Mauritius & the EU
Relations between Mauritius and the European Union (EU) are very good having seen a continuous intensification over the years. Mauritius has been one of the countries that has benefited most from the EU-ACP cooperation and the EU has been closely associated to the development and diversification of the economy of Mauritius. This has graduated from a monocrop economy (sugar) around 30 years ago to a well diversified and vibrant economy today (tourism, textile, financial services, ICT, sugarcane, seafood hub etc).
Over the years the EU development co-operation with Mauritius reached very good results thanks to the dynamism and reform oriented policies of Mauritius, on the one hand, and the ability of the EU to support Mauritius effectively and efficiently on the other hand. General budget support has increasingly become the preferred instrument (98% of the development cooperation portfolio) and the dialogue has moved towards important policy objectives focusing on macro-economic policies, economic reform programme, public finance management reforms, energy sector, sugar cane sector, education, climate change, empowerment, parastatals and sanitation.
The European Union is the most important development partner for Mauritius, the sole development partner providing grants. The European Union represents also the most important market for Mauritius (around 70% of Mauritius' exports) and access to the EU market has always been a priority for the Government and private sector of Mauritius.
Along with the other countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) group Mauritius negotiated an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU and signed it in August 2009. The Agreement has been under implementation since May 2012. The second meeting of the EPA EU-ESA implementation committee was held in Mauritius in May 2013. Negotiations for the comprehensive EPA ESA agreement are ongoing. In this context considerable progress has been achieved between the EU and ESA during various technical working group meetings.
Mauritius is one of the pilot countries which has benefited from the Schengen visa waiver since mid 2009.
Mauritius is engaged in a close political dialogue with the EU. In this framework in October 2010 Mauritius organised the 2nd regional ministerial meeting to fight against piracy and promote maritime security, which was co-chaired by the Vice-President to the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. On 14 July 2011 Mauritius has signed a transfer agreement for captured suspected pirates from EUNAVFOR. On 1 June 2012 Mauritius notified the EU for implementation of the Transfer Agreement and the first group of 12 suspected pirates was successfully transferred to Mauritius in January 2013.
The EU has assisted Mauritius to advance and modernise its data protection legislation.
Mauritius organised the 2012 Global Forum on Migration and Development. The EU supported Mauritius in this role.
In February 2012 Mauritius and the EU have initialed a new Fisheries Partnership Agreement.