THE European Union believes smaller Pacific Island nations have a long way to go before global sourcing of fresh and frozen fish to Europe can be considered under the Economic Partnership Agreement.
While speaking at the Pacific African Caribbean Pacific meeting in Nadi on Thursday night, the head of the EU delegation to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, said the EU and PIC industries were far apart on some key aspects.
"Firstly, the Pacific side has not shown flexibility on including in the EPA any specific commitments on EU access to the fisheries resources, arguing that any such commitments should only appear in a separate fisheries agreement," Mr Jacobs said.
"Secondly, the EU continues to have considerable doubts about the effectiveness of fish conservation and management measures of the vessel-based scheme and the implementation measures adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
"Thirdly, given these problems the EU has not been in a position to submit a proposal for fresh and frozen fish."
He added that realistically, the political opposition of global sourcing which the EU faced domestically obliged it to consider a clause with product coverage much narrower than the clause in the interim EPA.