european union

EU will mobilise and redirect €119 million to aid Pacific combat COVID-19

Fifteen partner Pacific islands countries and four European Overseas Countries and Territories will benefit from this support.

The EU action will focus on strengthening partner countries’ health, water and sanitation systems and their research and preparedness capacities to deal with the pandemic, as well as mitigating its socioeconomic impact.

EU to redirect funds for pandemic response in Pacific

The bloc's ambassador to the Pacific, Sujiro Seam, said 15 Pacific states and four territories would be eligible for the support.

The money will be redirected from existing EU-funded programmes in the Pacific.

Mr Seam said the money would help strengthen countries' preparations, the capacity of their health systems and mitigate the pandemic's socioeconomic impact.

A detailed support programme for the Pacific will be announced "in the coming days".

     

EU keen to deepen ties with Pacific on number of issues

The EU is one of the region's largest donors, but the Suva-based ambassador, Sujiro Seam, said he was working to make the EU's relationship with the region more than an aid donor.

He said his bloc's support for the Pacific on issues like multilateralism and climate change were increasingly important.

"The top priorities of the new leadership of the European Union is very much on par with the Pacific priority issues. And mainly, it means that the new top priority for the European Union is the European Union green deal."

EU acknowledges Nauru’s positive steps on taxation

The European Commission produced a list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions in 2017 as part of the European Union’s work to clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance.

In total, 213 countries were pre-assessed on 1600 indicators and from that list 92 countries were subject to further assessment.

In March, the Commission announced 15 countries had been blacklisted while another 34 countries will continue to be monitored on the grey list, while 25 countries from the original screening process had been cleared.

European FAO candidate promising Pacific focus

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle is up against five other candidates to head the office.

Ms Geslain-Lanéelle said the Pacific had little representation within the organisation, which needs to change as the challenges the region faces are immense.

"And this region is very much affected by climate change. We still have countries where have hunger, we have malnutrition and where we have food waste and loss. So this is important to address all of these challenges."

PNG deepens trading arrangements with EU, ACP

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rimbink Pato, who attended the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on 26 October, signed the ACP Administrative Cooperation Agreement (ACA).

This makes it possible for PNG to enter into intra-ACP trade relations with the cumulation of the rules of origin.

Under this WTO multilateral trading rule, countries within the same Trade Agreement region could cumulate rules of origin.

Pacific ACP leaders want no more cuts to EDF11 funding

The leaders and representatives of 14 Pacific ACP states met in Apia, Samoa today to discuss concerns about significant delays in the programming of the EDF 11 Pacific Regional Indicative Programme (PRIP) and other partnerships related to the EU.

At a press conference after the meeting, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor expressed disappointment at the delay.

“We are disappointed because our countries have been insisting on the drawdown of these funds and the negotiations have been protracted,” she said.

EU and Pacific to discuss Cotonou replacement in Apia

The agreement outlines the EU's commitments in terms of aid, trade and development to countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

There are 14 Pacific members of the ACP and the EU has already indicated it wants a more region specific approach.

The EU's Pacific Ambassador, Andrew Jacobs, said it had already been made clear that the Pacific wants a diversified approach that reflects the region's challenges.

EU slaps Google with record $2.7 billion fine

The European Commission found that the U.S. tech giant denied "consumers a genuine choice" by using its search engine to unfairly steer them to its own shopping platform.

Regulators said that Google must change its behavior within 90 days or face additional penalties.

EU eyes 'new era' of partnership with Pacific

With the EU's current partnership agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries expiring in 2020, they are working towards a new agreement.

Stefano Manservisi, the Director-General of DEVCO, is visiting the Pacific, taking in visits to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand.

He said the EU was proposing to embed in a new agreement a "specific Pacific pillar", based on common objectives.