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Gillard Starts Overseas Moves At Brussels …

  • September 25th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

asem.PNGAustralia – Europe relations, in the context of Asian engagements, have been given a new priority, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s entry into the foreign relations field in the coming month.

The Prime Minister is to go to Brussels for the Asia-Europe Meeting, on 4-5.10.10, (map; see note below); the first time that Australia will be participating in the forum, expected this time to be debating trends with climate change, economic development and transnational crime.

julia-gillard.jpgLater she will go to Hanoi  for the East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN-Australia Leaders’ Summit   (29-30.10.10); the G20 Leaders’ Meeting in Seoul (11-12.11.10), and Yokohama for the APEC Leaders’ Meeting (13-14.11.10).

The sequence of meetings involving other Heads of Government provides an opportunity for Ms Gillard, as a politician with background mainly in domestic issues, to put her stamp on foreign policy management.

It causes special interest because the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, replaced by Julia Gillard last June, put a strong emphasis on overseas commitments, and is now Foreign Minister, active since his recent commissioning, at the United Nations.

One of his first initiatives after winning government in 2007 was to raise the level of engagement between Australia and the European Union, preparing ground for commitments like the coming Asia-Europe meeting.

The Rudd government also achieved an up-grading of Australia’s role in relations with the NATO alliance, in consultations over the intervention in Afghanistan; prior to that time the Australian government, building up to a force commitment of 1500, lacked even full observer status.

See EUAustralia Online
: “Rudd taking NATO – Afghanistan concerns to the top”, 24.3.08; “Be partners and cut trade protection”, 3.4.08; “Australia – EU deal signed”, 30.10.08; “Australia and EU secure ties” 2.3.09.

asem.jpgThe Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM) brings together the 27 member countries of the EU, the “ASEAN Plus Three” grouping (the ten South-east Asian states plus China, Japan and South Korea), India, Mongolia and Pakistan, and as of this year, Australia, New Zealand and Russia.

Reference

European Commission, Brussels, External Cooperation Programs. http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm, (25.9.10).

Prime Minister, Australia, Canberra; “Overseas Travel”, 20.9.10. http://www.pm.gov.au/node/6913, (25.9.10).

Wikipedia, SF; ASEM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia%E2%80%93Europe_Meeting, (25.9.10).

Pictures

Julia Gillard; ASEM countries showing 2010 new members
wikipedia

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