Outgoing EU Ambassador Marjaana Sall bids farewell to President Faure |26 June 2019
Marjaana Sall, the outgoing Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Seychelles for the past four years, bid farewell to President Danny Faure at State House yesterday morning, as she prepares for a post at the Finnish Foreign Service in Helsinki.
The farewell visit was an opportunity for Mrs Sall and President Faure to discuss the partnership between Seychelles and the EU, the various accomplishments over recent years as well as the future of the partnership.
“I've been very glad to see the EU Seychelles partnership which is very solid and strong, and just to name a few key areas of this partnership that has taken place during my four-year mandate is the political dialogue which we have had on a yearly basis with the government and also the president. And that's a key forum of discussion of this partnership. We have brought a lot of the EU ambassadors also – the non-residents – to Seychelles for those dialogues and I think that shows the strength of this partnership,” Mrs Sall stated.
Elaborating on the numerous sectors of collaboration and partnership, Mrs Sall emphasised the benefits of the Fisheries partnership agreement and economic partnership agreement between Seychelles and Europe.
“Thanks to the fisheries partnership agreement and the economic partnership agreement with Europe, Seychelles has become one of the top countries to export to the EU market of tuna, canned tuna and tuna loins,” she said.
“The fishery partnership is solid, economic partnership is solid which has made Europe the biggest destination of Seychellois exports – over 50% of Seychellois exports go to EU market. And so most of the foreign investment coming into Seychelles is European. But I'd be very happy to see focus in some of key areas we work together – climate change is one area, business and environment is another,” Mrs Sall remarked.
The EU has also been collaborating with Seychelles to end gender-based violence and domestic violence and to strengthen institutions and the electoral framework during the last elections.
Asked if the recent EU Parliamentary elections held in May will impact on the partnerships between the EU and partnering countries, Mrs Sall expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of the elections, in which pro-Europeans were victorious. Currently, the EU is in the process of nominating new commissioners, the president of the EU Commission, the president of the Council and the new high representative.
“And the European Commission has made a proposal on external funding – so funding which goes to its external partners. And that proposal has an increase of 30% of funding to European Union’s external programmes – obviously it's a proposal from the European Commission which has to be accepted by the European member states and European Parliament. But this is a proposal for the duties and I think you can see it's a very strong proposal to continue the EU's strong role with all of its external partners,” Mrs Sall concluded.