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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 29) – The European Union is campaigning for a new regional strategy that could redefine its image in the Pacific.

The European Union Director General for Development, Stefano Manservisi, said although this strategy is still being discussed, it is vital to promote it to improve Europe's visibility in the Pacific.

"We have put a lot of money in the Pacific but the visibility of Europe has been very small," he said.

Manservisi said the European Union needed to show its taxpayers how their money is used.

"The Pacific region is receiving per capita the highest rate of Aid from European Union then any other region in the world," he said.

However, Manservisi said this fact is something that is not visible to people and the European Union needs to improve its visibility so "our European taxpayer should understand what we are doing here and why we have a common future to share."

The European Union is proposing a real strategic partnership that firstly prompts Pacific leaders to having structured political dialogue with the European Union "as so far we have none," said Manservisi.

He said the future is a "future of globalization and it is important to have structured talks."

"The idea to have a strategy is to structure our relationship in a much mature way, not just spreading projects here and there but also to give the sense of their action of a shared vision," Manservisi said.

He said better dialogue between the parties could prompt this to happen.

Manservisi is the former Head of Cabinet to European Union President Romano Prodi and is a lawyer by profession.

March 29, 2006


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