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European Australian Business : 2008
10 ing collaborative opportunities and networking between European and Australian researchers. On education in April 2007, European Commissioner for Education & Cul- ture, Ján Figel’ and the Australian Minister for Education Science and Training, Julie Bishop, signed a Declaration of Intent to strengthen education linkages by promoting policy dialogue and cooperation proj- ects between higher education and vocational training institutions in the EU and Australia. Already the EU and Australia have jointly funded four rounds of bilateral mobility projects for students and academics and many Australians have taken part in the EU’s Erasmus Mundus Program which offers highly competitive scholarships for Australian students and scholars to undertake European Masters courses. The European Commission has also co-funded three Europe Centres in Australia which promote the ideals of Europe in Australia and encourage European studies at all levels There are also instruments to facilitate trade, such as the Mutual Recognition Agreement on Conformity Assessment and the Wine Agreement, the latter having greatly contributed to Australia becoming the largest exporter of wine to the EU. But building successful business relationships is not only a matter for governments. It is about bridge- building and developing relations at the personal level. It is here that Euro- peans and Australians have a natural affinity. With this in mind, we can look forward with confidence to building on our already close and extensive rela- tionship to create an enhanced new partnership for the future. H.E. Bruno Julien Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Commission Delegation to Australia H.E. Bruno Julien foreword