries to open up partially to EU imports while providing protection for sensitive sectors.

The ESA iEPA is a development-oriented agreement that provides duty-free, quota-free access for all ESA-EPA exports to the EU from the first day of application of the EPA. For their part, ESA-EPA countries are progressively reducing their tariffs to zero for 80% or more of their EU imports, in line with the individual schedules annexed to the EPA. Under the EPA, the Seychelles has liberalized 98% of its tariff lines. The last round of tariff cuts has been implemented by the Seychelles beginning 2022.

To protect certain sensitive agricultural markets and industries in ESA-EPA countries and to maintain tax revenues, the ESA-EPA countries will not remove import duties for some agricultural and non-agricultural processed goods. Some products excluded from liberalisation for the Seychelles are: Meat, fisheries, beverages, tobacco, leather articles, glass and ceramics products and vehicles.

In 2020, despite the pandemic, the European Union (EU) has remained the main trading partner of the Republic of Seychelles with 39% of total trade.

On 2 October 2019, the EU started negotiations with five Eastern and Southern Africa partners (so-called ESA: the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe) to deepen the existing Economic Partnership Agreement. More information on the negotiation rounds, reports and initial textual proposals are available on https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2110

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EPA support programme 

As a long-standing trade partner of Seychelles, the European Union implements several key programmes to facilitate and enhance trade.  The EU supports Seychelles in the implementation of the EPA in order to: support new high-value products which have high export potential; create a brand that will enhance the marketability of Seychelles products;  explore new export markets; attract investment and improve the capacity of institutions dealing with trade. 

The European External Investment Plan 

The European Union supports the Port Victoria rehabilitation and extension project with a grant of 5 million euros from the EU, and loans from the European Investment Bank and Agence Française de Développement. The project will boost investment in Seychelles, ensure that the country's exports are competitive, and allow local consumers to access goods at a lower price. 

Fisheries 

The EU and Seychelles have built a solid partnership in the area of fisheries with successive sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements. These provide EU vessels with fishing opportunities in the waters over which the Republic of Seychelles exercises its sovereignty or jurisdiction.  

In this context, the EU provides Seychelles with the following financial contribution:

  • Payment of access rights to the EEZ.
  • Support to the sector to promote its development and strengthen the national administrative and scientific capacity. 

The first Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Seychelles was signed in 1987.

Environmental Protection and Climate Change

The EU supports Seychelles in implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.   

The EU provides support to the Government of Seychelles climate action under the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+). The objective is to contribute to the implementation of the Seychelles Climate Change Strategy, through strengthening the climate change sector policy framework and supporting adaptation to climate change in coastal areas. 

Promoting Human Rights, Gender Equality and Good Governance

The EU and Seychelles partnership is founded on a strong commitment to promoting shared values and common interests, including democracy, the rule of law, accountability, as well as a rules-based global order with the United Nations at its core. In this context, civil society is a key partner as it plays an important role in any society. The European Union has a regular dialogue with civil society organisations and provides them with support in the area of good governance, women's rights and the fight against drug abuse.