European Union

  General Information

Capital: Brussels (seat of European Commission)
EU Members: 28 European countries
Post-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 (Observer)

Trade in the region


The EU’s trade with the Pacific region has consistently increased between 2010 – 2014. With an annual average growth rate of 4.5% in imports from the Pacific region and 13.5% in exports to the Pacific region, trade with the Pacific region constituted 0.1% of the share of total EU trade in 2014.

Key exports from the Pacific region include agricultural (48.2% of total Pacific exports to the EU) and fishery products (11.6%). A number of trading arrangements exist for Forum Island Countries (designated P-ACP countries in the EU’s geographical categories): the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences and the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Negotiations are ongoing on the comprehensive EPA.

United Nations

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).

Development cooperation

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 €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 €166 million, but in August 2016 had not yet drawn down.

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.

zoom out zoom in print this page