Wednesday

5th Oct 2022

EU and Australia push for resumption of Doha talks

Trade representatives from the European Union and Australia say they will push for further progress on the Doha round of multilateral trade talks at a meeting in Paris this week.

"I'm going to Paris with the very strong conviction that we now need to move forward speedily and we need to set a timetable [for the talks]," said European trade commissioner Catherine Ashton following a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (23 June) with Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Trade ministers from around the World will meet on the sidelines of an annual ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris later this week (24-25 June) to assess the political willingness to officially resume the Doha talks that stalled in July 2008.

Several non-OECD members have also been invited to the meeting including India, Brazil, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa, whose agreement will prove vital to securing a multilateral deal.

Mr Crean, who will chair the sideline talks, said he is keen to build on a re-engagement decision taken by the Cairns group – an eclectic bloc of 19 agricultural exporting countries - at a recent meeting in Bali at which China, Japan, India and the US also participated.

"We sense a political desire to want to move to the end-game. We have to capitalise on it," he said.

Recent US and Indian elections have slowed attempts to restart the talks, with the Democrat-dominated US Congress a potential stumbling block for the future.

Ms Ashton and Mr Crean also signed a mutual recognition agreement for product certification procedures on Tuesday, a move that will help to reduce business costs.

Agricultural subsidies

The two sides have traditionally clashed over the EU's farm subsidies, with Australia saying they amount to a major distortion of free trade.

While acknowledging the EU's progress in this area, partially brought about by various reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy, Mr Crean said "further work needs to be done."

"The Australian dairy industry has never looked back since it undertook structural reforms because it is producing for a world market competitively and that's what trade should be about," he said.

The EU recently re-introduced dairy exports subsidies to help European farmers struggling with the fall in world milk prices, but has committed to ditching all agricultural export subsidies by 2013, along with other members of the World Trade Organisation.

Exclusive

EU officials were warned of risk over issuing financial warning

The European watchdog for systemic economic risk last week warned of "severe" threats to financial stability — but internal notes show top-level officials expressed "strong concerns" over the "timing" of such a warning, fearing publication could further destabilise financial markets.

News in Brief

  1. Russia's stand-in EU ambassador reprimanded on Ukraine
  2. France warns over incoming eighth Covid wave
  3. EU adds Anguilla, Bahamas and Turks and Caicos to tax-haven blacklist
  4. Czechs warn joint-nationality citizens in Russia on mobilisation
  5. Greece to unveil proposal for capping EU gas prices
  6. Four dead, 29 missing, after dinghy found off Canary Islands
  7. Orbán: German €200bn shield is start of 'cannibalism in EU'
  8. Lithuania expels top Russian diplomat

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. EU debates new pandemic-type loans to deal with crisis
  2. MEPs condemn EU Commission 'leniency' on Hungary
  3. Czech EU presidency wants asylum pledges to be secret
  4. European navies must stay on Suez trade routes, EU diplomats warn
  5. Macron's 'European Political Community' — how could it work?
  6. EU adopts common charger law, forces iPhone redesign
  7. Last-minute legal changes to Bosnian election law stir controversy
  8. EU wants probe into alleged war crimes by Azerbaijan

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us