European Union and New Zealand strengthen their partnership

The European Union (EU) and New Zealand today reaffirmed their commitment to deepen their partnership in the coming years, and explored opportunities for further collaboration.

In 2016 the EU and New Zealand signed a Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) to strengthen ties and deepen cooperation on issues of mutual interest. Today marked the first meeting of the Joint Committee established under the PARC, which provided an opportunity for a strategic review of the bilateral relationship and its future direction.

Despite geographic distance, the friendship and partnership between New Zealand and the European Union is very close. The Joint Committee reaffirmed the excellent state of their bilateral relations based on shared values and common principles and the importance of the PARC in deepening these ties still further over the years to come.

The Joint Committee noted the close alignment between the EU and New Zealand on most regional, international and global issues, shared perspectives on key Asian strategic issues, and looked forward to their upcoming Strategic Dialogue in June 2018. Both renewed their commitment to continuing close cooperation in the Pacific, where their Partnership has already delivered significant concrete results in increasing access to renewable energy.

Both reaffirmed their commitment to working closely together in multilateral fora, and especially for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and to exploring the potential of joint work towards achieving its goals.

The parties discussed the global security environment and noted the importance of security cooperation for both sides. They committed to continuing to take opportunities to deepen this engagement as the EU’s security architecture evolves.

The parties noted the importance of an effective rules-based system to support international trade, reviewed their existing trade dialogues, including in agriculture and fisheries, and discussed preparations for the launch of free trade negotiations between the EU and New Zealand.

The parties noted the strength of existing research, education and people-to-people links, and discussed options for deepening these in the years ahead.

EU and NZ participants together with observers from EU member states

The Joint Committee also adopted its Rules of Procedures and Terms of Reference for its Subcommittees and Working Groups.

The EU delegation was led by Ms Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the European External Action Service. The New Zealand delegation was led by Mr Rob Taylor, Divisional Manager, Europe Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The next EU-New Zealand Joint Committee meeting will be held in 2019 in Brussels.