Australia and the EU agreed to deepens cooperation in security and development

BYYasir Rehman


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Australia and the European Union have agreed to further work to deepens cooperation in security & counter terrorism, climate action, development priorities in Indo-Pacific and enhancing partnerships at the UN and multilateral and regional forums.

The agreement was reached during the second meeting of the Joint Committee in Brussels on 24 June 2019.

The EU delegation was led by Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the European External Action Service. The Australian delegation was led by Cathy Raper, First Assistant Secretary for Europe and Latin America at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said a statement issued by DFAT.

The Joint Committee agreed further work in a number of areas, reflecting a strong forward agenda including common challenge of security, terrorism and violent extremism.

“Following up on recent discussions at senior officials’ level, the Joint Committee highlighted common interests and views on security challenges, notably in addressing measures to counter foreign interference, terrorism and violent extremism”. It said.

Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the international rules and norms and discussed ways to work together at the United Nations and in other multilateral and regional forums, including the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

The Joint Committee confirmed Australia’s and the EU’s commitment to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement as part of global efforts to take action on climate change.

The Joint Committee noted a shared interest in stability and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific, with Australia underlining the broader importance of the Indo-Pacific region for global affairs.

The Joint Committee emphasised the shared commitment to working with Pacific island countries to build resilience, noting the importance of ongoing regular exchanges and cooperation on development. The Joint Committee agreed to continue supporting Pacific island countries, in line with their development priorities.

Both sides also discussed progress in negotiations towards a comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement that supports the EU and Australia’s joint commitment to rules-based trade.

The Joint Committee agreed to establish a bilateral dialogue on the digital economy. It also discussed the benefit of enhancing the dialogue on other issues, including on transport and on Earth observation in the Pacific.