EU-Australia Leadership Forum

The EU-Australia Leadership Forum project was launched in September 2016 and concluded in early 2020. The Forum was a unique project in the EU's suite of public diplomacy actions and demonstrated a shared commitment to the already strong bilateral relationship. The Forum's overall objective was to broaden and deepen the existing ties and in so doing, help shape the vision for the partnership, based on the future EU-Australia Framework Agreement and forthcoming EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The core of the project was the EU-Australia Senior Leaders Forum, a high level event that was held annually, alternately in Australia and in Europe. This forum brought together key European and Australian leaders from Government and Opposition, business, media, education and civil society. It provided input and ideas to diversify and intensify the relationship in key areas.

The Senior Leaders Forum was complemented by the EU-Australia Emerging Leaders Forum. This event brought together young and energetic professionals, MPs, academics and policy makers from both Australia and Europe to engage in discussions around the future of the EU-Australia relationship. They contributed their ideas and recommendations to the Senior Leaders Forum.

The first EU-Australia Senior Leaders Forum, combined with the first EU-Australia Emerging Leaders Forum, took place in Sydney, Australia, in June 2017. It gathered European and Australian senior leaders from a range of sectors. Visit the event page to learn more about the forum. The second Forum took place in Brussels from 18-22 November, 2018. 

The project also ran regular Expert Policy Workshops ahead of regular officials-level EU-Australia Sectoral Dialogues, which covered topics such as security, counter terrorism, trade, education, macro-economic issues and development. These workshops provided critical, analytical and innovative thinking to inform the officials-level dialogues and assist the strategic discussions of the Senior Leaders and Emerging Leaders fora. 

The project funded by the European Union through the Partnership Instrument (EUR 2 million, approximately AUD 3 million) covered a period of three years (2016-2019). Throughout this period, several papers and publications on various key policy issues were produced to inform both the Senior Leaders and Emerging Leaders Fora, and Expert Policy Workshops.

The contract was managed by a consortium led by Stantec, in partnership with the Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA), Agriconsulting Europe (AESA) and the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC).

Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee comprising leaders from Europe and Australia across all sectors – government, industry, academia, NGOs and interest groups – helped to guide the project.

For more information, please download our project information sheet.