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Welcome to the website of the Australian Embassy in Brussels. Our role is to promote Australia's relationships with Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union, and NATO. The Embassy is open from 08.30am to 5:00pm weekdays, except public holidays.
Embassy welcomes the EC’s decision to negotiate a two-way emissions trading link
The Australian Mission to the EU welcomes the European Council’s decision authorising the Commission to open negotiations with Australia on a two-way emissions trading link between the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Australian Carbon Pricing Mechanism. This decision follows the August 2012 announcement by the Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Hon Greg Combet MP, and the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Ms Connie Hedegaard, that Australia and the EU would link their emissions trading systems.
Mr Combet said ‘linking the Australia and European Union systems affirms that carbon markets are the prime vehicle for tackling climate change and the most efficient means of achieving emissions reductions’. Ms Hedegaard said ‘the European Union is the first regional emissions trading system and spans the largest part of the European continent. We now look forward to the first full inter-continental linking of emissions trading systems’. Negotiations are expected to commence shortly.
Discovery of Australian WWI remains in Zonnebeke
The Australian Embassy to Belgium was advised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) on 3 May 2013 of the 'discovery of remains and artefacts belonging to an Australian soldier' from the Great War. The remains were discovered on private farming land in Zonnebeke in April 2013. The CWGC has taken custody of the remains and is preparing an official report as per normal practice. The Australian Government will consider the report and make appropriate decisions in due course.
Ambassador hosts Australian meat and wine promotion
Ambassador Lewis is pictured welcoming guests to the Chef’s Table promotion.
Ambassador Lewis hosted the third Chef’s Table promotion of Australia meat and wine on 14 May at Campus Wemmel. Attending were about forty guests drawn from the wine and culinary media, importers and wholesalers, as well as chefs from well-known restaurants. During his welcoming remarks the Ambassador stressed the quality of Australian food and wine and how its ‘clean and green’ image was one of its key strengths. Supporting the luncheon event were Meat and Livestock Australia, which supplied the beef and lamb used, and Pernod-Ricard which served wines from their Jacob’s Creek reserve range.
Protecting Australia's interests abroad
Measures announced on 14 May in the 2013-14 Budget for the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio reinforce the Australian Government's commitment to protect and advance Australia's interests abroad.The Government will invest $52.6 million over three years to construct secure, purpose-built residential accommodation in Kabul to provide a more manageable security environment for Australian staff working in Afghanistan. Read more
Australian Foreign Aid increased
The Australian Government has announced in its 2013-14 Budget that it will increase Australia's Official Development Assistance (ODA) to a record $5.7 billion in 2013-14. This is an increase of $513.4 million on 2012-13 and brings the aid budget to 0.37 per cent of gross national income. "This is the highest the aid budget has been as a percentage of GNI in over twenty-five years and, in dollar terms, Australia's largest aid budget in history," Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr said. Read more
Australia raises human rights with Sri Lanka
Speaking in the Senate, Foreign Minister Bob Carr today said the lead-up to CHOGM offers an opportunity for the Commonwealth to highlight areas that require progress in Sri Lanka, and offer practical assistance where appropriate.Senator Carr said engagement, not isolation, is the most effective way to promote human rights, the rule of law and democratic governance in Sri Lanka. Read more
Hon Michael Kirby's UNHRC appointment
Foreign Minister Bob Carr on 8 May welcomed the appointment of the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG as chair of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), announced in Geneva. Read more
Engagement with Asia helps trade balance back into surplus
Australia recorded a seasonally-adjusted trade surplus of $307 million in March, as strong demand from Asia helped deliver the first positive balance since December 2011.The March figure, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, represents a $418 million improvement on the revised $111 million deficit in February. Read more
Release Of The 2013 Defence White Paper
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith on 3rd May released the 2013 Defence White Paper. It complements the National Security Strategy released on 23 January 2013, and the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper released on 28 October 2012. These three documents are a statement of the priority the Government places on Australia’s security and prosperity, and on maintaining a strong Australian Defence Force to meet Australia’s national security challenges. Read more
Anzac Day Commemorated in Belgium
The Australian Embassy, in collaboration with local municipalities and the New Zealand Embassy, organised a program of commemorations in Belgium on Anzac Day. Read more.
Foreign Minister visits Belgium and Luxembourg
Senator Carr visted Luxembourg and Belgium in April. He is pictured with Dr Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Action and Crisis Response, at the start of their meeting in Luxembourg on 22nd April. Read more
An Australian Federal Election has been called for September 14, 2013. For information on the election, including enrolment and voting whilst overseas, please visit the Australian Electoral Commission website at www.aec.gov.au. Early (in-person) voting will be offered at this Embassy from Monday 2 September 2013. Read more