Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 04:05

20 November, 2018 – Brussels, Belgium: Key European and Australian leaders from government, business, media, education and civil society have gathered in Brussels this week to take part in the 2018 EU-Australia Leadership Forum. This is the first time that the prestigious five-day Forum has been hosted in Europe.

The Forum is a cornerstone event of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum project – a three-year project funded by the European Union and supported by the Government of Australia, that aims to broaden and deepen the existing ties between the EU and Australia. 

The event is taking place at a pivotal time for EU-Australia relations, given the recent provisional application of the EU-Australia Framework Agreement and the start of negotiations for a comprehensive EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The Ambassador of the European Union to Australia and Chair of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum, Michael Pulch, explains that the Forum plays an important role in the context of the deepening partnership between the EU and Australia: 

“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.”

Keynote speakers and special guests at the Forum include: Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission; Elmar Brok, Chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee; Reverend Tim Costello, Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia and The Hon Simon Crean, Deputy Chair of the European Australian Business Council. 

The Forum’s high-level guests and senior leaders will be joined by a group of 50 emerging leaders from Australia and EU Member states who were invited to attend following a rigorous international selection process.

Together, the senior and emerging leaders will work to brainstorm new ideas and identify policy recommendations in key areas of the bilateral relationship.

The Forum will also see the launch of The EU and Australia: Towards a New Era, a new publication with over 30 contributions from some of the brightest minds in EU-Australia affairs on issues including security, trade, innovation, climate, energy, environment and migration.

The publication will be available for free download from www.europeaustraliaforum.eu following its official launch on 21 November.

Download the official Press Release.


The EU-Australia Leadership Forum is a three-year project funded by the European Union through the Partnership Instrument. The contract is managed by a consortium led by Stantec, in partnership with the Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA), the German Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC) and Agriconsulting Europe (AESA).

Media enquiries can be directed to:

Amber Carvan
Key Expert, Media and Communications
EU-Australia Leadership Forum 

Dominique Ostyn
Press Contact - Brussels
EU-Australia Leadership Forum 
+32 486 763 788