Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
Following South Sudan's independence in July 2011, all EU Member States have given diplomatic recognition to the new state. Following the signature of an Establishment Agreement between the EU and the Republic of South Sudan, the EU has opened a full-fledged Delegation in the capital Juba whereas South Sudan has opened its embassy in Brussels and appointed an ambassador to the EU institutions. In terms of political dialogue, the EU Head of Delegation has regular contacts with representatives of the government. At the highest political level, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, visited Brussels in March 2012 and met with the Presidents of the European Council and the Commission, the HR/VP, as well as the Commissioner responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response and the Commissioner responsible for Development.
A more regular and strengthened political dialogue on peace and security, human rights, governance and sustainable economic development will be established between the EU and South Sudan following the latter's request to accede to the EU‑ACP Partnership Agreement and the expectation that it will become a member there before the end of 2012.
Economic and trade relations between the EU and South Sudan are limited due to the country's economic structure which is based on oil production and self-sustaining agricultural production and liverstock. EU Member States are not represented among South Sudan's main trading partners for its oil. South Sudan will become eligible for the EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative as soon as it is granted Least Developed Countries (LDC) status.