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Australia-European Union Partnership Framework


The European Union and Australia

(1) recognising their shared values and close historical, political, economic and cultural ties;

(2) having regard in particular to their shared commitment to the respect for and promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law which underpins their internal and external policies;

(3) acknowledging the challenges of globalisation and recognising the need for heightened effective international cooperation in addressing them in an increasingly interdependent world;

(4) committing to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and to strengthening the role of the UN;

(5) supporting international peace and security and the peaceful resolution of conflicts and promoting stability, through counter-terrorism, the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery, and controls on the international transfer of conventional weapons, including the illicit trafficking and excessive and destabilising accumulation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their ammunition;

(6) reaffirming their commitment to the development of a healthy and prosperous world economy, to open market principles, the improvement of market access in accordance with the aims and principles of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the strengthening of the multilateral trading system;

(7) reaffirming their commitment to promoting openness of trade in agricultural, food and fisheries products in support of efforts to increase international food security;

(8) recognising the importance of two-way trade and investment flows between Australia and the EU and the value of the multilateral trading system;

(9) reaffirming their commitment to support developing countries in their pursuit of sustainable development and to encourage democracy, good governance and the rule of law by improving development assistance, broadening market access and encouraging the efficient use of foreign assistance and the sustainable use of national resources;

(10) noting the growing strategic importance of the Asia and Pacific regions and recognising the mutual interest of both Australia and the European Union in greater engagement with these regions and contributing to strengthening institutions there;

(11) underlining the importance of prompt and effective action to tackle climate change by working together to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, and to forge a comprehensive post 2012 global climate change outcome;

(12) recognising the impact climate change may have on international security in the longer term and the additional stress it may pose in already fragile or conflict prone areas;

(13) recognising international efforts, in the context of increasing global competition for non-renewable energy resources, towards enhancing energy security, improving the competitiveness and transparency of global energy markets as well as a shared interest between the EU and Australia in ensuring stable, competitive and sustainable supplies of energy and also recognising the relationship of energy production and consumption to the environment;

(14) recognising that international cooperation in science, technology, innovation and education is fundamental to promoting economic prosperity and welfare in globalising, knowledge-based economies, and a shared interest in exploring the potential for cooperation on research programs in Australia and the EU on issues of a global dimension;

(15) determined to foster mutual knowledge and understanding between their peoples and of their cultures;

(16) determined to improve the quality of human resources in both the EU and Australia, by facilitating the acquisition of skills required to meet the challenges of the global knowledge-based economy;

(17) noting the progress made in developing their long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship through the adoption of the Joint Declaration on Relations between the European Union and Australia of 26 June 1997 and implementation of the 2003 Agenda for Cooperation;

(18) have decided to broaden and deepen the overall framework of the European Union-Australia Partnership through a new Framework supporting the following common goals:

Review mechanism

At the request of either party, this EU-Australia Partnership Framework may be reviewed or modified by mutual consent. Any modification should be done in writing.

The implementation of the Action Plan of the Australia-EU Partnership Framework will be reviewed on a regular basis and reported to the EU-Australia Ministerial TROIKA consultations.

Framework for dialogue and consultations

The European Union and Australia welcome annual bilateral Ministerial Troika consultations. The European Union and Australia also confirm the value of the annual Senior Officials meetings, alternating flexibly between Brussels and Canberra, and of holding regular Ministerial-level consultations, alternating between Brussels and Australia. Opportunities will be sought for further dialogue through high-level visits and in the margins of international meetings. The European Union and Australia also note the regular exchanges between the European Parliament and the Australian Parliament.

Other dialogues and exchanges between Australia and the European Union include:

Experts Troika meetings on Asia (COASI Troika)
Informal Security Talks
Agricultural Trade and Marketing Experts Group (ATMEG)
European Union – Australia Animal Welfare Cooperation Forum
Trade Policy Dialogue
Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee
Senior Officials’ Dialogue on Migration, Asylum and Diversity Issues
High Level Dialogue on the Environment
Dialogue on Education Training Policy
Dialogue on the Pacific with EU Heads of Delegation



Australia and the EU share a common interest in promoting world-wide respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law. Both parties are fully committed to the effective multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations (UN). Both seek to improve the protection of populations against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Australia and the EU strongly support the effective functioning of the International Criminal Court and the universality of the Rome Statute. Both have as high foreign and security policy priorities the promotion of international peace and stability, including through cooperation in conflict prevention, contributions to post-conflict stabilisation, and by promoting greater international cooperation in counter-terrorism and the non proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons and their means of delivery, including the illicit trafficking and excessive and destabilising accumulation of SALW and their ammunitions.




ACTION 1: Support further expansion of counter-terrorist activities through capacity building projects at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC). Desired Outcome: Further cooperation between JCLEC and EU enforcement agencies.

ACTION 2: Support implementation of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Vision Statement adopted at the ARF16 Ministerial in July 2009. Desired Outcome: Implementation of the action items of the statement, including development of a work plan for preventive diplomacy.

ACTION 3: Jointly encourage support among the wider United Nations community for implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle, as endorsed by the UN, including through the work of the UN Special Advisor. Desired Outcome: Advance implementation of the R2P principle to protect populations at risk from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

ACTION 4: Explore opportunities to collaborate to promote and protect human rights, including in the Pacific and through the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Desired Outcome: Coordinated efforts to promote human rights internationally.

ACTION 5: Jointly support the UNSG's good offices mission in Burma/Myanmar. Desired Outcome: A more inclusive political process in the run-up to the 2010 elections in Burma/Myanmar.

ACTION 6: Establish and develop a dialogue and exchange information and research based analysis on extremist threats to integration and social cohesion and how to counter them. Desired Outcome: A better mutual understanding of the integration, diversity and radicalization processes as well as the threats posed by extremism, for example through an expanded scope for the Senior Officials’ Dialogue on Migration, Asylum and Diversity Issues.

ACTION 7: Develop technical cooperation between Australia and the EU in civil aviation security. Desired Outcome: Safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference.

ACTION 8: Support entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) including through common demarches to Annex 2 states that are still to sign and/or ratify the treaty. Jointly support the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Desired Outcome: Increase the number of countries in the Asia Pacific that are parties to the CTBT. Try to achieve results in all areas of the NPT Review including non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

ACTION 9: Support full implementation of UNSCR 1540 and 1540 Committee efforts in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands states. Desired Outcome: Effective implementation of all the provisions of UNSCR 1540 in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands states.

ACTION 10: Explore possibilities for an agreement in the areas of customs cooperation, mutual administrative assistance and border protection matters. Desired Outcome: Reach consensus on whether to launch negotiation of such an agreement.

ACTION 11: Support continued development of an Arms Trade Treaty in the UN and other fora. Desired Outcome: A treaty with the widest possible international support and that establishes common standards for the international arms trade.

ACTION 12: Finalise negotiations of an agreement on the security of classified information. Desired Outcome: A treaty-level agreement signed, ensuring the secure handling and storage of classified material shared between Australia and the European Union.

ACTION 13: Undertake an ad hoc officials Australia-EU Dialogue on Counter-Terrorism (COTER Troika) during 2009. Desired Outcome: Increased cooperation on counter-terrorism activities, including assessments of global and regional terrorist threats, exchange of information about developments in combating terrorism, prevention of recruitment/radicalisation, and cooperation in international forums, including as appropriate to combat terrorist financing.

ACTION 14: Hold consultations and exchange information on subjects related to the Conference on Disarmament, notably the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Desired Outcome: Better mutual understanding of our positions and of the challenges posed by these subjects (FMCT, space, disarmament, etc).



Trade and investments between the European Union and Australia are important elements of the Australia-EU relationship. We share the same basic values in terms of trade liberalisation and the positive effects it provides for the world trading system and for the world economy including developing countries. We consider that our trade interests are best pursued through a rules-based multilateral trading system - the World Trade Organization. We are also conscious that the multilateral trading system can be complemented on a bilateral basis by ‘WTO plus’ Free Trade Agreements.



ACTION 1: Coordinate responses to the Global Economic Crisis including through the G20 process. Desired Outcome: Cooperation on implementation of G20 Leaders' Commitments.

ACTION 2: Continue discussions on the nature and scope of a possible agreement or arrangement on sanitary, phytosanitary (SPS) and food certification issues. Desired Outcome: A mechanism that simplifies the resolution of SPS and/or food safety issues between Australia and the EU.

ACTION 3: Finalise negotiations on a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement between the EU and Australia in 2009, with a view to its entry into force as soon as possible. Desired Outcome: To strengthen EU-Australia aviation relations, including by enhancing market access and investment opportunities and to ensure wider regulatory cooperation in aviation safety and security. A comprehensive air transport agreement might provide a practical framework for cooperation on aviation environment issues, including with regard to aviation emissions.

ACTION 4: Following the participation of the Australian Minister for Trade and the European Commissioner for Trade in the Trade Policy Dialogue held in Brussels on 23 June 2009, pursue regular meetings between the Australian Minister for Trade and the European Commissioner for Trade, whenever possible in conjunction with the officials level Dialogue. Desired Outcome: High-level political commitment to developing the bilateral trade and investment relationship.

ACTION 5: Using existing dialogue mechanisms, increase the focus on regulatory issues with potential impact on trade and investment, with a view to exchanging early information on new and proposed regulations. Desired Outcome: Reduced risk of adverse impact of new regulations on bilateral trade and investment and of potential disputes, and increased capacity for dialogue on proposed new regulations.

ACTION 6: Broaden discussions on trade matters to include cooperation in shaping the international trade policy agenda, including on trade and climate change and responses to the global economic crisis, and intensify the focus on bilateral services and investment issues. Desired Outcome: A stronger and broader trade and investment Australia-EU partnership, notably in renewable energy and clean technology.

ACTION 7: Facilitation of enhanced government-business linkages between Australia and the EU through two-way visits and activities involving business. Desired Outcome: Stronger Australia-EU business-to-business and government-to-business linkages.



Australia and the EU agree to foster regional integration and support sustainable development in the Asia and Pacific regions through closer coordination and consultation. In so doing, Australia and the EU agree to work with partners to improve governance, meet the challenges of climate change and sustainable management of resources, increase investment in economic infrastructure, achieve better outcomes in health and education, support Public Sector Reform and Security Sector Reform, and advance development outcomes with a particular emphasis on meeting Millennium Development Goals. Both Australia and the EU seek to advance the objectives of the Port Moresby Declaration and the EU Strategy for the Pacific and the EU South-East Asia Strategy and the Guidelines on the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy in East Asia through effective and close cooperation together and with regional partners. Both Australia and the EU will continue to promote inter-faith and inter-civilisation dialogue.




ACTION 1: Engage in a concerted manner with all relevant stakeholders to encourage and support respect for human rights, and an early return to democracy and the rule of law in Fiji. Provide support for the organisation and holding of democratic elections. Following elections, explore opportunities for coordinated or joint support for Fiji including reform, capacity building and future budget support measures.
Further enhance the dialogue regarding Fiji, with particular attention to political, economic and social challenges. Support the leading role of the Pacific Islands Forum in its actions aimed at restoring democracy and the rule of law on Fiji, taking into account Fiji’s status as an ACP country and the EU’s particular relationship with Fiji under the revised Cotonou Agreement. Desired Outcome: An early return to democracy and the rule of law in Fiji.

ACTION 2: Australia and the EU commit to implement the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific and make aid to the region more effective by reducing aid fragmentation and the administrative burden of aid while increasing the use of country partner systems, pooled funding arrangements and delegated aid. This may include joint action on regional infrastructure through the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF). Desired Outcome: Participation in the key development partners group supporting implementation of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific; and involvement in other initiatives, including the EC joining the Australia-New Zealand-Asian Development Bank-World Bank partnership in PRIF.

ACTION 3: Develop a joint roadmap in 2010 for expanding financing through Partnerships to the Pacific including through training in public financial management, and closer practical collaboration, including common diagnostic approaches and harmonised public financial management capacity development. Desired Outcome: Improved coordination of Australian and EU assistance in the Pacific, as well as increased use of partner government systems at national, sub-national and sector levels in accordance with commitments to indicators 2 (Reliable country systems) and 5 (Alignment/using country systems) of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

ACTION 4: In 2010, finalise administrative arrangements to facilitate delegated cooperation in aid delivery whereby Australia could implement some aid projects on behalf of the EU and the EU could implement some aid projects on behalf of Australia. Desired Outcome: More efficient and effective aid delivery in geographic areas where either party has a comparative advantage in resources or expertise.

ACTION 5: Support a regional implementation program developed in 2009 for the control of small arms and light weapons in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands states, including in relation to stockpile security and responsible arms transfers.
Desired Outcome: Maximise outcomes from assistance programs and export licensing measures relating to small arms and light weapons.

ACTION 6: Explore opportunities for collaboration between the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the EU’s Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Agricultural Commodities Program, including through the Pacific Agribusiness Research and Development Initiative (PARDI), an ACIAR-funded research and capacity building program to promote high-value agriculture, fisheries and forestry production, which commences in December 2009. Desired Outcome: Identify
opportunities for and overcome constraints on the private sector-led development of agricultural production in Pacific Island states.

ACTION 7: Building on the successful first Youth Interfaith Forum held in Perth on 4-6 December 2007 explore possibilities for follow-up action. Desired Outcome: promote trust and understanding between different religious groups; overcome preconceived notions about the ability of religious minorities to express their beliefs in western societies; develop personal exchanges and multi-faith events.



One of the greatest challenges we face is climate change and the threat it poses to the environment. The EU and Australia are committed to developing ambitious measures, both domestically and through international engagement in particular via the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), that promote the mitigation of and adaptation to the global challenges of climate change. We recognise that energy efficiency and the increased uptake of technological advances such as renewable energy sources and low emission technologies are part of the solution to the growth in global energy demand and to mitigating the effects of climate change. Building on the outcome of recent discussions, Australia and the EU recognise the importance of multilateral dialogue on energy security and climate change including in the G8 and major economies meeting processes. We have as common objectives the protection and preservation of the environment and the sustainability of the world's fisheries and forest resources.




ACTION 1: Promote practical cooperation on environmental, climate change and energy issues including through dialogue and cooperation and consultation in multilateral fora. Desired Outcome: Areas of cooperative activity may include but are not limited to:

  • biodiversity conservation;
  • United Nations General Assembly work on marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction including efforts to establish marine protected areas on the high seas;
  • endangered species;
  • co-operation on whale conservation and the future of the IWC, including working towards an end to lethal ‘scientific’ whaling and strengthening cooperation on non-lethal whales research;
  • sustainable forest management and co-operation to combat deforestation and illegal logging;
  • international environmental governance;

Enhance cooperation on the development of a comprehensive, global post-2012 climate change agreement in line with the objective to limit global temperature increase to not more than 2 degrees and provide incentives for developing countries to increase action.

Continue co-operation on development and implementation of domestic policies and measures to tackle climate change, including market based instruments, in particular emissions trading schemes, including through the ICAP forum.

Identify practical cooperation in:

  • Energy efficiency and safe and sustainable low emission technologies; improving the operation of energy markets and promoting energy trade and investment;
  • Renewable energy sources, including the sustainable production of biofuels; development, demonstration and deployment of safe and sustainable low emission technologies in Australia, the EU and third countries, including e.g. carbon capture, storage and use and other clean coal technologies;
  • Nuclear security and safety.

ACTION 2: Support positions of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) of July 2009 on energy and climate. Desired Outcome: Respond vigorously to the challenge of climate change by undertaking transparent nationally appropriate mitigation actions; assist the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt; and mobilise additional resources to support developing countries.

ACTION 3: Meet the objectives of the Bali Action Plan, notably through engaging in the comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustainable implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperation, now, up to and beyond 2012, by addressing, inter alia, a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions. Desired Outcome: Intensification of cooperation in the negotiation process under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol with a view to agreeing on a comprehensive agreement at COP 15 in Copenhagen that ultimately limits global temperature increase to not more than 2 degrees.

ACTION 4: Explore opportunities for consultation and cooperation on adaptation to climate change, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Desired Outcome: Enhanced consultation and co-ordination on activities promoting adaptation to climate change.

ACTION 5: Enhance cooperation on issues relating to environmental impacts of transport through existing mechanisms including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).While recognising and supporting the role played by the ICAO and IMO, Australia and the EU would welcome the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the UNFCCC exploring the scope for addressing international emissions from the aviation and maritime sectors. Desired Outcome: Contribute to effective global action to reduce the environmental impact of international transport.

ACTION 6: Broaden the scope of the next High Level Dialogue on the Environment, to be held in early 2010, to include a dedicated session on water issues, focusing on water resource management and allocation, water efficiency, and drought management. Desired Outcome: Enhanced exchange of information between Australia and the European Commission on water management issues. .

ACTION 7: Promote nuclear security and safety by developing together a framework for cooperation on nuclear security and safety outreach. Desired Outcome: Development of joint projects to promote the security of nuclear materials in Asia and the Pacific.

ACTION 8: Develop a framework for the extension and expansion of the Australia-Euratom Nuclear Transfers Agreement, which expires in January 2012, as appropriate and within the scope of the Euratom Community. Desired Outcome: Ratification of a new nuclear cooperation agreement by January 2012.

ACTION 9: Continue biennial exchange of information and experience on fisheries policy and oceans management issues including efforts to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and ecosystem-based approaches to the management of oceanic fisheries. Desired Outcome: Promote an integrated approach to oceans management in international fora; cooperate with a view to improving fisheries policy and sustainable fisheries management.

ACTION 10: Cooperate to promote reform of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), based on the findings of the IOTC Performance Review finalised in April 2009. Desired Outcome: Enhanced conservation and management of shared and high seas tuna and tuna-like resources in the Indian Ocean through effective management by the IOTC.

ACTION 11: Cooperate in negotiations to finalise in 2009 a Convention text for a treaty to establish a South Pacific regional fisheries management organisation (RFMO). Desired Outcome: An RFMO that uses world’s best practice and an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management, as well as applying the precautionary approach and strong monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) measures.

ACTION 12: Cooperate to promote implementation of measures arising from the fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) strategy for the Pacific to be finalised by the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) in 2010. Desired Outcome: Effective Australia-EU cooperation to facilitate implementation of the FFA’s MCS arrangements in Pacific Island countries, to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

ACTION 13: Jointly develop a proposal for a catch documentation scheme for the western and central Pacific Ocean to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for key tuna species. Desired Outcome: Prevent the trading of products from tuna caught in the western and central Pacific Ocean that do not comply with
conservation and management measures by Pacific Island Countries and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

ACTION 14: Jointly develop a program in 2010 to support the measures taken by South East Asian developing nations to implement the actions agreed under the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) to Promote Responsible Fisheries and Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) in the area. Desired Outcome: Sustainable fisheries management and more effective governance in countries endorsing the RPOA (particularly Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, PNG, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam), promoting more sustainable management of fisheries resources and food security in the region.



Australia and the EU are committed to build on their Science and Technology Agreement, developing an innovation, science and research partnership to create new opportunities for collaboration. The Lisbon Strategy has emphasised the importance of the knowledge triangle (education, research and innovation) in achieving competitiveness and improvements in social and environmental factors. The EU and Australia have collaborated for many years on education through joint mobility projects and initiatives such as the Europe Centres. That commitment to collaboration was renewed in a Joint Declaration on Cooperation in Education and Training signed in 2007. We wish now to build on our past successes and broaden the scope of engagement to include policy dialogue in education and increased mobility for our students and scholars. The EU and Australia will also seek to identify opportunities for further cultural cooperation and exchanges. Furthermore, both parties intend to facilitate the freedom of movement of genuine travellers.




ACTION 1: Develop a new instrument of collaboration between Australia and the EU through twinned research projects in the areas of food, agriculture and biotechnologies. Desired Outcome: Agreement on twinning arrangements by March 2010 which could be applied as a model for cooperation in other thematic areas, such as environment and energy, including the sustainable production of biomass and biofuels and the development of energy conservation techniques through innovative environmental technologies.

ACTION 2: Develop workshops in the areas of nanotechnology pharmaceutical innovation, healthy longevity and other themes of mutual interest. Desired Outcome: Relevant workshops held resulting in close cooperation towards reaching common objectives.

ACTION 3: Hold the second education and training policy dialogue on qualifications frameworks in 2010. Desired Outcome: Reinforced bilateral and multilateral cooperation at both the administrative and policy level. Enhanced understanding of education and training policies and developments in qualification frameworks in both the EU and Australia.

ACTION 4: Develop the policy dialogue on issues arising from cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. Desired Outcome: Close cooperation towards reaching common objectives, notably in relevant international fora.

ACTION 5: Jointly develop a Tuning Australia pilot project to define the learning outcomes representative of higher education degrees in specific disciplines across different degree levels. Desired Outcome: Determine if this approach will lead to better definitions of higher education learning outcomes in Australia and improved linkages between higher education systems in the EU and Australia.

ACTION 6: Increase cooperation between the EU and Australia in international migration and asylum fora, as well as in bilateral relations with third countries of high strategic interest for both partners including on issues such as people smuggling and irregular migration. Desired Outcome: Through opportunities such as the Senior Officials' Dialogue on Migration, Asylum and Diversity Issues, focus bilateral technical cooperation on issues related to facilitated mobility, enhanced security, new technologies and information sharing.


Activities completed or cooperation/coordination established in 2008 and 2009

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