International Symposium: The future of Australia-EU relations: Synergies and shared concerns


11 June 2019


Auditorium, Avenue des Arts/Kunstlaan 56, 1000 Brussels

This Symposium, funded by an EU Jean Monnet grant, will explore relations between Australia and the EU.

Geographical distance, divergent political trajectories and varying perceptions and interests have, in the past, prevented the Australia-EU partnership from reaching its full potential. When it comes to trade, security, climate change, research and education or regional and multilateral diplomacy, the EU and Australia now share probably more interests than ever before. In an international context marked by increasing volatility and uncertainty, their partnership is simultaneously more tested and more necessary to upholding a rules-based international order. What can this partnership achieve in an era of great power rivalry and populist pressures? Can the Australia-EU partnership make a positive difference at a global and regional level? 

Organised by the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations, and with the support of the Australian Embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg and Australian Mission to the European Union and NATO, this Symposium will address these questions and more. It will be the opportunity for you to engage with a lively and timely debate, and  to hear high-level diplomatic and expert participants in dialogue on the core challenges and opportunities in the relationship.




8:45-9:00:          Registration

9:00-9:05:          Welcome and Opening Address

  • Professor Philomena Murray, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam and Dr Margherita Matera, The University of Melbourne

9:05-10:05:       Session 1: Enhancing EU-Australia Engagement 

  • Chair and Discussant: Professor Philomena Murray, The University of Melbourne
  • H.E. Justin Brown, Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union and NATO: Prospects for Australia’s relations with the EU
  • Ms Paola Pampaloni, European External Action Service

10:05-11:15:    Session 2: Strengthening the International Trading System

  • Chair and Discussant: Mr Tobias Gehrke, Egmont Institute
  • Professor Richard Pomfret, The University of Adelaide: Convergence of EU and Australia views on the  international trading system in the 21st century    
  • Mr Peter Berz, DG Trade, European Commission
  • Dr Evita Schmieg, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik: Challenges in the multilateral trading system
  • Dr Lachlan McKenzie, Australia New Zealand School of Government and Dr Evgeny Postnikov, The University of Melbourne: The EU and Australian Approaches Towards Trade Bilateralism: Discrepancies and Potential Synergies

11:15-11:30:    Morning tea

11:30-12:50:    Session 3: The Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement

  • Chair and Discussant: Mr Jason Collins, European Australia Business Council
  • Dr Maria Garcia, University of Bath: Divergent approaches to regulation as a challenge to EU Australia FTA negotiations
  • Mr Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, European Centre for International Political Economy
  • Ms Helen Stylianou, Australian Embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg and Australian Mission to the European Union and NATO, Brussels: The Australia-EU FTA: the Australian perspective
  • Dr Christian Burgsmüller, Directorate General Trade, the European Commission: The EU-Australia FTA as part of the larger EU trade agenda
  • Ms Iana Dreyer, Borderlex: The changing politics and policy of EU trade – implications for Australia

12:50-13:20:    Lunch

13:20-14:30:    Session 4: Tackling Regional and Global Security Challenges

  • Chair and Discussant: Dr Alica Kizekova, Institute of International Relations
  • Ms Cindy Rose, Australian Embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg and Australian Mission to the European Union and NATO, Brussels: Australia and the EU: working together in a challenging global environment
  • Mr Jaap Ora, European External Action Service: The benefits of EU-Australia security partnership
  • Dr Bruno Hellendorff, Egmont Institute: Delivering on maritime security and nuclear non-proliferation cooperation between the EU and Australia
  • Dr Margherita Matera, The University of Melbourne: Enhancing EU-Australia security cooperation

14:30-15:45:    Session 5: Opportunities for Regional and Multilateral Engagement: the EU, Australia and Asia

  • Chair and Discussant: Dr Lachlan McKenzie, Australia New Zealand School of Government
  • Professor Sven Biscop, Egmont Institute: Strategy options for the EU-and Australia in the light of US-China Rivalry
  • Dr Isaac Kfir, Australian Strategic Policy Institute: Australia and the EU: Shared interests in humanitarianism, the case of the Pacific
  • Dr Elena Atanassova-Cornellis, University of Antwerp: Geopolitical trends in the Asia-Pacific
  • Dr Nicola Casarini, Istituto Affari Internazionali: Opportunities for EU-Australia regional engagement in light of China’s assertiveness and evolving dynamics in the Indo-Pacific

15:45-16:00:    Afternoon tea

16:00-16:30:    Session 6: Climate Change and Environmental Issues

  • Chair and Discussant: Mr Daniel Waterschoot, DG Climate, European Commission
  • Professor Sebastian Oberthur, Vrije Universiteit Brussel: EU-Australia Relations on Climate Change and Energy: Status and Future Prospects
  • Dr Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter, Murdoch University and Climate Analytics: Climate change policy – Challenges and opportunities for Australia and the EU

16:30-17:00:    Session 7: Research and Educational Collaboration

  • Chair and Discussant: Professor Louis Brennan, Trinity College Dublin
  • Dr Alex Cooke, Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the European Union, Brussels: How Australian researchers collaborate with Europe on science, research and innovation
  • Dr Theodore Papazoglou, Head of Unit, European Research Council Executive Agency

17:00-17:45:    Session 8: Round Table: Synergies and Shared Concerns: Where to from here?

  • Chair: Dr Margherita Matera, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Fabian Zuleeg, European Policy Centre: Trade and investment: the EU-Australia economic relationship beyond Brexit
  • Ms Shada Islam, Friends of Europe: How the EU and Australia can work together for improved global governance
  • Professor Philomena Murray, The University Melbourne; Towards closer engagement: regional cooperation and linkages


The project is funded by the European Union under the Eramus+ Programme – Jean Monnet Activities (587060-EPP-1- 2017-EU-EPPJMO-PROJECT) and The University of Melbourne.