Australia-EU Framework Agreement
The Framework Agreement between the European Union and Australia will enhance cooperation between Australia and the EU to tackle challenges in foreign and security policy, sustainable development, climate change, and economic and trade matters. It was signed by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop at Manila, Philippines, on 7 August 2017. With the Agreement, Australia and the EU have agreed to strengthen their strategic relationship and intensify cooperation at the bilateral, regional and global levels, on the basis of shared values and common interests.
On 13 November, the inaugural meeting of the EU-Australia Joint Committee took place in Canberra. The meeting is an important first step under the Australia-EU Framework Agreement, setting a platform for tangible cooperative activities in future. Australia and the EU have been applying the Agreement provisionally since 4 October 2018.
Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement Negotiations Launched
Australian Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Trade, The Hon Steven Ciobo MP and European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on 18 June launched negotiations for an Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA). As a bloc, the EU is Australia's second largest trading partner, third largest export destination, and second largest services market. The EU was Australia's largest source of foreign investment in 2017. Australia is seeking an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement. The first round of negotiations was held in Brussels in early July.
The EU’S General Data Protection Regulation
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation came into force on 25 May. Australian businesses should consider whether the GDPR applies to them and ensure they comply with this new regulation. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has published guidance for Australian businesses on complying with the GDPR and the Australian Privacy Principles.
2018/19 Work and Holiday visa program
The new program year for Work and Holiday visa applications commenced on 1 July 2018 for Luxembourgers. We are pleased to announce that the Department of Home Affairs is moving to mandatory online lodgement for Work and Holiday visa applications on 17 November 2018. This will make it faster and easier for you to lodge a Work and Holiday visa application for Australia. For more information on applying and updated application charges, please see: http://germany.embassy.gov.au/beln/Visas_and_Migration.html
For Belgians wanting to apply for a Working Holiday visa, please see https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa-1/417-.