Thursday 20th Jun 2024
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Maldives and EU Hold Fifth Senior Officials Meeting in Malé

The Fifth Senior Officials Meeting between the Maldives and the European Union (EU) was held on June 2, 2024, in Malé, Maldives. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening and deepening their cooperation rooted in shared values and the principles of the UN Charter and international law.
During the meeting, the EU congratulated the Maldives on the successful organization of major elections, including the Presidential Elections in September 2023 and the Parliamentary elections in April 2024. The Maldives expressed gratitude for the EU’s Election Observation Mission and discussed implementing its recommendations to strengthen the electoral process.
Key discussions focused on the Maldives' ongoing efforts to improve governance, build economic resilience, promote the rule of law, and protect human rights. The Maldives emphasized integrating human rights into development strategies, particularly for vulnerable groups, and ensuring space for civil society and freedom of expression.
The Maldives is in the process of completing domestic legal procedures to sign and ratify the Samoa Agreement, enhancing its relationship with the EU and regional integration. This move is a precursor to negotiating accession to an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU, providing tariff-free access to the EU market.
The EU and the Maldives signed a financing agreement for the “Improved Biodiversity Management to Support a Blue Economy” program, valued at EUR 6.5 million, focused on biodiversity protection and sustainable natural resource management. The Maldives also sought EU support for sustainable waste management and renewable energy systems.
The EU's support through various programs, including the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2021-2027 and the Global Gateway strategy, was appreciated. These initiatives aim to strengthen governance, promote green recovery, and enhance the Maldives’ resilience to climate change and pandemics.
Both parties emphasized the need for accelerated climate action and increased climate financing. They also reaffirmed their commitment to multilateral cooperation, including human rights promotion and sustainable fisheries management.
Security cooperation was another key topic, with discussions on enhancing maritime security and counter-terrorism efforts through EU-funded programs. The Maldives reiterated its request for visa-free travel for Maldivian nationals to EU member states, noting the upcoming review of visa lists and the EU’s decision to digitalize the Schengen Visa procedure.
The meeting was co-chaired by Fathimath Inaya, Foreign Secretary of the Maldives, and Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and Pacific at the European External Action Service.