|EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs is a most welcome guest in the South Pacific (particularly when doling out aid checks)|
This is what the European Union excels in: Issuing empty statements intended to "solve" non-existent problems, preferably in some remote corner of the world. Pacific island states are ideal targets for this activity - they are small enough for EU to project an image of imperial importance, and ideally located to fit into the travel schedules of the Brussels "High Representatives" during the cold winter months:
Faced with the adverse effects of climate change and rising sea levels on Pacific islands, the EU has issued a Communiqué ''Towards a renewed EU–Pacific development partnership'', addressing climate change and development tailored for efficient and more coordinated cooperation.
Communiqué also argues in favour of a stronger coordination on climate change at the international level. The EU pledged to support the Pacific islands in the wake of the Rio+20 Conference this June where the endangered group will stress the importance of greening the economy.
Co-authors of the document the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs explained the EU approach to partnership with Pacific islands.
“We want to go beyond our traditional donor-recipient relationship, and develop a more comprehensive partnership which can successfully address issues of global importance such as climate change,'' Ashton said.
Piebalgs added that "Pacific Islands are the first victims of climate change, which hampers their development and threatens peoples' lives”. He stressed that “the EU will continue to express its solidarity with the poor and vulnerable citizens of these small islands”.
Commission will allocate additional €19 million to help Pacific islands to adapt to the challenges of global warming. Current EU development and climate change assistance to Pacific countries increased substantially to some €785 million for the period 2008-2013.
Many Pacific states already started preparations for the worst-case scenario, buying off land and islands from other countries in the region with higher average altitudes, to ensure continuity after their home islands get covered by the rising ocean levels.
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An additional reason for the Europeans Union´s Pacific pseudo-activity is to keep its overstaffed network of Pacific "embassies" busy planning forthcoming visits of the "High Repesentatives". The Excellencies also look great on PR pictures when doling out checks (courtesy of European taxpayers) to natives.