EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

EU: Haiti — And New Security / Study Links With Australia

  • January 15th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

haiti-eu.jpgeu-flag-reduced8.pngThe European union has joined urgent global moves to help earthquake victims in Haiti; it has also this week signed a  security agreement with Australia, on safe handling of information, and it has announced a new centre for European studies.

AID FOR HAITI

The European Commission has announced an initial emergency relief operation for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Its Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) will use fast-track relief funding to provide a €3 million (A$4.7-million; dcerates, 15.1.10) first package of humanitarian assistance, to help meet basic needs including shelter and medical assistance.

An EC representative was being sent in to coordinate work with the United Nations, and the funding would be channelled through experienced international relief organisations.

Another EC branch, the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), had sent up an assessment group, to organise search and rescue teams, water purification, advanced medical posts and field hospitals.

NEW SECURITY  AGREEMENT

Australia and the EU have signed a new agreement on handling classified information with a bearing on security.

The European High representative, Catherine Ashton, said signing of the agreement (13.1.10) would allow each of the two parties to exchange classified information “while being confident that it will remain classified by the recipient.”

The aim was to strengthen shared foreign security policy and security interests.

The document was signed at Brussels by Baroness Ashton and the Australian EU Ambassador, Alan Thomas.

Eleven such “Security of Information Agreements” have been signed by the European Union with partner governments.

CENTRE FOR EUROPE STUDIES

The European Union has added a new Australian member to its network of “EU Centres” set up in seven outside countries to expand study and knowledge of Europe.

The new centre is at the RMIT University in Melbourne, with two others in the country, the National Europe Centre (NEC) at the Australian National University in Canberra,  and the Monash Europe and European Union Centre (MEEUC), Monash University, Melbourne. A New Zealand centre is run by a consortium of universities based on Christchurch.

The EU has declared that growing interaction with the European Union is taking place, “in the context of a limited awareness and understanding of the EU, its institutions and its policies in Australia and New Zealand.”

It says:

“The core objectives of the EU Centre initiative … are to give impetus to European Studies and to raise awareness of the EU in the wider public.

“In addition, (it) aims to encourage academic exchanges with the EU and foster coordination between the different EU Centres.”

EU Centres, with funding from Brussels and joint funding schemes with universities, have been set up also since the 1990s in Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the United States.

Reference

EU Delegation to Australia, Canberra; “EC provides a €3-million aid package … (14.1.10); “Agreement between the EU and Australia on the security of classified information” (14.1.10); “Europe Centres in Australia and New Zealand” (17.12.09).
http://www.delaus.ec.europa.eu, (14.1.10).

Leave a Reply