Key European and Australian leaders from government, business, media, education and civil society have gathered in Brussels this week to take part in the 2018 EU-Australia Leadership Forum. This is the first time that the five-day Forum has been hosted in Europe. The Forum is a cornerstone event of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum project – a three-year project funded by the European Union and supported by the Government of Australia aiming at broadening and deepening the close existing ties between the EU and Australia.
The event is taking place at a pivotal time for EU-Australia relations, given the recent provisional application of the EU-Australia Framework Agreement and the start of negotiations for a comprehensive EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “In a new era of our partnership, personal relationships between European and Australian leaders are and will be an even more important asset than before. The Leadership Forum has already opened new channels to bring together young and senior leaders alike, from politics, business, academia and the media.”
The Ambassador of the European Union to Australia and Chair of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum, Michael Pulch, explains that the Forum plays an important role in the context of the deepening partnership between the EU and Australia: “After 56 years of formal diplomatic relations, the relationship between the EU and Australia is simply too advanced and complex to be summed up by treaties or official meetings. The Forum is designed to ensure that a broader group of leaders from different strands of society becomes even more actively involved in the shaping of the EU-Australia relationship.”
The Forum’s high-level guests and senior leaders were joined by a group of 50 emerging leaders from Australia and EU Member states who were invited to attend following a rigorous selection process. Together, senior and emerging leaders gathered to develop new ideas and identify policy recommendations in key areas of the bilateral relationship.
The Forum also saw the launch of “The EU and Australia: Towards a New Era”, a new publication with over 30 contributions from some of the brightest minds in EU-Australia affairs on issues including security, trade, innovation, climate, energy, environment and migration.
The EU-Australia Leadership Forum is a three-year project funded by the European Union through the Partnership Instrument. The contract is managed by a consortium led by Stantec, in partnership with the Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA), the German Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC) and Agriconsulting Europe (AESA). The Partnership Instrument enables the EU to advance its strategic interests, shape global change and promote its fundamental values. Through the Partnership Instrument, the EU cooperates with partners around the world to address global challenges and find joint solutions to issues of mutual interest. The PI funds activities that carry forward the EU's priorities, translating political commitments into concrete measures.
For more information:
- Publication date
- 21 November 2018
- Service for Foreign Policy Instruments