Speeches | 24 July 2013

Australia-France Strategic Dialogue: Co-Chairs' Report

Australia and France are well-placed to help each other advance their security interests in a rapidly changing world. Despite differences of geography, these two countries share broadly congruent interests and could benefit from deeper engagement as well as a closer understanding of each other’s responses to geopolitical change, particularly as Australia focuses its geostrategic attention on the Indo-Pacific region, and France maintains close involvement in the Middle East and Africa.

These were among key conclusions reached by participants at the 2013 round of the Australia-France Strategic Dialogue when it met in Sydney on 29 and 30 May 2013. The main themes of this track 1.5 discussion included the global and Indo-Pacific strategic outlook; the future of alliances; Australian and French defence policy; responses to the rise of China; challenges and cooperation in the South Pacific; and challenges in West Asia and North Africa.

Participants from France included Camille Grand, Bruno Tertrais and Francois Heisbourg from the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique. Michel Miraillet of the Ministry of Defence and Justin Vaisse of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present, along with French Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Stephane Romatet.

Australian particiants included Michael Fullilove, Rory Medcalf, Anthony Bubalo, Jenny Hayward-Jones and Linda Jakobson from the Lowy Institute, as well as John McCarthy AO of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and former Australian Secretary of Defence and Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Richard Smith AO PSM. Senior Australian officials, including Jeremy Newman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Michael Shoebridge from the Department of Defence, were also present. 

Rory Medcalf and Bruno Tertrais co-chaired the dialogue. A summary of key themes and conclusions is available below.

Australia and France are well-placed to help each other advance their security interests in a rapidly changing world. Despite differences of geography, these two countries share broadly congruent interests and could benefit from deeper engagement as well as a closer understanding of each other’s responses to geopolitical change, particularly as Australia focuses its geostrategic attention on the Indo-Pacific region, and France maintains close involvement in the Middle East and Africa.

These were among key conclusions reached by participants at the 2013 round of the Australia-France Strategic Dialogue when it met in Sydney on 29 and 30 May 2013. The main themes of this track 1.5 discussion included the global and Indo-Pacific strategic outlook; the future of alliances; Australian and French defence policy; responses to the rise of China; challenges and cooperation in the South Pacific; and challenges in West Asia and North Africa.

Participants from France included Camille Grand, Bruno Tertrais and Francois Heisbourg from the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique. Michel Miraillet of the Ministry of Defence and Justin Vaisse of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present, along with French Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Stephane Romatet.

Australian particiants included Michael Fullilove, Rory Medcalf, Anthony Bubalo, Jenny Hayward-Jones and Linda Jakobson from the Lowy Institute, as well as John McCarthy AO of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and former Australian Secretary of Defence and Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Richard Smith AO PSM. Senior Australian officials, including Jeremy Newman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Michael Shoebridge from the Department of Defence, were also present. 

Rory Medcalf and Bruno Tertrais co-chaired the dialogue. A summary of key themes and conclusions is available below.