Debates: The Pacific Islands countries, a strategic part of the Indo-Pacific for Europeans 2022


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) 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 remarks (TBD) 
9:00-10:30 am CET: What’s going on in the Pacific Islands countries? / Quels enjeux pour le Pacifique aujourd’hui ?

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

  • 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, UK
  • Jodie Stewart, Trade Commissioner, Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Europe

10:30 am-10:45 am: Coffee break
10:45 am-12:15 pm CET: What interest and role for Europeans in the Pacific? / Quels enjeux et quel rôle pour les Européens dans le Pacifique ?

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

  • Jean-Louis Ville, Head of 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),UK
  • Frédéric Reynaud, CEO, Banque Calédonienne d’Investissement (BCI)


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

  • Stéphane Bijoux, Member of the European Parliament
Joint Event
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SPC's European Office
SPC's European Office