2 Jun 2006

EU plans annual Pacific talks to improve political dialogue

6:38 pm on 2 June 2006

The 12 Pacific members of the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific nations which receive aid support from the European Union are to receive annual development funding of around half a billion euros for the years 2008 through to 2013.

Speaking from the ACP-EU ministers meeting in Port Moresby, the European Commission's director general of development, Stefano Manservisi, says a key aspect of their new Pacific strategy will be to strengthen political dialogue between the EU and the region.

He says greater dialogue at the political level, through likely annual ministerial level meetings, is necessary because development cannot be treated simply as a technical issue.

"Just if we look at the Pacific as area, let us say, where big public goods, international public goods, like for example biodiversity in the sea, forestry, and so on, you can easily understand that political dialogue means to talk about all the common issues for Europe and the Pacific."