EU Presidents meet New Zealand Prime Minister in Brussels on 29 October

Joint statement of the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission and the New Zealand Prime Minister.

The European Union and New Zealand are longstanding and close partners. We share core values, common interests and a growing and mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship, reinforced by strong people-to-people and cultural ties. We came together today to agree to further deepen our political, security, trade and investment relations.

We welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations of the Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation. This agreement captures the breadth of our relationship and provides a strong foundation for the expansion of our relations in the decades to come. We have each committed to pursue its full and swift implementation.

Today we committed to start the process for negotiations to achieve swiftly a deep and comprehensive high-quality Free Trade Agreement. Discussions to define the scope and overall approach to the negotiations should start as soon as possible. In parallel with this, we agreed to take steps to seek the necessary authorisation for the negotiations on the basis of a successful scoping. We believe that a FTA will support sustainable growth and investment, opening up new trade and business opportunities and generating new employment for our peoples.

We welcomed the achievements in customs and animal health issues, and agreed to keep working to improve regulatory and other practical cooperation between us.

We will continue to invest in our enhanced dialogue on Foreign and Security affairs to contribute to greater peace and prosperity, including in the Pacific and in Europe, such as on Ukraine.
We discussed our response to the global migration and refugee crisis. We reaffirmed our support to a political solution to the conflict in Syria. We will continue our outreach efforts on these issues and work together in support of neighbouring countries, including through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme and other responding agencies.

We reaffirmed our commitment to secure an internationally legally-binding climate change agreement at COP21 in Paris which is ambitious, effective, durable, fair, transparent and dynamic. We supported progress in the phase-out of environmentally harmful subsidies, including those 2
applied to fossil fuels.

We also recognised our shared partnership on sustainable development and poverty eradication, in particular our ongoing cooperation in the Pacific. We further reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening our cooperation on science, research and innovation.

New Zealand appreciated the EU’s increasing engagement with ASEAN and further welcomed the EU’s desire to participate in the East Asia Summit. The EU and New Zealand look forward to the next ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (November 2015) and ASEM Summit (July 2016).

Our exchanges today demonstrate the depth and breadth of our partnership and our ambition to bring the EU and New Zealand even closer together. This vision for our future relations will strengthen the ties between us and create opportunities for greater growth, sustainable development and security.