Today we held wide-ranging discussions on global developments and agreed to a number of concrete measures to strengthen the important EU-Australia partnership.
The EU and Australia share a common view on the importance of strengthening the international rules-based order. We are working closely together in response to challenges to that order.
We discussed the progress of the Australia-EU Framework Agreement, which we signed in August 2017, and plans for the inaugural joint committee this year. The Framework will enhance dialogue and cooperation on issues such as terrorism, non-proliferation, the environment and energy, human rights, migration, trade, education and science, research and innovation.
We welcomed the launch of negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the successful conclusion of the first round of negotiations. We look forward to a mutually beneficial outcome that underscores our shared commitment to rules-based trade.
Minister Bishop announced that Australia will deploy civilian expertise to EU-led crisis response and capacity building missions in third countries of common interest, under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. This will deepen cooperation with the EU on shared work to underpin global security.
Given the shared interest in enhancing resilience in the face of cyber threats, we committed to strengthening cooperation on cyber issues, including cooperation when it comes to promoting responsible State behaviour in cyberspace and deterring and responding to malicious cyber activities.
We agreed on the importance of Australia and the EU continuing to work closely together to promote peace and prosperity in Asia, including through the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The EU will host the next ASEM Summit in Brussels in October. Minister Bishop welcomed the EU's increasing engagement with ASEAN, including on regional security challenges.
We discussed improvements in information sharing through the ongoing Australia-EU Counter-Terrorism Dialogue. High Representative Mogherini praised Australia’s extensive information sharing with Europol concerning serious transnational and organised crime, including child protection, cybercrime and terrorism.
We discussed ongoing work to counter terrorism and violent extremism, including the persistent threat from foreign terrorist fighters. We agreed to continue deepening our cooperation through the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.
We agreed to continue strengthening coordination and collaboration in the Pacific, including through development cooperation. Minister Bishop emphasised that the EU’s presence and development programs in the region are significantly improving the quality of peoples' lives through sustainable social and economic development.
We discussed the significance of Australia’s contribution to the Pacific. High Representative Mogherini welcomed Australia's contribution to the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls, an important regional program.
We recognised the extensive cooperation and dialogue between Australia and the EU and its Member States on climate change, and progress towards the launch of a Strategic Partnership on Implementing the Paris Agreement and the strong ongoing engagement on the environment through existing dialogues.
For more information please contact the EU's Media Advisor in Australia, Nick Pedley on 0447 630 503