The Wallis and Futuna Islands, nestled in the South Pacific, are a French overseas collectivity. They are divided into 3 main islands and customary kingdoms: Wallis (Uvéa), Futuna (Sigave and Alo). The capital, Mata Utu, is located on Wallis. In 2018, these lands were home to approximately 11 500 people. Their economy is based on agriculture, livestock and fishing, reflecting a subsistence life. Despite their charm, their isolation slows down tourism. The city's financial support remains crucial. In 2021, GDP per capita was €10,100.
The current framework for EU cooperation with the Pacific OCTs is set out in the Overseas Association Decision including Greenland (DAOG) adopted in 2021, which aims to support the territories in their efforts to promote sustainable development.
Until 2014, cooperation between Wallis and Futuna and the European Union (EU) focused on opening the Territory by strengthening maritime services and port infrastructure.
This cooperation continued during the 2014-2020 programming period with support for the creation and development of the digital sector.
As part of the Wallis and Futuna Islands Convergence Strategy 2019-2030, the EU-W&F 2021-2027 priority sector of bilateral cooperation focuses on the development of sustainable and reasoned tourism in support of sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development of the Territory.
The Territory will also be directly concerned by the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2021-2027 between the EU and the Pacific OCTs, the main objective of which is to contribute to the greening and blueing of food systems in the territories. This includes
(1) a contribution to food self-sufficiency of the Territory
(2) a contribution to the restoration of the quality of the environment and consequently to promote sustainable economic development
(3) a contribution to the diversification of local production
(4) a contribution to the development of the circular economy, and
(5) a contribution to strengthening access to food for the benefit of all.
The territorial programme covering the period from 2008 to 2013 supported institutional capacity building and the renovation of the Leava wharf, which is crucial for Futuna's economy. It has also supported post-disaster reconstruction, such as the damage caused by hurricanes Tomas and Evan. Between 2014 and 2020, with a budget of €19.6 million, the OCT programme supported the digital development of Wallis and Futuna through the deployment of fibre optics, the telemedicine establishment and e-learning.
- 2014-2020: support for the digital development of Wallis and Futuna as part of the sector's digital development strategy for a maximum amount of €19.6 million.
- Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027: the MIP for the Territory has not yet been approved. However, the Territory wishes to focus the new financial envelope on the development of sustainable tourism.
- Regional Programmes:
- PROTEGE, the Pacific Regional Territories Project for the Sustainable Management of Ecosystems promotes sustainable and climate-resilient economic development based on biodiversity and renewable natural resources. It is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) in the three French Pacific OCTs (New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis & Futuna) as well as in the former British OCT of Pitcairn. PROTEGE is financed to the tune of €36 million and is co-financed by the 3 French territories with €128,000. The project, which started in 2018, will be completed by the end of September 2024.
- The thematic programme ‘BEST 2.0 & 2.0+’ aims at the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the OCTs; this programme is part of the B4Life initiative. Under the 2020 call for projects of the ‘BEST 2.0+’ phase, 2 projects have been selected for Wallis and Futuna, namely the conservation of forest species with the Directorate of Agricultural Services and the preservation of the northern islets with the Hauhaule Association.
- The thematic programme ‘Green Overseas – GO’ (€ 17.8 million) covers all OCTs and aims to accelerate the energy transition and increase the resilience of beneficiary countries and territories to climate change. The programme started in August 2020 for a period of 68 months and is lead by Expertise France. The choice of the project that will be financed under this facility in Wallis and Futuna will aim to develop eco-construction on the two islands.
- The Pacific OCT Regional Programme 2021-2027 will contribute to the greening and blueing of food systems in the 3 territories. This programme is being developed for a scheduled start in 2025.
- The DAOG's intra-regional envelope for the 2021-2027 programming allocates a budget of €1.15 million per OCT. Intra-regional cooperation fosters closer collaboration with neighbouring countries, outermost regions and regional organisations, through pilot actions.
- All OCTs, including Wallis and Futuna, are also eligible for other EU funding programmes, such as TAIEX/twinning, InvestEU, LIFE, Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, COSME, Creative Europe, Digital Europe, EU4Health, etc. They can also benefit from the thematic strand and rapid reaction actions of the European Union's Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the Humanitarian Aid Instrument (ECHO).