Anthony Albanese says free trade negotiations with Europe will resume in months, after NATO side meeting

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says free trade negotiations with the European Union will resume in the coming months, following a pledge from the European Commission president.

Negotiations have stalled for nearly a year, with Anthony Albanese blaming a diplomatic spat with the French government and worrying about his predecessor’s stance on climate change.

Mr Albanese said Ursula von der Leyen expressed a desire at a sideline meeting of the NATO summit to restart the negotiations, with a possible resumption of the discussion before October.

“We want to see real progress between now and March… and that means holding multiple meetings and identifying what issues need to be resolved,” Mr Albanese said after the meeting.

“It is clearly in Australia’s interest to diversify our trade relationships.

Ursula von der Leyen gestures as she speaks during a press conference
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says talks could resume before October.Reuters: Yves Herman

Mr Albanese said a free trade agreement would allow more European companies to be established in Australia and more Australian products to be exported.