On 12 February 2020, in Brussels, Belgium, the European Union (EU) and the Independent State of Samoa (Samoa) held their second High Level Political Dialogue under Article 8 of the Partnership (Cotonou) Agreement signed between the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the EU.
The Dialogue provided an opportunity to review recent developments in the EU, Samoa and the wider Pacific. Discussions also focussed on the country's long-term Strategy ‘Samoa 2040’, which is currently under preparation, and development cooperation with the EU.
The meeting took stock of the ongoing negotiations of the Post-Cotonou Agreement.
Discussions also focused on the potential provided by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), to which Samoa acceded recently, for the strengthening of EU-Samoa trade relations. The Samoan authorities presented the country’s EPA Implementation Plan of Action, which is under preparation.
Both the EU and Samoa stressed their commitment to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and to address effectively the ambition gap. Further areas for strategic cooperation in international fora were discussed, touching upon the Sustainable Development Goals / Agenda 2030, environmental protection, sustainable management of natural resources and fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Cooperation on tax good governance and anti-money laundering was also discussed.
The EU and Samoa discussed priorities and developments in the area of human rights and policies related to addressing gender equality and gender-based violence.
It is envisaged that the next Political Dialogue meeting will be held in Apia, Samoa, in 2021.
The Dialogue was conducted under the co-chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, Ms Fiame Naomi Mataafa, and the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Mr Jean-Christophe Belliard.