Australia is a constitutional monarchy. Its head of state, the British Queen is represented by a Governor General. The country shares close ties with Europe even though the main pillar of Australian foreign policy is the alliance with the USA (ANZUS treaty of 1951). A framework agreement between the EU and Australia has been finalized. Australia has seen 20 years of solid, continuous economic growth. After the investment boom in the mining industry has come to a halt, Australia is reorienting its economy towards innovation technology and service industries.
Due to strong cultural and geographic ties, cooperation between New Zealand and Australia has traditionally been close. Special attention is being paid to the Asian and Pacific region and – on an international level – to multilateral engagement. Austria and New Zealand share an interest and successful cooperation in the field of disarmament.
All Pacific island states are members of the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP countries). The most populous nation and hub of the region is Fiji. After peaceful elections were held, the EU and other nations lifted their sanctions against Fiji in 2014.
All Pacific island states are particularly affected by climate change, especially atoll islands such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, or the Marshall Islands. Climate protection and environment are therefore priorities in the region. The implementation of the Paris agreement of 2015 is of special importance of Oceania. The EU is the second largest donor of development aid for the Pacific after Australia.
The Pacific Island Forum (PIF) was founded in 1971; it is an important consultation forum with the goal of advancing regional cooperation in the fields of politics, economics and culture. The number of participants rises gradually.