Seychelles, being the smallest African nation (93,000 inhabitants), have taken an impressive economic upswing from an ailing economy to a high-income country during the last 10 years.
Seychelles are a stable multiparty presidential democracy. Presidential elections took place in December 2015, for the first time place in two rounds, and saw a razor-sharp victory of 193 votes of the incumbent president Michel. Parliamentary elections are planned for the second half of 2016. Seychelles advocate the concept of 'blue economy" which is their strategy for economic development and environmental conservation based on tourism and fisheries. Stable institutions and the political climate encourage active local and foreign public and private investment. The World Bank has classified Seychelles as a high-income country since 2015.
EU-Seychelles' relations are good and go beyond development issues. Seychelles have received some €40 million in development aid from the European Community under successive European Development Funds, covering various sectors, from the environment and rural development to health. From mid 1990s, a specific focus was put on the environment sector with support provided for a solid waste disposal facility on Mahé. Several private–public sector initiatives were also initiated, and reconstruction support was provided in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami.
The EU strategy of the 10th EDF focused on Seychelles' transition towards sustainable growth by reinforcing the environment sector and improving capacities with regard to governance. Seychelles' newly acquired economic status led to a reduction of the 11th EDF volume of only €2.2 million. Seychelles are between its former status of a receiver of development support and the mature position of a high income state seeking other forms of funding. Actual EU support enhances institutional capacities and provides relevant technical support for innovative financing mechanisms.
Seychelles still qualifies for EU-funding from various regional and horizontal baskets. In addition activities of the European Investment Bank have increased.
EU is Seychelles' main trading partner. The actual EU-Seychelles Fisheries Partnership Agreement contributes to Seychelles' efforts to promote sustainable use, good governance and sectoral support to the fishing industry. The current Protocol implementing the Agreement is in force until January 2020 with funding amounting to €30.7 million.