Today, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, signed the EU-Australia Framework Agreement.
The signing of the Framework Agreement marks the beginning of a new era of strategic cooperation between the European Union and Australia.
The Agreement will enable the European Union and Australia to tackle challenges in foreign and security policy, sustainable development, climate change, and economic and trade matters. It will encourage closer links between leaders across government, business and civil society.
High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "Europe and Australia are geographically very far apart, but we work together on a daily basis on the global stage, as like-minded partners and friends. Ours is a partnership of opportunities: bringing our populations closer together to facilitate exchanges, trade, and sharing knowledge. The agreement we have signed today reflects how strong our ties are already and how they will become stronger through our increased exchanges and cooperation, for the sake of our peoples and of the world."
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, “Australia and the EU are natural partners. We share common values and cultural heritage, and are committed to free and open markets. The Framework Agreement builds on our already close ties and aspirations for deeper cooperation and will strengthen Australia’s bilateral relationship with the EU, in an era of unprecedented global development and volatility.”
The Agreement will guide future engagement between the European Union and Australia and complement work towards launching negotiations for a comprehensive and high quality free trade agreement.