- September 6th, 2011
- Posted by EUEditor
â€œI want to be very clear here: The EU and the Euro are strong and resilient, and we are doing all it takes, from tackling the underlying budget problems to strengthening the governance of the Euro-zone, from tighter financial regulation to improving our overall competitivenessâ€, said Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, in Canberra this week.
ORGANISING CLOSER COOPERATION
Mr Barroso said relations between Australia and the European Union were â€œbecoming more substantial by the dayâ€, and the level of cooperation was increasing.
â€œAustralia is one of Europeâ€™s most like-minded partnersâ€, he said.
â€œWe share a common heritage, core interests and core values: democracy and human rights, but also openness, tolerance and global responsibility. In an integrated world, that is not a small feat.â€
As Europeâ€™s chief executive, Jose Manuel Barroso described steps under way to set up active closer cooperation, speaking at a media conference with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, on the first working day of his Australian visit, 5.9.11.
He said a Treaty-level agreement was being worked o n, to upgrade the Framework Agreement signed in 2008 â€“ itself a renovation of two-way relations.
See EUAustralia Online: “Be partners and cut farm protection, says Rudd”, 3.4.08; “Australia – EU talking treaty”, 8.10.10.
â€œI hope this mandate can be approved next month; we could start talks with Australia right after thatâ€, he said.
NUCLEAR ENERGY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
â€œThis agreement would serve as an â€œumbrellaâ€ for the many areas of our thriving cooperation:
â€œFrom the field of nuclear safety â€“ the Prime Minister and I signed a new agreement on this today (picture) â€“ to the exchange of passenger name records, which is crucial for the security of our travellers and where we also plan to sign a new agreement by the end of the year.
â€œOn the point of climate change, we spoke about our shared commitment to tackle this challenge.
â€œAustraliaâ€™s decision to put a price on carbon emissions is, in our view, an important step, both environmentally and economically, because it is in our European experience the most cost-efficient way to reduce emissions and also a great, green business opportunity.
â€œWe will now continue our joint work for a global climate regime and discuss on experts level how we could gradually link up our emissions trading systems in the future.
â€œWe also discussed our cooperation in the Pacific region where the EU is the second biggest donor after Australia. We share the same strategic objectives of consolidating democracy and promoting prosperity.
â€œWe did of course also speak about the global economic situation.
â€œWe exchanged views on the G20 Summit in November in Cannes, which should focus on re-balancing global growth, international monetary reform, financial regulation and tackling the volatility in commodity prices …
â€œI also briefed the Prime Minister and her Government on the economic situation in Europe and highlighted the determined measures that the EU is implementing to address the sovereign debt crisis.â€
Picture EU Delegation Canberra