Australia & the EU

The European Union and Australia enjoy a strong and dynamic partnership. Formally, the relationship is currently based on the 2008 European Union - Australia Partnership Framework [623 KB]. The Partnership Framework is a comprehensive statement of our shared values and close historical, political, economic and cultural ties. As our relationship has evolved  a new and legally binding Agreement has been negotiated. The EU / Australia Framework Agreement was agreed in April 2015 by the EU's High Representative Federica Mogherini and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.  It will be signed in 2016.

The new EU / Australia Framework Agreement will build on existing strong foundations to strengthen the partnership between the EU and Australia and provides a framework to facilitate and promote cooperation across a broad range of areas of mutual interest – such as: 

  • Foreign Policy & Security (including counter terrorism)
  • International Trade
  • Regional Cooperation
  • Development and Humanitarian Aid
  • Migration & Asylum
  • Research & Innovation
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Education & Culture
  • Energy & Transport

In November 2015 Prime Minister Turnbull agreed with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker to further 'deepen the EU-Australia relationship which is rooted in our common interests values and heritage'. In their Statement they welcomed the finalisation of the EU / Australia Framework Agreement and agreed to start the process towards the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement. They also announced the establishment of an EU-Australia Leadership Forum as a unique platform for European and Australian political, business, media and civil society leaders to nurture the future of the relationship.

The EU and Australia are likeminded partners on the international stage and – as FM Bishop and EU High Representative Mogherini put it in their joint Statement in April 2015 -  'We are committed to promoting prosperity and security in both our regions and we share the same values in respect of democracy, human rights and a rules-based international system'. The EU and Australia aim to work together to help meet global challenges such as climate change, migration,  energy security and sustainable growth.

The EU and Australia support their cooperation through a series of formal dialogues (currently there are 20) including, inter alia,  Security, Counter Terrorism, Pacific issues, Trade Policy, Migration & Asylum, Environment, Customs, Human Rights, Development.

The EU and Australia have also signed several sectoral agreements, including: