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Source: New Zealand Parliament

Media Release: 23 June 2022

Defence, energy, free trade agreement, and regional security are on the agenda for a parliamentary delegation heading to Europe this week.

The cross-party delegation of Members of Parliament (MPs) is attending the 26th International Parliamentary meeting with the European Parliament – a regular meeting between the European and New Zealand Parliaments to discuss domestic and international issues facing both.

The co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friendship Group-Europe, Marja Lubeck MP and Tim van de Molen MP, are leading the delegation, which includes Rachel Brooking MP, Hon Paul Goldsmith MP, and Dr Elizabeth Kerekere MP.

The exchange will include discussion on a free trade agreement and areas of cooperation between the European Union and New Zealand, such as issues of security and economic development particularly in relation to the war in Ukraine.

Lubeck said New Zealand has a close and wide-ranging relationship with the European Union and its member states.

“New Zealand is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union, but the New Zealand Europe relationship is about more than just a trade agreement.

“We start from a position of shared values and interest, strong personal and trade connections and a like-mindedness on international issues. Whether by promoting trade and sustainability, prioritising climate action, or strengthening the rules that underpin the multilateral trading system – Europe and NZ are pulling in the same direction.”

Van de Molen said that New Zealand and the European Union are traditional partners, and that “this delegation is an excellent opportunity to engage and exchange views on major developments in Europe, including the war in Ukraine, with a wide range of parliamentarians.”

In addition to the European Union and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, topics such as the Indo-Pacific, the European Union’s green transition and climate change, social issues, digital transformation and responses to disinformation are also on the list for discussion.

Meetings with parliaments in five other European Union countries, including those with new parliamentary friendship groups with New Zealand, will also take place during the exchange.

These countries include the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Bavaria in Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Further information

The Parliamentary Friendship Group-Europe is the main point of contact between the European Parliament Delegation for Australia and New Zealand (EP DANZ) with New Zealand Parliament. This will be the first time members of the EP DANZ and members of the friendship group have met in person since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parliamentary Friendship Groups help deepen New Zealand’s relations with other countries and assist in promoting parliamentary democracy. The groups provide members with opportunities for direct engagement with legislators from other countries and enhance understanding of regional and global issues.

The cross-party delegation includes Marja Lubeck MP and Tim van de Molen MP, the co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friendship Group-Europe, and Rachel Brooking MP, Hon Paul Goldsmith MP, and Dr Elizabeth Kerekere MP. Meetings commence from 27 June and will take place over the following two weeks.

More information on the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand can be found here.

MIL OSI

MIL OSI