20 May 2015

EU still committed to EPA in Pacific

11:46 am on 20 May 2015

The European Union says despite recent claims to the contrary, it remains firmly committed to reaching an Economic Partnership Agreement in the Pacific.

european union flags

Photo: PHOTO NZ

It says negotiations, which began nearly 11 years ago, are still a long way from being concluded.

The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, claims the European Commission Trade Commissioner has proposed a 3 year deferral, which she says is unacceptable.

But the EU says the intentions of Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, have been misunderstood.

It says Ms Malmstrom has invited her Pacific counterparts to reflect on a way out of the current stalemate.

Instead of putting pressure on the Pacific, the Commissioner has suggested the break for reflection and review.