Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand



29/10/2020 - 03:37
EU Delegation to New Zealand - Newsletter

No. 234, 30 October 2020

HR/VP Borrell on EU foreign policy decision-making

HRVP Borrell recently wrote a blog post regarding the 'great and urgent need for the EU to protect its capacity to act in a dangerous world'. In it he explains how the EU makes decisions on foreign and security policy. Currently this is via unanimity, with every country holding a veto. He questions whether this is the best approach, and argues that making decisions by qualified majority (55% of member states and 65% of population) might be an important option to have; 'not to use it but to create an incentive for member states to move and search for common ground.

Long-term, creating a 'Strategic Compass' would ensure that more Europeans agree on how they see the world and its problems, and what to do about them. But in the meantime we still 'need to be able to take collective decisions, on tough issues, in real time' and do our best to escape blockages, paralysis and delays, caused by one simply sitting on one's position.

He suggests considering introducing ‘constructive abstention’ as a possibility to enable a country to abstain without blocking the Union from moving forward,  as well as defining areas, tools and instruments where it would make more sense to experiment (for example sanctions, statements, demarches), where keeping in mind the need for safeguards.

The full blog post can be found here.

HR/VP Borrell responds to China's climate ambitions

During his speech to the UN General Assembly on 22 September 2020, the Chinese President Xi Jinping announced two elements in the fight against climate change: ‘We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060’.

Since the European Union is responsible for only 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, HRVP Borrell writes in a recent blog post, the Chinese intention is of extreme importance, as the only way to tackle climate change effectively is with a global approach in a multilateral framework.

Considering that China accounts now for 27% of global greenhouse gas emissions (while the US emits 14%, and the EU-27 and India with 7% each), its reduction efforts are absolutely critical to the goal of keeping global temperature rise to below 2°C by the end of the century. The greatest challenge for China lies in the fact that fossil fuels represent 90 % of all its energy supplies and coal, the most carbon-intensive of all, generates two-thirds of electricity. HRVP Borrell cautions: “Setting an ambitious objective is important. However, what matters is delivering results and China has so far not detailed how it will achieve its 2060 target.”

"Telling their own cheese story": Geographical Indications

As part of its information sharing on geographical indications, the EU Delegation hosted a webinar focused on the advantages of geographic indications for the cheese industry in New Zealand. Local celebrity chef Simon Gault said that Kiwi cheesemakers should stop trying to imitate brie and gouda and focus on producing uniquely NZ styles and "telling their own cheese story". Gault said that the EU's proposed list of products to protect under free trade deals should not worry those in the NZ cheese industry, which was still young enough to change, grow, and cement itself on the world stage.

He stated that "if you look for a halloumi in the supermarket, there will be multiple. They're all different, and they're rendering the name halloumi meaningless. No wonder Italians don't want us to call our cheese Parmigiano Reggiano because there's nothing like it here." Gault described NZ-made Kikorangi Blue as "geographically authentic" and a cheese which blue lovers worldwide could aspire to taste. 

Details about the webinar can be found here, and a Seven Sharp current affairs TV segment about the webinar can be viewed here.


In October, we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. In 1945, nations worldwide decided to change the course of history and made the commitment to work together by signing the UN Charter.

A few years later, the European Union chose to follow the same path. Since then, we are natural partners and we work together to promote

  • Sustainable development
  • Human rights
  • Peace
  • Security
  • Climate action

…and much more! We will always remain committed to multilateralism and global cooperation. The UN and the EU share the same mission: finding global solutions for global problems. Let’s keep working together!

You can find out more here.

EU Green Recovery at Climate Change + Business Conference 2020

This leading climate change event brings together a diverse range of voices on climate action across business sectors and Government. Themed “Redefining Our Future”, the 2020 Climate Change + Business Conference will explore the extent to which businesses, policy-makers, and civil society have seized the opportunity to transform our future.

Having in mind that we are unlikely to meet our emissions reduction targets without significant disruption to the way we currently live and work, the Conference will explore issues around practical actions do we need to take to meet them (and are our targets sufficiently ambitious?).

The Conference is alert to international practices, too. HE Nina Obermaier will participate on a panel where she will share the European Green Recovery. Its centrepiece is the EU's commitment to cut emissions across the board by 55% by 2030.

More information about the Conference programme can be found here, and register to attend in-person or by livestream click here.

24 Hour Europe - A day in the lives of European millennials

From the North of Norway, via Toulouse, Amsterdam and Berlin to Magnitogorsk in the Ural mountain range: “24h Europe – The Next Generation” offers a window into Europe.

The dynamic film project presents 24 hours, from 6am to 6am, told straight with no filter. The documentary follows 60 protagonists from 26 European countries who share their sentiments, opinions and lives. Viewers are transported into their lofty dreams and their realities.

The full 24 hours of the documentary is available online until 12 November and can be found here.

More information about the project can be found here.

German Film Festival - on now!

Ten movies, three countries. From 22 September to 30 November, film lovers can see the newest movies from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The Goethe-Institue, the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, will present a selection of German-language films in cinemas and online, in cooperation with the embassies of the three nations.

Special times require new formats, with this 12th German Film Festival operating as a hybrid version this year. There will be one off screening of movies between now and the end of November, as well as an online festival from Friday 20 November to Monday 30 November.

To find more information about the upcoming screenings, please follow the link here.

Other News

See what's new in the Pacific.

See what’s new in Australia.

Keep in Touch

Keep in touch via our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!