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Barroso Australia Bound

  • August 25th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-balloon.jpgThe President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, is set to visit Australia at the beginning of next month – a visit postponed in 2009 because of troubles at the time in the world economy.

Mr Barroso is expected to be in Canberra in the week beginning 3.9.11.

His agenda is likely to include an exchange over Australia’s proposal for an upgrading of relations, with the signing of a Treaty between the two.

gillardbarrososmilesthumb.JPGThe idea was out forward by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, (picture, with Mr Barroso), in October last year, at Brussels; suggesting it as an upgrade of the already new agreement, the “Partnership Framework” made earlier by her predecessor Kevin Rudd.

The European Union often makes the point that it is Australia’s principal investment and trading partner, and second-in-line after China in overseas trade.

Common cause has been made in several departments, like the wine agreement finally thrashed out and made last year; a sometimes uneasy alliance at international forums in support of world free trade; similar policy directions on climate change; cooperation in research and education; and through national armed forces, the military commitment in Afghanistan.

Mr Barroso last year welcomed the plan for a new EU-Australia Treaty.

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

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

He had been packing his bags for an anticipated trip to Canberra in February 2009, announcing the trip was off, because of continuing pressure on his office from impacts of the Global Financial Crisis.

See EUAustralia Online: Man heading Down Under – later, 7.2.09; Australia-EU talking treaty, 8.10.10.

Pictures  European Commission