Australia has strong political, economic and cultural ties with the European Union, working closely with it to meet shared global responsibilities such as promoting sustainable development and tackling climate change.
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:
- 2015 Agreement between the European Union and Australia establishing a framework for the participation of Australia in European Union crisis management operations
- 2012 Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
- 2012 Agreement between the European Union and Australia amending the Agreement on Mutual Recognition in relation to Conformity Assessment, Certificates and Markings between the European Community and Australia. [890 KB] (amending agreement which came into force on 1 January 2013)
- 2011 Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the Security of Classified Information
- 2008 Agreement between the European Community and Australia on trade in wine [550 KB] ;
- 1999 Agreement on Mutual Recognition in relation to Conformity Assessment, Certificates and Markings between the European Community and Australia. [214 KB]
- 1994 Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the European Community and Australia (expanded in scope in 1999) [33 KB] ;
- 1982 Agreement between the Government of Australia and the European Atomic Energy Community concerning transfers of nuclear material from Australia to the European Atomic Energy Community;