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Joint Declaration a commitment to Europe-New Zealand bond

Joint Declaration a commitment to the Europe-New Zealand relationship

Agreement overnight on the Joint declaration by President Van Rompuy, President Barroso and Prime Minister Key on deepening the partnership between New Zealand and the European Union should be seen as a significant and positive move for the two partners.

"This statement offers a pathway forward for the bilateral relationship. It is a clear sign of the commitment the European Union has to its relationship with New Zealand" said Michalis Rokas, Chargé d'Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand.

The European Union and New Zealand have been conducting negotiations towards a Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation, which began in 2012. In the meeting overnight, Presidents Van Rompuy and Barosso and Prime Minister Key agreed to undertake a reflection process to deepen relations further across all aspects of the bilateral relationship including in the political and security sphere, science and innovation, and trade and investment. Europe and New Zealand will rendez-vous in 2015 to take stock and decide on next steps.

Among the other subjects discussed at the meeting was Ukraine. The European Union and New Zealand reiterated that their common position that the solution to the crisis in Ukraine must be based on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of that country.

Other areas of cooperation also discussed were New Zealand's participation in the EU's counter-piracy operation ATALANTA; the Pacific as demonstrated by the successful Pacific Energy Summit that New Zealand and the European Union co-hosted in Auckland last year; and the continuation of mutual efforts to work together to achieve a comprehensive global climate change agreement.

To mark the ten years since the European Union established a diplomatic presence in Wellington, the European Union intends to upgrade its presence to a full Delegation with a resident Ambassador.

The full Joint Declaration can be read here.


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