Europe Day, EU “takes pride” in its friendship with Tonga

The European Union is proud of its strong connection with Tonga according to a message to the government by the European Union Ambassador to Tonga and the Pacific, His Excellency Andrew Jacobs.

The Union is celebrating the Europe Day  today May 9 marking the 66 years  since the it was found in 1950.

“We take pride in our strong partnership with Tonga. Our assistance of €17.4 million (TP$42,820,012.21) for the period till 2020 in improving energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy is vital for Tonga’s sustainable and inclusive development in the years to come”, Jacobs said.

“We continue to support civil society in the areas of private sector development, trade policies, public finance management, energy policy and gender”, he added.

“Indeed, the European Union has a long standing relationship and friendship with Tonga and other Pacific countries. Our partnership with Tonga and the Pacific is based on our shared values, on common concerns and on common aspirations.

“In the Pacific we are an important trading partner, a reliable investor, a generous donor of humanitarian and development aid, and a loyal ally in a fight against climate change.

“Three weeks ago, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the UN High-Level Signing Ceremony in New York. 15 countries deposited their instruments of ratification on the same day sending a signal to the international community on the paramount importance of this Agreement. Remarkably, six out of these 15 inspiring countries were Pacific Island States. The Pacific has done its share, now it is for the developed countries to deliver. A key objective of the EU for 2016 is to maintain this political momentum and alliance with the Pacific nations as we start moving towards the implementation of the Paris deal.

“We take pride in our strong partnership with Tonga. Our assistance of €17.4 million for the period till 2020 in improving energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy is vital for Tonga’s sustainable and inclusive development in the years to come. We continue to support civil society in the areas of private sector development, trade policies, public finance management, energy policy and gender.

“The European Union played an important role by providing €5.5 million in budget support to Tonga during its financial crisis in 2010, thus contributing to ease fiscal constraints. Additional €1 million was granted in 2014 to assist with the recovery in Ha’apai in the wake of Cyclone Ian.

“On Europe Day we celebrate not only Europe and all the achievements we must preserve, but also our strong partnerships around the world, including with our friends in the Pacific. The peoples of the European Union and the Pacific share challenges, ideals and ambitions.  Working together we can help make the world a better place for our children”.

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