Australia and Europe in Conversation

March 1962 marks the official beginning of EU-Australian relations.  To celebrate 50 years of this relationship, the Delegation of the European Union to Australia, together with the ANU Centre for European Studies, held a series of events. 

Video directed and produced by Laura Clarke, Hickory Hill Productions

Fifty years on, not many Australians are aware that the EU remains Australia's leading investor, being the source of 33 per cent of total foreign investment in Australia, exceeding the United States and well above Australia’s other major partners. The EU is Australia's second-largest trading partner after China and Australia's largest trading partner in services.

The EU and Australia have both evolved over the past 50 years and the relationship has grown in many ways but most importantly, like any good relationship, in mutual respect and understanding.

This year is a celebration not just of the ongoing and evolving relationship but a celebration of a new phase in our relations.  Australia and the EU share common values and close historical, political, economic and cultural ties. Both face many common challenges in foreign and security and trade and economic policy areas. To mark this anniversary, the EU Delegation, have organised a series of events during 2012.

The final in the series "Australia and Europe in Conversation" was held on Tuesday 4 December at the ANU Centre for European Studies, in a lunchtime format, from 12.30 - 2.00pm.  With the participation of H.E. Mr Paul Madden, High Commissioner for the United Kingdom to Australia, H.E. Mr Gian Ludovico de Martino di Montegiordano, Ambassador for Italy to Australia, H.E. Mr David Daly, Ambassador of the European Union to Australia, and the Hon Richard Marles MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the event will bring to an end the conversations, but debate will continue, with the issue of a publication celebrating 50 years of EU-Australian relations.  Mr Paul Barclay from ABC's Radio National moderated this final discussion, and the event will be broadcast on the ABC's "Big Ideas" program.

The previous event was on 28 November at the ANU Centre for European Studies, when H.E. Mr Charalampos Dafaranos, Ambassador for Greece to Australia, H.E. Dr Helmut Böck, Ambassador for Austria to Australia, H.E. Mr David Daly, Ambassador of the European Union to Australia and New Zealand, and Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University and former Foreign Minister, together discussed the fifty years of relations between Australia and the EU.  Joining them as moderator was Mr Paul Bongiorno, National Affairs Editor at Network Ten.  It can be viewed on Sky TV at .  Many of the conversations are also available on the ANU's YouTube channel.

29 February conversation withDenmark, Poland, and the EU Delegation
28 March conversation withGermany and France
18 April conversation withCzech Republic, Romania and Slovenia
30 May 2012* conversation withBelgium and Sweden
27 June 2012* conversation withThe Netherlands and Finland
25 July conversation withIreland and Portugal
29 August conversation withBulgaria and Spain
26 September conversation withCroatia, Hungary and the EU Delegation
31 October conversation withCyprus, Malta and Slovakia
28 November conversation withAustria and Greece
4 December conversation withUnited Kingdon and the EU Delegation

* Event held in Melbourne.

A trailer for the full series of Conversations can be viewed at

See menu at right for details of each conversation.

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