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International Partnerships

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.  

The Pacific is made up of 15 countries and 4 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) which are politically stable overall. Among the least developed countries in the region are Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The remaining countries are middle-income, as defined by the World Bank Group.

Various geographical factors pose challenges to the region, such as rising sea levels, coastal erosion of the low-lying islands, extreme country remoteness, and a large dependence on fossil fuels. These factors also limit sustainable life there. In addition to the environmental challenges it faces, gender inequality in the Pacific is still widespread even though most countries in the region can boast well-functioning democracies.

The EU and its member countries provide major development support for the Pacific through the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). We work closely with regional institutions to define key priorities and goals. Until 2020, these include:

  • regional economic integration
  • sustainable management of natural resources and waste
  • inclusive and accountable governance

Crucial topics relevant to these priorities are:

  • prosperous trade
  • sustainable ocean governance
  • adaptation to climate change and resilience to natural disasters
  • reliable, affordable and sustainable energy
  • gender inequality and gender-based violence
  • good governance, financial transparency and accountability

Our programmes

We are committed to supporting the Pacific through regional and national programmes, as well as targeted initiatives.  The total amount of our contribution to the Pacific since 2014 amounts to around €800 million.

Regional Indicative Programme (RIP)

Through the RIP for 2014-2020 under the 11th EDF we provide around €197 million in funding to the Pacific region. Its focus areas are:

  • improving marine and ocean governance
  • tackling illegal and unreported fishing
  • managing waste and promoting sustainable management of natural resources
  • strengthening public finance management and good governance
  • tackling root causes of gender inequality and violence against women and girls

We channel additional support to the Pacific region through our targeted initiatives. The Pacific benefits from our actions under the Joint Pacific initiative for biodiversity, climate change and resilience. We are also a leading contributor to the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls, where €50 million were reserved for the Pacific in 2018.

National programmes

Individual countries and territories in the Pacific benefit from our tailored national programmes, with focal sectors including:

  • rural development
  • water and sanitation
  • integrated waste management
  • access to efficient and sustainable energy
  • pro-resilience El Niño support
  • sustainable tourism

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