June 27, 2018: On Monday, the European Union published its “Negotiating Directives” for its proposed free trade agreement with Australia, but the Australian government hasn’t matched this level of transparency by publishing its own objectives.
EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement
Media Release , May 23, 2018 “ We welcome the fact that the EU mandate for the EU Australia FTA talks has dumped the controversial rights for foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals, known as ISDS, because European courts have found that ISDS cases have undermined democratic regulation.
23 May, 2018: SBS news reported yesterday that the European Union has authorised negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Australia, as well as the EU and New Zealand. Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told SBS News that he hopes the FTA negotiations will commence ‘very soon’.
April 5, 2018: A report by the French Veblen Institute and environmental groups urges the European Union to make specific amendments to the EU-Canada and other agreements to ensure that trade agreements do not undermine the 2016 Paris climate agreement and that governments make enforceable commitments to implement the Paris agreement.
On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued the long-awaited landmark Opinion 2/15 on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). According to the CJEU, the agreement falls under the EU’s powers, but not entirely. EU Member States’ national and regional parliaments and the European Parliament must ratify some important provisions regarding investors, particularly ISDS.
October 31, 2016: The European Union and Canada signed the CETA free trade agreement on Sunday after agreement was reached with the Belgian region of Wallonia, which had opposed the deal and effectively blocked Belgium from signing it. The EU requires all 28 member states to support the treaty before it comes into force.
20 September 2016: Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was in London recently talking up a post-brexit free trade deal with the UK.
23 February 2016: The Australian Government has begun discussions with the European Union towards an EU-Australia free trade agreement.
At this stage negotiations are not expected to start until next year. Since Brexit, there are also plans for a possible separate FTA with Britain.