By Phoebe Yelland 9702652, Kasha Merrett- Troup 7480059
& Kim Thai 2168715
This is a report compiled to theorise an opinion and provide facts in an attempt to explain relations and the partnership between Australia and the European Union. As with all partnerships; conflict and a difference of opinion is present, mainly because the two different powers are run differently. Australia with its Free Trade Agreements and “open door policies” and the EU with it’s somewhat protectionist views especially in agricultural trade. The Cairns Group was formed in Australia in order to assist developed and developing countries that specialise is agricultural exports, to have greater trading power and to negotiate the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.
Australia and the EU have formed a Partnership Framework which is considered the most liberalised trade agreement so far to have connected the two powers. It contains five objectives with the intention of linking the two parties together and assisting the world as a whole in efforts of Human Rights, Democracy and other areas.
The European Union is Australia’s biggest business partner, their efforts in which Australia and the EU work together to provide a strong competitor market. However research tells us that the relationship between the Australia-EU business partnership agreements has such political bias actions. Contradictions that the EU use there trade power to benefit their country by protecting their local agriculture but still taking advantage of the Australian’s sources. Such debates have started to arise.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 2
The Cairns Group 5
Trading Agreements between Australia and the European Union 6
Objective One 7
Objective Two 7
Objective Three 7
Objective Four 7
Objective Five 8
Economic Overview 9
Contradictions, Conflicts and Conclusion 10
The beginning of relations between Australia and Europe can be dated back to when the British claimed the land as their own around 1770, when James Cook claimed the east coast under orders from King George III (Australia.gov.au.2008). From then on Australia has been considered part of the British Empire; though today we have much autonomy from the monarchy and its governance. Whilst England is one of the 28 member states that make up the European Union (EU) (European Union 2013), Australia is not a default member because they are not a country of Europe. In fact when Britain joined, Australia lost their preferential trade access of all agricultural goods with the new membership. This is seen as the main reason trade from Australia turned from Europe to Asia and the Pacific Rim.
The partnership however stems from Sir Edwin McCarthy and his ambassadorial trip to Brussels, to negotiate terms of trade and economic relations in 1962, with the first six countries that began the European Union. Establishment of the European Union Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 1962 created distrust and animosity between the political parties, because the CAP enable trading subsidised foods with particular countries, like the subsidised beef to the Asian Markets. This created a confrontational attitude in EU-Australian relations (eeas.europa.eu. 2013).
One of the conflicts that slowed the strengthening between Australia and the EU in the 1990s was the draft agreement that contained a human rights clause that the two parties were unable to agree on. Culturally, they seemed to have a differing opinion or different interpretation of common values. This is further proved in current politics; the Australian and European Parliaments are delayed over other human rights clauses in the Partnership Framework Agreement (eeas.europa.eu. 2013).
The Cairns Group
The formation of this coalition happened in the 1970s to help support smaller exporting nations. There are currently 19 members; making