Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand



16/07/2020 - 23:26
EU Delegation to New Zealand - Newsletter

No 231, 17 July 2020

Together for Europe’s Recovery – the German Presidency of the EU

1 July saw Germany assume the EU Presidency for the coming six months. Germany’s focus is to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring economic and social recuperation of all EU member states.

At the same time, Germany will not ignore the challenges of the future that need to be addressed now. The ongoing goal of making Europe stronger, more equitable and more sustainable continues. As Chancellor Merkel said, “Together, we want to emerge strengthened from this crisis. That means focusing firmly on the future. Climate change mitigation, digital sovereignty and Europe’s responsibility in the world are therefore key focuses of our Presidency.”

As Chancellor Merkel said when she met President Macron on the cusp of its Presidency, “we live in a challenging time. Europe is our future. Only in the European community will we be strong and able to play our part in the world.

Follow the German Presidency on Twitter: @EU2020DE; Germany’s EU Presidency website is here and its six priorities are here.

EU-India Summit: strong bilateral to stronger multilateral

Leaders of the two largest democracies met on 15 July in the 15th EU-India Summit. Our common values – freedom, rule of law, and respect for human rights – matter more in a world where multilateralism is under siege.

Discussions between Indian Prime Minister Modi and EU Presidents Michel and von der Leyen focussed on three important topics: Covid-19 and rebuilding economic prosperity, the EU-India bilateral relationship and regional and security issues.

As power dynamics shift across the globe, the EU wants to play a stronger role in the region, and as a global actor. The substantive dialogue between the EU and India will reinforce these strategic goals.

The EU and India agree that the economic and social recovery must be more sustainable, more resilient and leave nobody behind. Keeping the global trading system open will play an important role. Efforts in the G20 and UN will also be vital.

Additionally, substantial matters of bilateral relations were canvassed, including trade & investment, climate and environmental action, the Euratom-India Agreement, organised crime and maritime security.

At the conclusion of the Summit, the EU and India issued a Joint Statement. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, made some additional remarks

EU-Korea Leaders Summit: Partnership is the path forward

2020 is the 10th anniversary of the EU-Republic of Korea Strategic Partnership. Its endurance and success was underlined with a summit between President of the European Council, Charles Michel, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in on 30 June.

As partners with common values, the EU and Korea share an outward focus. In their discussions, they sought to foster global cooperation in the post-Covid recovery phase and reaffirmed their commitment to overcoming this challenge by working together including in the G20 and the United Nations system.

This summit continued a round of high-level talks in Asia as the EU pursues its goal of becoming a stronger player in Asia. This permeated through the three key themes of COVID-19 and the economic recovery; the EU-South Korea relationship; and regional and international issues.

Read the joint EU-Korea press release here and a factsheet of EU-Korea relations here.

Srebrenica Remembered

July 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica.

In a joint statement Presidents Michel and von der Leyen and HR/VP Borrell said, “This anniversary is for us a painful reminder. 25 years ago Europe failed to live up to the promise that never again would there be such tragedy on our continent. It is also a powerful signal of the need to stand up firmly and without exceptions for the universal values – human dignity, in particular – which underpin our Union.

25 years later, it is our duty to remember. We must confront the past with honesty and look to the future with determination to support the next generations, not least young people from across the Western Balkans, in building a better common future.”

On 11 July and during the week preceding it, the European Union arranged and took part in different activities to help commemorate the Srebrenica Genocide, and share its learnings across the continent. The EU will restore the Srebrenica Memorial Centre and support its function as a knowledge centre.

Read here for more about the European Union's commemoration of the genocide in Srebrenica.


“We will continue to stand by the people of Hong Kong” – HR/VP Borrell

Speaking on behalf of the EU 27 after a meeting of foreign ministers on 13 July, HR/VP Borrell made the comments:

“On China, for sure we discussed the imposition of the draconian national security legislation in Hong Kong. We all have serious questions about its conformity with [Hong Kong’s] Basic Law and with China’s international commitments. 

Our message in this context is two-fold. First, to the people in Hong Kong, [we stressed] the support of the European Union for their autonomy and fundamental freedoms. We will continue to stand by the people of Hong Kong.

To China, the message is that the recent actions change the rules. This will require a revision of our approach and will clearly have an impact on our relations.

I have proposed that we work on a coordinated European Union approach with a mix of actions at EU level and at Member State level.”

Earlier, on 1 July, the High Representative issued a declaration on behalf of the EU stating its grave concerns about the National Security Law imposed on Hong Kong. 


Human Rights priority for European Union and New Zealand


The European Union (EU) and New Zealand have relaunched the EU-New Zealand Human Rights consultations, in the context of an increasingly uncertain world where many of these basic values are being challenged.

The EU and New Zealand will work together on strategies to avoid roll-back on core human rights principles and values.

This decision occurred in the third meeting of the EU-New Zealand Joint Committee on 7 July. The Joint Committee is an officials-level group to review and propel the bilateral relationship. It was established under the EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) in 2016.

Furthermore, the EU and New Zealand agreed that their shared values must continue to underpin EU-New Zealand cooperation in their approaches to addressing the global challenges of today, including in the domain of public health. Acknowledging international cooperation and solidarity as essential, the Senior Officials agreed on the importance of joint work to address the COVID-19 pandemic, its socio-economic consequences, and on the research and development of vaccines and treatments to be made available, accessible and affordable for all.

EU grant available for extracurricular programme in New Zealand - send your projects!

Do you want to work with New Zealand students? Know a little about Europe? Are you ready to build people-to-people links between Europe and New Zealand? The EU has just opened a call for projects that do just that and more!

The call seeks to foster:

  • Civil society and people-to-people dialogues and exchanges between the EU and New Zealand;
  • Youth and Student political, cultural, academic, and social engagement;
  • Inter-cultural exchanges with the EU.

Activities must take place in New Zealand. They may include:

  • Development and consolidation of interactive EU teaching and learning modules for extracurricular activities and/or summer schools for students at high school and/or university level;
  • Organisation of Model EU simulation events and conferences with university and/or high school students;
  • Study trips, workshops, or conferences to foment exchanges between European and New Zealand youth.

The size of the grant is €300 000 and its timeframe is 24-36 months. To find out more, including the call for proposals, instructions and application forms, read here. Deadline for applications is 25 August.


#BuildBackBetter – clean water for the Cooks

Since 2014, the EU has been supporting the efforts of the Cook Islands to deliver clean water to its people. Safe access to water, sanitation and hygiene are essential pre-requisites to protect human health and fight the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19.

Early July saw the release of €1,350,000 (NZ$2,350,000) to the Government of Cook Islands to improve wastewater management systems.

When international travel resumes, this will have a not inconsiderable side benefit of supporting the competitiveness of the Cook Islands tourism sector - the nation’s largest contributor to its Gross Domestic Product.

The European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, H.E. Sujiro Seam said: “The EUR 1.35 M provided today to Cook Islands is a part of “Team Europe” response to COVID-19 in the Pacific. It will support water, sanitation and hygiene … This is a key area not only to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, but also to improve the tourism sector.  It shows the EU commitment to promoting a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, as part of the European Green Deal.”

Read about the project at the EU Delegation to the Pacific

Other News

See what's new in the Pacific.

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