New Zealand–European Union relations

New Zealand and the European Union (EU) have solid relations and increasingly see eye-to-eye on international issues. The EU-New Zealand relations are founded on a Joint Declaration on Relations and Cooperation, first agreed in 2007. It covers not just economic relations, but broader political issues and cooperation.[1]

New Zealand–European Union relations


New Zealand

The New Zealand Government maintains a delegation to the EU at its embassy in Brussels. A Delegation of the European Union is located in Wellington.[2]


Since July 2012, New Zealand and the EU have been in negotiations for a first legally binding overarching political treaty, governing their overall relationship. Negotiations of this treaty—the Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC)—have been concluded and the text was initialed in March 2015. The formal signing is foreseen in the second half of 2016.

The first political statement of cooperation between the EU and New Zealand dates back to 1999, with the signing of the Joint Declaration on Relations between the European Union and New Zealand.

This has been replaced in 2007 by the Joint Declaration on Relations and Cooperation, an updated political declaration which governs and directs the activity between the two partners. The Declaration sets out a detailed action programme for the EU and New Zealand in such areas as global and regional security, counter-terrorism and human rights, development and economic cooperation, trade, climate change as well as science and technology.

The EU and New Zealand have also negotiated a number of sectoral agreements designed to facilitate access to each other's markets and reduce exporters’ costs. Notable examples include agreements on veterinary standards, horizontal air transport services, and on mutual recognition of standards and certification. Senior officials' consultations on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and science & technology take place every year alternating between Brussels and Wellington. Consultations and information exchanges also take place in areas such as climate change, development assistance, and humanitarian aid.

In October 2015, during Prime Minister John Key's visit to Brussels, European Union Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced with Prime Minister Key the launching of a process towards an EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. Work is currently underway to prepare the negotiations.[3]


The EU is New Zealand's third-largest trading partner, after China and Australia, and New Zealand is the EU's 50th. New Zealand's exports is dominated by agricultural goods, while the EU's exports is dominated by manufactured goods. The stock of EU foreign direct investment in New Zealand is €10.9bn and the stock of New Zealand's investment in the EU is €5.6bn.[4]

The EU and New Zealand have both expressed interest in negotiating a free trade agreement between the two.[5][6] The EU will decide in May 2018 whether to officially start trade negotiations.[7]

EU–New Zealand trade[8]
Direction of trade Goods Services
EU to New Zealand 5.3 billion (2017)
€4.7 billion (2016)
€4.6 billion (2015)
€2.7 billion (2016)
€2.6 billion (2015)
€2.3 billion (2014)
New Zealand to EU €3.4 billion (2017)
€3.4 billion (2016)
€3.5 billion (2015)
€1.7 billion (2016)
€1.7 billion (2015)
€1.4 billion (2014)

See also


  1. New Zealand, European External Action Service
  2. "Delegation of the EU". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. "New Zealand and the EU". Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand. 12 May 2016.
  4. Bilateral relations New Zealand, European Commission
  5. Krisztina Binder (11 October 2017). "EU-New Zealand free trade agreement: All set for the launch of negotiations" (PDF). European Parliamentary Research Service. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  6. "New Zealand-European Union free trade agreement". New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  7. "New Zealand PM pushes for EU trade deal". Agence-France Presse. The Business Times. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  8. "New Zealand: Trade picture". Paris: European Commission. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.