EU Relations with Marshall Islands

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Marshall Islands, ©EUMarshall Islands, ©EU

The Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) joined the African Caribbean Pacific group in 2000. Under the Cotonou Agreement, about €11.45m have been provided under the 9th and 10th  European Development Fund (EDF) - almost entirely for sustainable energy, but also for disaster preparedness.

Political dialogue

The EU's political dialogue with the Marshall Islands focuses on:

  • protecting its vulnerable environment, especially in relation to climate change
  • defending human rights and gender issues.

The EU and the Marshall Islands are discussing how to collaborate more closely in multilateral fora on these and other issues.

Aid and cooperation

For the period 2008-2013, under the 10th EDF, RMI and the European Union signed a new Country Strategy Paper with a total budget of €5.8m. The main focus areas for EU assistance and cooperation are:

  • outer-island development –  improving infrastructure and secure access to energy and clean water

  • renewable energy – the best technical and economic option to ensure secure energy supplies to the outer islands, and an important means of contributing to RMI’s plan for poverty reduction and rural development
  • climate change negotiations – along with Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, RMI launched the Micronesia Challenge, an initiative to effectively conserve 30% of near-shore marine resources and 20% of forest resources by 2020. 

The EU acknowledges the serious threat climate change poses to RMI in view of its low-lying terrain and encourages the country's efforts to conserve its environment. In addition, the EU is ready to assist RMI to become eligible for Budget Support as a possible financing option.

For the period 2014-2020, under the 11th EDF , an indicative amount of € 9.1 m will focus on the Energy Efficiency / Renewable Energy sector.