The Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) is a Micronesian Pacific island country. The relationship between the European Union and RMI is governed by the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which will soon be replaced by a successor Agreement. RMI 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, at various ACP-EU policy dialogues, and at global multilateral levels.

Political Relations

Political Relations Between the EU and Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands consists of 5 islands and 29 atolls, with a population of 60,000.

RMI 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 during 2020-2023, the EU cooperates closely with RMI to ensure our shared commitment to universal values and human rights principles are upheld internationally.

The EU and RMI 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 2017.RMI 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.

RMI has been supported by the EU and its Member States through the Team Europe response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic Relations

Economic Relations Between the EU and Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), categorised as Upper Middle-Income Country. The economy is dependent on fisheries and development assistance, particularly grants received through its Compact of Free Association with the United States.

The islands do not currently benefit from a beneficial trade regime with the EU. Following its classification as Upper-Middle Income Country (UMIC), RMI stopped benefitting from the EU's regular Generalised System of Preferences on 1 January 2017.
As part of the ACP group, Marshall Islands 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 Marshall Islands duty-free, quota-free access for all its products to the EU market — the world’s largest single market.

The EU’s main exports to Marshall Islands are passenger and cargo ships.

Development Cooperation

The European Union’s Development Cooperation with Marshall Islands

Between 2014-2020, the European Union has supported a wide range of cooperation projects that have benefitted Marshall Islands in areas such as energy, climate change, gender issues, public finance management, economic development and accountability.  Marshall Islands civil society organisations also received EU cooperation funding under different programmes.