The Vanuatu Government has acknowledged the demands by the European Union (EU) for amendments to the Governance of the Vanuatu Citizenship Program.

The Prime Minister convened a meeting last week with the Leaders of the Coalition Government in an attempt to take steps to address the concerns of the European Union.

The EU Visa Waiver arrangements are a vital element in the success of the Citizenship Programme. The Vanuatu Government acknowledged there is merit in the concerns raised by the EU and understands that it is natural for the EU to raise concerns given the Bilateral Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Vanuatu on Visa Waiver arrangements.

The Prime Minister has written to the President of the European Commission to assure him that the Vanuatu Government remains steadfast in its commitment to work in close collaboration with the EU via enhanced dialogue with a view to significantly mitigate those concerns.

A Special Taskforce has been established with a mandate to guide the Government on steps to take and to understand the rationale of the propositions by the EU. Such steps will also include further measures to make amendments to the necessary legislations including those that will address the change of names and other such changes to improve the credibility of its security and due diligence verification systems.

The Vanuatu government remains confident that timely and realistic measures will be introduced to address the concerns of this programme once the enhanced dialogue between the Vanuatu government and the European Union is established.

It has requested the European Union to expedite diplomatic clearances of its nomination of the Vanuatu Ambassador to the El-J. The Vanuatu Ambassador to the EU will be Vanuatu’s leading figure in the Europe Union to ensure amicable negotiations are conducted in order to address these concerns.

The Government looks forward to a continued understanding with the EU in order to jointly address the lingering concerns.