EU-New Zealand: Council clears the path for the conclusion of a partnership agreement

(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)

The Council today adopted a decision on the conclusion of a partnership agreement on relations and cooperation between the European Union and its member states, and New Zealand. This decision clears the path, on the EU side, for the entry into force of the agreement by end of July 2022.

This ambitious agreement reflects the increasingly close friendship and cooperation that has developed between the European Union and New Zealand in recent years. It provides a comprehensive framework for more effective bilateral engagement between the European Union, its Member States and New Zealand, providing for cooperation in a broad range of areas, including human rights, non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against terrorism, cooperation on economic and trade matters, health, the environment, climate change, energy, education, culture, labour, disaster risk management, fisheries and maritime affairs, transport, legal cooperation and the combating of money laundering, terrorist financing, organised crime and corruption.

Through the partnership agreement, the EU and New Zealand engage in a regular political dialogue, including frequent consultations at ministerial, senior officials’ and parliamentary levels. There are also numerous sectoral dialogues, including science, agriculture, fisheries and ocean governance, human rights, development, and consular affairs. These promote greater and smoother trade, cooperation and exchanges of ideas.

Background and next steps

On 14 April 2016, the High Representative and the Commission submitted to the Council a joint proposal for a Council decision on the signing and provisional application of the partnership agreement on relations and cooperation between the European Union and its member states, of the one part, and New Zealand of the other part. The agreement was signed in Brussels on 5 October 2016, following a Council decision clearing the signing.

On 28 November 2016, the High Representative and the Commission submitted to the Council a joint proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the partnership agreement, and on 16 November 2017, the European Parliament gave its consent. The ratification procedure by member states was finalised on 13 May 2022.

The decision on the conclusion of the partnership agreement enters into force today, i.e. on the date of its adoption and the partnership agreement itself will enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which the parties have notified each other of the completion of their respective legal procedures.

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