During a two-day visit to Australia (5-7 March), EU Commissioner for International Development and Cooperation, Neven Mimica, said: "The EU and Australia are working closely to meet shared global responsibilities. We must fight against poverty and team up to catalyse private sector engagement for development, build up climate resilience, sustainable energy and end violence against women and girls".
In Sydney, Commissioner Mimica delivered a keynote address at a high-level forum looking at infrastructure challenges and opportunities in the Pacific. He was joined by Australia's Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific Anne Ruston at the event hosted by the Europe-Australia Business Council and the European Investment Bank.
During their bilateral meeting to explore closer cooperation, Commissioner Mimica underlined the EU's commitment to supporting the Pacific countries' climate resilience through initiatives such as ElectriFi which aims to unlock, accelerate and leverage private sector investment for affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. And the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women.
The EU is the largest donor to the Pacific after Australia and Japan, with funding to the region amounting to EUR 900 million (2014-2020). In 2018, the EU started negotiating a new partnership agreement with Pacific island countries to further strengthen engagement in the region that is home to half a million EU citizens.
The Australia visit follow-up to the EU-Australia Development Dialogue that took place in Brussels in early February 2019. Prior to Australia, Commissioner Mimica visted Samoa and French Polynesia.