EU-Australia Leadership Forum
Bulgarian-Australian Business Council participated in the annual EU-Australia Leadership Forum, held in Brussels from 18 to 22 November 2018.
The Forum gathered together key European and Australian leaders from government, business, media, education and civil society to discuss the future relations between Europe and Australia. For the first time, the five-day event took place in Europe.
The main purpose of the event is to extend and deepen the existing links between the two regions and to help form a stable partnership. The project is funded by the European Union (EUR 2 million, approximately AUD 3 million) and covers a period of 3 years (2016-2019).
The event takes place at a key moment for EU-Australia relations, given the recent temporary implementation of the EU-Australia Framework Agreement and the opening of negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and Australia.
The European Union's Ambassador to Australia, Michael Pulch, explains that the Forum plays an important role in the context of the deepening EU-Australia partnership:
“After 56 years of formal diplomatic relations, the relationship between the EU and Australia is simply too advanced and complex to be summed up by treaties or official meetings. The Forum is designed to ensure that a broader group of leaders from different strands of society becomes even more actively involved in the shaping of the EU-Australia relationship.”
Key speakers and special guests in the forum were: Federica Mogerini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission; Elmar Brok, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament; Reverend Tim Costello, principal advocate of World Vision Australia, Simon Kraan, Vice President of the European-Australian Business Council.