Mr. Maurice Ponga, Member of the European Parliament, welcomed the delegation of the PACE-Net Plus project, coordinated by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), on our visit to the parliament on the 24th of June 2015. Before the visit, M. Ponga outlined his commitment towards the overseas countries and territories and the South Pacific nations of the ACP group.
This visit to the European Parliament concluded the bi-regional dialogue platform organised by PACE-Net Plus, held on 23-24 June 2015 in the heart of the European quarter of Brussels. The platform gathered some 80 delegates from Europe and the South Pacific, all senior scientists or decision-makers involved in Research in Science, Technology and Innovation.
An objective of this Platform was to report on and discuss a selection of the project outcomes (state-of-the-art on research in the South Pacific, thematic Think Tanks, seed-funding scheme, etc.).
Participants also actively discussed policy recommendations elaborated in the framework of the project, the aims of which are to strengthen cooperation between Europe and the South Pacific, and to increase the visibility of areas of research in STI in need of support, within the political institutions of the South Pacific. To sustain this bi-regional dialogue, the project also aims to increase the understanding within Europe of the potential and perspective of the South Pacific nations.
The delegates were enthusiastic in pursuing this dialogue, and reasserted the necessity to implement a Regional Committee for research in the South Pacific, as well as the importance of the European Union to launch research project calls in a format suitable for the South Pacific region. Also highlighted was the formidable research opportunity represented for both regions by the development of a multi-disciplinary observation system of climate change in the South Pacific.