Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading about some of the things I and others at the Delegation are thinking and are doing.
I have been the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Commission to Australia and New Zealand since 2005. I love living in Australia and working with the Australian people.
In area, Australia is a very large country – about twice the size of the area of the EU - but it is only when you travel that you actually realise just how big this country really is! This is the reason why I have decided to visit regularly each of the States. I want to discover the country, to meet the people and to talk about EU-Australia relations, and find out what Australian citizens are expecting from us.
Last week I was in Adelaide to visit the Governor, the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, members of the State government and a number of business people, as well as the European community representing the citizens of our 27 Member States. I also had a tour of the magnificent Barossa Valley where of course I tasted some of the best Australian wines that thanks to our new bilateral agreement, which we have initialled and will sign by the end of the year, will now be more easily exported to Europe. With a value of more than $A1bn Australia is already the largest exporter of wine to the EU and so it will be in an even better position to benefit from this trade. From our side our prized geographical names will be protected. This is an example of how trade is a two-way street for the benefit of consumers.
This kind of facilitation, among other things, is an important part of our work here at our embassy.