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

Australia – EU Talking Treaty

  • October 8th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

gillardbarrososmilesthumb.JPGThe European Commission says it is favourably considering a proposal by the  Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, for a treaty between the EU and Australia.

Ms Gillard raised the idea publicly during a short press outing – a “press point” – at the European Commission building in Brussels on 4.10.10.

The  EC President, Jose Manuel Barroso (picture, with Gillard), said it would be an up-grading of the present cooperation agreement, the “Partnership Framework”, already revised and updated, and signed just two years ago. (See EUAustralia Online, “Australia – EU deal signed”, 30.10.08; “EU-Australia upgrade joint activities”, 13.11.08).

Treaty status would elevate the commitment on both sides, putting the relationship into law.

rudd-at-eu-24081.jpgIt was a case of déjà vu for the ebullient European leader, who had greeted Ms Gillard’s predecessor, Kevin Rudd (picture), at Brussels in April 2008,  when the Framework document was agreed on. (See EUAustralia Online, “Be partners and cut farm protection, says Rudd”, 3.4.08).

It has seen work done on several fronts, including the recently settled wine agreement. (See EUAustralia Online: “Wine deal: Break out the bubbly”, 31.8.10).

This time, Mr Barroso said the signs were propitious:

“Prime Minister Gillard has made proposals to develop further the EU-Australia relationship.

“I welcome this initiative and I will examine those proposals in detail, consulting Member States.

“Let me tell you on my own behalf, on behalf of the European Commission that we very much support the idea of giving more important expression to the relationship between Australia and the European Union.

“As partners in the G20, we have discussed financial and economic governance and the need to cooperate in multilateral fora. We also discussed briefly climate change, in advance of the meeting in Cancun. We agree that we have a common interest in strengthening our ability to deal with these challenges.”


Read full text of the EU and Australia Partnership Framework:, (8.10.10).

EC, Brussels, “Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia Joint press point Brussels, 4.10.10:  Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia”, 4.10.10, SPEECH/10/509.

Pictures ec