Solidarity with partner and friend UK following London attack
The European Commission's President Jean Claude Juncker said that the United Kingdom will always, "remain a partner and a friend and one we will continue to work hand in hand with in the fight against terror. Together, Europeans will never cease to prove that love will always triumph over hate and that tolerance will always triumph over fear," following the London Attacks. "The people of Brussels and Belgium suffered a similar pain and felt the support of your sympathy and solidarity. At this emotional time, we at the European Commission can only send that sympathy back twofold. My thoughts are with London," President Juncker said. "With the families of the victims, with the people across the country." President of the European Council Donald Tusk also stated that his thoughts were with the victims of the Westminster attack. "Europe stands firm with the UK against terror and ready to help," President Tusk said. The European Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King stated that it was a 'horrible coincidence' that this attack would come on the anniversary of the Brussels attacks.
Mogherini meets US VP Pence, attends Global Coalition against Daesh Ministerial
In a meeting with United States Vice President Mike Pence, the European Union's Foreign Policy and Security Chief Federica Mogherini discussed a wide range of issues of common interest to the EU and the US. HR/VP Mogherini also attended the ministerial meeting of the 68-member Global Coalition against Daesh, hosted by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Ministers reviewed the campaign to date against Daesh and looked into how to further accelerate its defeat. They held detailed discussions of key Coalition efforts including military developments, work against foreign terrorist fighters, and progress on counterterrorist financing, counter-messaging, and how to stabilise liberated areas. The meeting coincided with the first anniversary of the Brussels terrorist attacks, in which 32 people died.
President Tusk calls a European Council on Brexit for 29 April
"I would like to inform you that I will call a European Council, in an EU27 format, on 29 April to adopt the guidelines for the Brexit talks," said President of the European Council Donald Tusk at the press briefing with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on 21 March. "As you all know, I personally wish the UK hadn't chosen to leave the EU, but the majority of British voters decided otherwise. Therefore, we must do everything we can to make the process of divorce the least painful for the EU, " said Tusk. He highlighted that the main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit as well as for the EU's important partners and friends around the world.
EU Japan Leaders Summit in Brussels moves trade goals further
The European Union and Japan came together in Brussels this week with a visit form Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving the partners an opportunity to push ahead and deepen bilateral relations, as well as to coordinate before the G7 summit in May in Sicily," President Tusk said. As two of the four main economies in the world, Japan and the European Union are tied deeply together by mutual commitment to maintain an open, free and fair global trading system. The meeting reviewed progress in bilateral relations and provided a clear political direction to negotiators on the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement. President Tusk said that the European Union is, "fully committed to concluding the negotiations for both agreements very soon and together, Prime Minister, I'm sure that we will achieve these two highly ambitious deals. They will strengthen our political and economic strategic partnership," President Tusk said in a statement.
Treaty of Rome 60 years marked at Parliament House in Canberra
The Ambassadors of the EU and Italy in Australia together with the Australian European Union Parliamentary Friendship Group Chair Andrew Laming MP and Vice Chair Maria Vamvakinou MP hosted the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome celebration at Parliament House on 21 March. Keynote Speaker Australian Trade Minister praised the European Union as "incredibly successful". The event drew a strong crowd that included Ministers, Members of Parliament, Senators, diplomats, journalists and other important stakeholders. Trade Minister Steven Ciobo stressed the importance of the Treaty of Rome in bringing about peace in Europe. The Minister touched on his Italian heritage at the event and hoped "that people would remain focussed on what it is Europe has delivered." Minister Ciobo also touched on the economic benefits of a united Europe and what that may mean for a possible trade agreement between Australia and the EU.
EUs Director General for International Cooperation and Development to visit Australia
On 28-29 March the European Commission's Director-General for International Cooperation and Development Sfefano Manservisi is to visit Australia for the annual Senior Official Dialogue on Development and Humanitarian Aid. His visit will include a number of side events such as a workshop under the EU Australia Leadership Forum on digital development. DG Manservisi will also give a lecture on the European Union's development policy at the Australian National University (ANU). The EU is the number one development aid donor in the world, however the aid paradigm has changed and the EU’s development policy will be adapted within the framework of the European Union Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy in the light of the 2030 Agenda and new global challenges. The Director-General will discuss European Union development policy, paying particular attention to the Pacific region. This event is co-presented by the Development Policy Centre and ANU Centre for European Studies. Register to attend the event in Canberra.
Celebrating 60 Years of the Treaty of Rome in Melbourne
On 25 March, the European Union (EU) will celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. This Treaty formalised the establishment of the European Economic Community. Six nations affirmed that they were "determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe". Over subsequent years, the Community welcomed additional Member States and in 1992, evolved into the European Union with its current membership of 28 Member States. The EU Centre at RMIT in Melbourne and CESSA organise an event in Melbourne on 27 March to mark this date with a discussion. For more details and to register see here.
EUs Research and Technology Head of Strategy visits Australia
In early March Dr Kostas Glinos, the Head of Strategy and International Cooperation in the EU’s Research and Technology Directorate (RTD) which manages the EU’s €80 billion Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation financial instrument, visited Canberra and Sydney. He met with all the Australian agencies with responsibilities for science, research and innovation in Canberra. In Sydney he visited the University of Sydney’s Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and Charles Perkins Australian interdisciplinary medical research, education institute and clinic that primarily focuses on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and as well as other related conditions. At the University of Sydney he presented a seminar on opportunities for Australian researchers to work with European Researchers in the Horizon 2020 Work Programs. He also visited the Sydney Institute for Marine Science (SIMS) and its Marine Discovery Centre. The SIMS was founded in 2005 as a partnership between Macquarie University, the University of NSW, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney. The partnership is enhanced by collaborations with several state and federal government departments, the Australian Museum, the University of Wollongong and the University of Western Sydney. He was accompanied by his adviser Szilvia Nemeth, and the EU Delegation to Australia’s Science and Innovation Adviser.
Damascus / In Exile Pop-Up comes to Sydney
The Goethe-Institut Damascus was established in 1955 as one of the first outside of Germany, a second branch in Aleppo was opened in 2011 – however both had to be closed in 2012 due to the unsafe situation in Syria. Now, a series of events will pop-up in Sydney. Tagged Goethe-Institut Damascus in Exile we will discuss artists in exile, international cultural exchange, and voices of artists from Syria, Germany, Australia, and beyond. A number of events will be taking place and also on 9 April two Syrian brothers Omar and Saad Al kassab – who have recently received prominent publicity in Australia – will talk about the experience of war in Syria. A concert by the Andalus Arabic choir will follow. For more information click here.
France and Australia together in a time of challenges lecture in Adelaide
As a result of the launch of a partnership between Alliance Français d'Adelaïde and the University of South Australia, a lecture entitled France and Australia: Together in a Time of Challenges and Uncertainties will take place on 19 April at the Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke building of the UniSa City West Campus. Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor & President, University of South Australia, Mr Bryan Fahy, President, Alliance Française d’Adelaïde and Mr Laurent Pointud, Director of the former will be present at the event. More info
The 20th edition of the itinerant Spanish Film Festival in Australia is coming up. Check the dates and the closest location to you by clicking here.
Best of Flickerfest's EU Shorts travel to Canberra
European cinema has played a starring role in this year's Flickerfest International Short Film Festival on the road for the past three months. The European Union Delegation was a key supporter of the 'EU Shorts' featured and they will be coming to Canberra on 6 April. The EU has also provided a $1000 award for the best European short film screened at this year's Flickerfest. The shorts have brought European cinema to a wider Australian audience while also promoting the EU's cultural diplomacy efforts in Australia. Cultural diplomacy encourages cooperation between the EU and its partner countries, including Australia. Flickerfest Director Bronwyn Kidd said she was, "Again thrilled to present the best of shorts from the European Union," she said. "Flickerfest International Short Film Festival 2017 continues to be the most significant, dedicated, short film event in the Australian landscape."