Commissioner Mimica to discuss regional co-operation and sign development programmes during visit to Pacific Region

Neven-Mimica-photo-EC-Audiovisual-service-e1370374152636Today (15 June), International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica (pictured) began his visit to the Pacific Region by delivering an opening speech at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. During his visit in Fiji (which will last until 17 June,) he will also hold bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and other government representatives.

Commissioner Mimica will also sign new partnership programme which will guide EU development cooperation with Fiji until 2020. The so-called National Indicative Programme, designed in close consultation with the government of Fiji in the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), establishes the main priorities for development cooperation and amounts to €28 million.

Commissioner Mimica said: “Following the successful elections last year, the EU has discontinued restrictions and I am pleased to see that full re-engagement with Fiji is taking place. I am delighted to sign the new development programme, which heralds a new era of strengthened cooperation between the European Union and Fiji. It reflects the EU’s commitment to support the Governments’ efforts in driving forward sustainable development and improving the life of citizens.”

The government of Fiji has identified the agriculture, sugar and justice sector as being the main areas for support under the 11th European Development Fund. The EU will, in partnership with government institutions and civil society organisations, support Fiji’s policies and programmes in these areas.

In regards to the support for the agriculture and sugar sector specific attention will be paid to strengthening the sustainability and competitiveness of the sugar cane industry, with a particular focus on vulnerable sugarcane farming communities. The assistance to the judiciary sector will focus on strengthening the capacities of key justice public institutions and on helping poor and marginalised communities to improve their access to legal services.

New regional funding for the Pacific

The Commissioner will also sign a Regional Indicative Programme under the 11th European Development Fund for the Pacific region. Compared to the previous EDF, the budget of the new programme has been increased by a third, to a total of €166m. The new support will target three priority areas, namely regional economic integration; sustainable management of natural resources, environment and management of waste; as well as inclusive and accountable governance and the respect of human rights.

It is important that regional cooperation helps to reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth in Pacific countries. Therefore the aim of the programme is to provide the Pacific Region with a predictable commitment from the EU to support their development endeavours until 2020.

New development programme for Papua New Guinea

The new development programme for Papua New Guinea will be co-signed by Commissioner Mimica and the Planning Minister Charles Abel. The National Indicative Programme for Papua New Guinea foresees funding of €184m until 2020, which is an increase of nearly 80% compared to the 10th EDF. Assistance will target three strategically important sectors for the sustainable and inclusive development of Papua New Guinea – namely rural entrepreneurship (€85m), water, sanitation and hygiene (€60m) and education (with focus on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, €30m).

Background

ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

The Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) is an institution established by the Cotonou Agreement, comprising equal numbers of Parliamentarians from both sides (78 each). It is a consultative body for parliamentary debates. The JPA Plenary takes place twice per year: during the first half of the year usually in the country holding the EU Presidency and in the second half of the year in an ACP country alternating by region.

European Development Fund and Regional Indicative Programmes

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for EU aid for development cooperation with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries (ACP) and is funded with contributions from member states.

Regional Indicative Programmes represent an important step in the programming of EU aid under the EDF, complementing the National Indicative Programmes concluded with national governments of ACP states. Preparations are done in close co-operation with the regional organizations so as to ensure that the programmes support their priorities where the EU has a value added.

More information

Website of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development
Website of Commissioner Neven Mimica

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Category: A Frontpage, Developing countries, Development, EU, European Commission, European Year for Development 2015, Millennium Development Goals, World

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