A stable and peaceful Pacific region
The EU has a strategic interest in a stable and peaceful Pacific region. Pacific states generally share the EU's common interests and universal values in multilateral fora. They are solid partners in addressing global challenges, in particular when it comes to climate change, protecting the environment and ocean governance. In this respect, the EU is at the forefront in its international cooperation and development policy in supporting the implementation of the UN's 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The EU is also developing as a security actor in the Pacific. This is increasingly needed in light of the growing geo-strategic competition in the region which is seeing the emergence of new players in addition to the traditional partners of Pacific island countries in their immediate neighbourhood. The vast natural resources of the Pacific - such as fish, minerals, and forestry – need protection, ensuring their sustainable management, while keeping maritime transport channels free and open.
Additionally the EU is strengthening its relations with Australia and New Zealand. Free Trade Agreement negotiations are in progress with both countries. The EU's security dialogues with Australia and New Zealand should facilitate the possibility of those countries' participation in future EU-led crisis operations.
EU-Pacific Trade relations
The EU's trade relationship with the Pacific states (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands) is set by an Economic Partnership agreement.
The agreement was ratified by the European Parliament in January 2011 and by Papua New Guinea in May 2011. The government of Fiji started applying the agreement in July 2014. Samoa acceded to the EPA on 21 December 2018 and Solomon Islands on 17 May 2020 and are applying it since then.
On 19 July 2018, Tonga informed the EU of its intention to accede to the EPA.
International Cooperation in the Pacific
The Pacific and the EU share fundamental values and work together towards fulfilling the region’s potential for attaining widespread peace, security, and economic stability. We support the Pacific’s efforts by building resilience to deal with their largest vulnerabilities, particularly when it comes to climate change and social inequalities.
EU action in the Pacific
The EU has long enjoyed a broad and comprehensive relationship with its partners in the Pacific. EU-Pacific cooperation in the region, underpinned by the EU's Global Gateway connectivity strategy, Some of the supports include
- Sustainable and inclusive prosperity
- Green transition
- Ocean governance
- Digital governance and partnerships
- Security and defence
- Human security
To learn more about European Union action in the Pacific, follow the link to download the factsheet.