France and Tuvalu

Bilateral relations

France and Tuvalu’s bilateral relationship is based on the geographical proximity with Wallis and Futuna (an agreement on the delineation of maritime zones in the Pacific was signed by France and Tuvalu on 16 September 2015 in Suva, Fiji) and is also apparent in the case of natural disasters (emergency assistance sent following catastrophic flooding caused by cyclone Pam in March).

Climate issues have also brought France and Tuvalu closer together. French support for Tuvalu’s submission to the Green Climate Fund (which was successful on the second attempt following an initial refusal), as well as the success of the COP21 during which Prime Minister Sopoaga benefited from several meetings with Laurent Fabius which greatly contributed to developing a very positive image of France.

Prime Minister Enela Sopoaga was present in Paris in late 2015 for the 4th France-Oceania Summit and the COP21. He also attended the High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change chaired by the French President at the headquarters of the Pacific Community in Nouméa (17 November 2014).

The delegation of the Senate friendship group with the Pacific islands, led by the group’s chair, Ms Catherine Procaccia, visited Tuvalu from 13 to 15 September 2016.

Relations with the European Union

The sustainable management of natural resources is a crucial aspect of the Tuvalu development programme. Issues regarding consistent water supply, coastal protection, preparation for natural disasters as well as renewable energies offer concrete opportunities for development cooperation.

Tuvalu benefitted from European aid of €6.8 million for 2014-2020 under the 11th EDF with priority given to water and sanitation.

As a SIDS, Tuvalu benefits from the generalized scheme of preferences which guarantees tariff-free access to the European market for products from Tuvalu. However, the lack of consensus between insular countries and the European Commission on the issue of fishing products prevented Tuvalu from joining the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Updated: October 2017