european union

EU welcomes Fiji’s abolishment of death penalty

The European Union has welcomed Fiji’s decision to abolish the death penalty through the RFMF Amendment Act of 2015.

EU Ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, says this is a big step forward for the nation as Fiji prepare to commemorate World Day against the Death Penalty on Saturday.

He adds that it’s important to continue to push for the abolishment of death penalty worldwide- as it represents an inhumane, degrading treatment.

EU warns Taiwan over Pacific fishing

The EU issued the 'yellow card' after a pirate tuna vessel was busted fishing in Papua New Guinea waters by the NGO three weeks ago.

This means Taiwan, which has the biggest fishing fleet in the Pacific, may face European sanctions and import bans if changes aren't made.

An oceans campaigner for Greenpeace, Karly Thomas, says Taiwan has too many boats flying its flag with too little control.

EU and Solomon Islands sign SB$360 million development partnership

The EU-Solomon Islands National Indicative Programme (NIP), supported by a bilateral financial envelope of SB$360 million (US$44.7 million) from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), will target improvements to Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) and Rural Development. 

The programme has been prepared jointly by the European Union and the Government of Solomon Islands to address key development challenges in rural and urban areas of the country. 

Media rights group says EU is too soft on Hungary

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in Tuesday's report "Balancing Act" that the 28-nation bloc was struggling to match its lofty human rights standards with its day-to-day actions in protecting journalists within the EU and around the world.

"There are significant challenges that undermine press freedom and new threats are emerging," the report concluded.

Deeply-divided EU to hold emergency summit on migrant crisis

Around half a million people have fled to Europe so far this year in search of sanctuary or jobs. As numbers swell, nations have tightened border security. Hungary has a razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia.

Countries in eastern Europe with little recent experience of migration are trading barbs over who is to blame, while Balkans neighbors Serbia and Croatia — who were at war in the early 1990s — issued threats and ultimatums.

EU urges Libya parties to grasp peace deal

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday that the parties "are now really in the last mile" and must take their responsibilities and bring an end to a year of crisis.

She said the EU stands "ready from day zero to support, financially and in all possible ways they would wish."

Libya is divided between an Islamist-backed government in Tripoli and an internationally recognized leadership based in the east.

EU ministers agree to relocate 120,000 refugees

But in a sign of deep-rooted divisions among the bloc's 28 nations, the ministers who often reach decisions by consensus had to put the plan to a vote. And even with Tuesday's hard-won agreement, the sheer numbers of migrants already in Europe this year — over 477,900 — shows the need for much greater action and wider vision down the road to resolve the migration crisis.

The Latest: EU plans new emergency meeting on migrant crisis

Tuesday's decision for the Sep. 22 meeting came in the wake of inconclusive meeting of interior ministers Monday where at least four eastern nations objected to the quota proposals to spread the refugees from Italy, Greece and Hungary across 22 other EU nations.

4 European nations strongly rebuff mandatory migrant quotas

But despite his warning, at least four Central European nations firmly rejected an EU proposal for mandatory refugee quotas.

As German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke in Prague, a trickle of migrants marching toward Vienna swelled into a torrent Friday as thousands engulfed a major Austrian highway. Police briefly closed the A4 expressway to Vienna to vehicles because of the potential dangers posed by so many people on its shoulders.

Small Pacific islands have big voice: EU

The European Union's climate change commissioner is confident the world won't ignore the plight of tiny Pacific island countries at risk of disappearing under rising seas.

Miguel Canete told reporters at the Pacific Island Forum in Port Moresby on Tuesday that while countries such as Kiribati and the Marshall Islands were small, their voices were loud on the world stage.

“They are very active negotiators and they have a solid case... when you have commitment and passion your voice is heard,” he said.