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

Be Partners And Cut Farm Protection, Says Rudd

  • April 3rd, 2008
  • Posted by 7thmin

rudd-at-eu-2408.jpgThe Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has proposed a new “partnership with Europe”, and a two-third cuts in farm protection — in a speech at Brussels.


The Prime Minister told an audience at the European Policy Centre it was time for a new approach in relations between Australia and the European Union, to build a broad-based set of relationships.

Those would take in collaboration to assist South Pacific countries with development; action on terrorism, work on saving the environment, and joint efforts to revive global trade negotiations.


He said the global economy, suffering from the turbulence on financial markets, would get a needed “shot in the arm” if the Doha Round negotiations, under the World Trade Organisation could be settled.

Those negotiations have been suspended, though there have been reports about some new progress at officials’ level; an opportunity to cooperate o n a “deal”.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but a deal is within our reach.” Mr Rudd said.

His deal would admit concessions by such countries as Australia on services, based on a formalisation of economic liberalisation already done by individual countries, to create “new commercial opportunities in a wide range of sectors – transport, telecommunications and professional services”.

It would deliver big cuts in industrial tariffs used by developed countries and the large developing states, like China and India.

It would also chop “trade distorting domestic support and tariffs” by two-thirds or more, in developed countries, like the EU and the United States.


The Prime Minister commemorated the cooperation between the EU and Australia at this year’s Bali conference on climate change and called for further joint initiatives, on deforestation and development of low emission technologies.

He said both advanced economies and developing countries should take on targets for reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.


Mr Rudd foreshadowed his appearance at the NATO Heads of Government summit in Bucharest this week, where he said, he would be calling on all parties to “pull their weight” in Afghanistan.

Australia has been calling for a stronger commitment by most of the European powers to the campaign against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, under a NATO command structure.

“Afghanistan is an example of why we need to work hard on security problems.

“Afghanistan under the Taliban became a haven for terrorists…

“It will be a long-term commitment; it will involve putting our troops in harm’s way to provide security for the people of Afghanistan”, he said.


The Australian Prime Minister talked about new business links and affinities backing up historical ties between Australia and Europe.

The European Union had the world’s largest gross Domestic Product, A$16-trillion p.a.; the Euro had become an important global currency; European financial markets were among the world’s largest.

The EU system of government was an historical “experiment in sovereignty”.

Australia as the 15th ranked world economy had a leading role in financial markets in Asia, and close trade and investment links with the EU, he said.


Kevin Rudd, Speech: “:A Change of Climate – A New Approach to Australia-Europe Relations, European Policy Centre Briefing”, Brussels, 2.8.08.


Jose-Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission , greets the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at Brussels.