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European Union - New Zealand Joint Committee illustrates strength of the bilateral partnership
The European Union (EU) and New Zealand today reaffirmed their commitment to deepen their partnership in the coming years, and explored opportunities for further collaboration in the fields of international development, tackling global issues, institutional and people-people links, and consular affairs.
In 2016 the EU and New Zealand signed a Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation to strengthen ties and deepen cooperation on issues of mutual interest. Today, the Joint Committee established under the Agreement met for the second time. It provided an opportunity for a strategic review of the bilateral relationship and its future direction.
New Zealand and the European Union are very close and like-minded partners, and cooperation has gained momentum since the inaugural Joint Committee meeting in 2018 with frequent reciprocal visits by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioners, and senior Ministers.
Taking place shortly after the visit of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to Brussels in January, the Joint Committee reconfirmed that New Zealand and the EU share a commitment to transparency, the rule of law, regulatory standards, open and fair trade, and sustainable development.
The EU and New Zealand share the same objectives and approaches to most regional, international and global issues.
The European Union and New Zealand reaffirmed their commitment to working closely together in multilateral fora, including in the context of a reform of the multilateral system, and especially for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Joint Committee shared perspectives on key Asian and Pacific strategic issues, and discussed the possibility of establishing an annual EU-New Zealand dialogue on development issues, in line with the already existing EU-New Zealand Partnership in the Pacific, which has already delivered significant results.
Tackling climate change, increasing societal resilience, and addressing specific sectoral budgetary needs are new areas where collaboration between the EU, New Zealand and other regional partners could bring added value to the Pacific region. Both sides look forward to the trilateral meeting between the European Union, New Zealand and Australia in Wellington on 10 April.
The participants discussed the global security environment and noted the importance of cooperating on security matters, particularly cyber security. They noted the benefits of sharing information on consular protection where they share many similar challenges.
They confirmed their commitment to an effective rules-based system to support international trade, reviewed their existing trade dialogues, including in agriculture and fisheries, and discussed the state of play regarding negotiations for a free trade agreement between the EU and New Zealand.
New Zealand and the EU cooperate strongly on research, education and people-to-people links, and the Joint Commission discussed possibilities for deepening these ties in the years ahead.
The New Zealand delegation was led by Mr Rob Taylor, Divisional Manager, Europe Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The EU delegation was led by Mr Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service.
The next EU-New Zealand Joint Committee meeting will be held in 2020 in Wellington.