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The Council today authorised the Commission to open trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand and adopted negotiating directives for each of the negotiations.

The EU is strongly committed to the stability and prosperity of Moldova. Thanks to a trade agreement in the framework of the EU's Eastern Partnership programme, trade between the EU and Moldova increased a further 18% in 2017, accounting for 55% of Moldova's total trade. Meeting on 3 May, EU High Representative Mogherini and Moldovan PM Filip discussed further steps needed in order to translate increased trade volumes into tangible benefits for citizens.

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The European Commission takes note of the decision of the United States to prolong the European Union’s exemption from import tariffs on steel and aluminium for a short period of time, until 1st June 2018.

The European Union and Mexico today reached a new agreement on trade, part of a broader, modernised EU-Mexico Global Agreement. Practically all trade in goods between the EU and Mexico will now be duty-free, including in the agricultural sector. Simpler customs procedures will further benefit the EU’s industry, including in sectors like pharmaceuticals, machinery and transport equipment. The agreement also lays down progressive rules on sustainable development. Among other things, the EU and Mexico have committed to effectively implementing their obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change. It will also be the first EU trade agreement to tackle corruption in the private and public sectors.

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The EU is the largest global economy and is deeply integrated into world markets. The EU invests in connectivity, innovation and an open international trading system based on fair rules to boost global growth and sustainable development.

On the occasion of the third meeting of EU-Japan Cyber Dialogue in Tokyo on 5 March 2018, the European Union (EU) and Japanese side confirmed their partnership in favour of an open, free, fair, stable and secure cyberspace that fosters social and economic growth and in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected.

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The European Security and Defence College will in September launch a cyber platform to coordinate education, training, evaluation and exercises (ETEE) in the field of cyber security/defence across Europe.

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As negotiations advance on a new agreement to boost cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan, leaders met in Brussels to discuss the bilateral relationship as well as cooperation within the Eastern Partnership initiative.

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The European Union and Afghanistan have launched, in the framework of the inaugural Joint EU-Afghanistan Committee, a new phase of cooperation and partnership aiming to bolster security, good governance, economic growth and human rights.

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