Debates Videoconferences
from 08:30 to 12:30
This event is public
Credits: Gilmore Tana/Shutterstock
Credits: Gilmore Tana/Shutterstock

The Pacific Islands countries, a strategic part of the Indo-Pacific for Europeans

France, in 2018, and the European Union, in 2021, announced their strategy for the Indo-Pacific.

Paris and Brussels are seeking to enhance their commitment in this strategic area, which has become an economic and political center of gravity and whose stability is threatened by transnational risks (climate change, epidemics, pressure on natural resources, organized crime) as well as interstate tensions exacerbated by Sino-American rivalry.

The attention devoted to the Pacific Islands, the member states and territories of the Pacific Community, has been quite modest so far despite their strategic importance. The geographical distance and the still limited knowledge of this region in Europe probably hamper political, economic and media interest.

In order to address this gap, the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri) and the Pacific Community (CPS), have decided to join forces to hold a series of research activities on the strategic significance of the Pacific Islands. While the French presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2022 aims at turning the European Indo-Pacific approach into concrete actions, this research program offers an original and useful contribution to an ambitious European policy in the region.

By bringing together local actors, business, experts and public officials, the opening conference aims to enhance awareness in Europe of the multiple strategic issues in the Pacific region, and highlight the role the EU and the Europeans can play in this region. 


The conference will be held in both French and English, with simultaneous translation service provided.





8:30 am CET : Welcome and introductory remarks

  • Françoise Nicolas, Director, Center for Asian Studies, Ifri
  • Stéphane Bijoux, Member of the European Parliament

8h40 am CET: Special Address

  • H. E. David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia


9:00-10:30 am CET: What’s going on in the Pacific Islands countries?

Chair: Françoise Nicolas, Director, Center for Asian Studies, Ifri

Introductory video, by ePOP (IRD/RFI) : "Fiji: Stop fishing or stop pollution?"

  • Cameron Diver, Deputy Director General, Pacific Community, SPC
  • Cristelle Pratt, Assistant Secretary-General, Head of Department Environment & Climate Action, Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)
  • Cleo Paskal, Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific & Energy Environment and Resources, Chatham House
  • Zarak Khan, Director Programmes & Initiatives, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat


10:45 am-12:15 pm CET: What interest and role for Europeans in the Pacific?

Chair: Céline Pajon, Research Fellow, Center for Asian Studies, Ifri

  • Bart Missinne, East Asia and the Pacific Unit, Directorate for International Partnerships, European Commission
  • Marine de Carné, Ambassador and Permanent Secretary of France for the Pacific
  • Veerle Nouwens, Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
  • Eric Wiard, Managing Director, Banque Calédonienne d’Investissement (BCI)


12:15 pm-12:30 pm CET: Concluding remarks

  • Sophie Rech, Vice Director, Three Oceans Division, AFD - Agence Française de Développement
  • Céline Pajon, Research Fellow, Center for Asian Studies, Ifri



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Contact the organizers: 

Pour plus d'informations sur le débat, veuillez contacter pajon@ifri.org

Development cooperation geopolitics Sustainable development Indo-Pacific Pacific Ocean