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European Commission President Barroso Visits Australia & NZ

European Commission President Barroso visits Australia and New Zealand, 4-9 September 2011

The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso will visit Australia from 4-7 September and New Zealand from 7-9 September.

Ahead of the visit, President Barroso said: "I look forward to a very constructive and substantive visit to two key global partners and friends of the European Union. Despite the geographic distance, Australia and New Zealand are very close partners with whom we share the same values and strong links and want to shape a rules-based global system."

In New Zealand, President Barroso will meet Prime Minister Key and political and business leaders and deliver the Europa Lecture at the University of Auckland. He will also attend the Pacific Islands Forum and meet Pacific leaders in Auckland to discuss the Union's role in tackling climate change in the region.

In Australia, the President will hold talks with Prime Minister Gillard, her Cabinet and other political leaders as well as representatives of the business community and civil society, and give a keynote speech at the Australian National University.

"In New Zealand," said President Barroso, "I will discuss a reinforcement of bilateral ties as a way to give greater impetus to our common interests and values. I will also discuss our shared political approach towards the Pacific. In the same vein, at the Pacific Islands Forum, I will reemphasise the key role the EU intends to play as the region’s second largest donor to promote sustainable development and in helping to mitigate the impact of climate change in the region."

"In Australia, building on Prime Minister Gillard's visit to Brussels in October last year, I will discuss ways to deepen our already vibrant relationship: from even stronger cooperation in the G20 and our joint work to promote sustained growth and global financial stability to specific bilateral success stories, like the new Euratom-Australia Agreement, which I will sign in Canberra, a revised agreement on the transfer of Passenger Name Records, which reflects our shared security interests, and more joint innovation and education activities. To give a solid foundation to this upgraded, privileged partnership, we are committed to move forward with a new, ambitious Framework Agreement which we will start negotiating very soon."

On his way to Australia, President Barroso will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee of Singapore to discuss ways to bolster global financial stability and give a further impetus to the ongoing negotiations both on a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement.

ENDS

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