CAPITAL: Brussels (seat of European Commission)
EU MEMBERS: 28 European countries
FORUM DIALOGUE MEMBERSHIP ESTABLISHED: 2000
ADDITIONAL FORUM DIALOGUE MECHANISMS: Forum-EU Ministerial Troika (est. 2008)
PRESIDENT EU COMMISSION: Jean-Claude Juncker
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN THE PACIFIC: 4 (Australia, Fiji, NZ, PNG)
SIGNIFICANT MULTILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS: ASEAN/ARF, IATTC, SPRFMO, WCPFC, WTO, UN (Observe)
Common areas of strategic interest
The EU works closely with Forum countries in the areas of: advocating for the special case of Small Island Developing States (SIDS); climate change; ocean management and regional fisheries; human rights; global security; Busan Principles of Development Effectiveness; Post-2015 Development Agenda; and regional integration.
Trade in the region
EU’s Trade with the Pacific region has fluctuated between 2014 and 2016. With an average decline in trade of 10.42% in 2015 and an average increase in trade of 2.28% in 2016. EU trade to the Pacific Region constituted for 0.05% of total EU world trade.
The EU has been a UN observer since 1974 and has had enhanced participation rights since 2011. While it does not have voting rights it is represented alongside its 28 members, two of which are permanent members of the Security Council (France and the United Kingdom). The European Union is a major player in international cooperation and development aid. It is also the world’s largest humanitarian aid donor. The primary aim of the EU’s own development policy, agreed in November 2000, is the eradication of poverty. In 2016, the EU and UNDP signed 52 contribution agreements for a total value of EUR 233 million.
The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and to overseas countries and territories. From 2008-2013, the EU provided over EUR 700 million to Forum Island Countries. Approximately 23% is delivered via regional organisations, the rest on a bilateral basis. The 11th EDF’s Regional Indicative Programme for 2014-2020 financial cycle was signed in June 2015 for a total of EUR 166 million, the first disbursement will be in 2017.