Representatives of the EU and Canada met in Montreal on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 July for the 17th annual EU-Canada Summit.
Cecilia Malmström, the EU’s Commissioner for Trade, joined President of the European Council Donald Tusk and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau for the EU-Canada Summit, aimed at promoting economic and political co-operation in order to address global challenges including trade, foreign policy and the ongoing fight against climate change. In a statement, the representatives praised the ‘broad and deep relationship’ between Canada and the EU and affirmed their commitment to a continued partnership, saying: ‘We look forward to our next summit in Europe, and we celebrate in the countless connections that bind our peoples and renew our partnership every day.’
The summit’s attendees celebrated the progress made on EU-Canada relations since the signing three years ago of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, entrenching political co-operation between the two on development, climate change and digital policy; and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which shored up trade relations between the Canada and the EU and has seen a 15% increase in EU exports to Canada since its implementation in 2017. The EU-Canada Summit saw the signing of a new partnership agreement focusing on promoting conservation of the world’s oceans, reducing marine pollution, preserving ecosystems and biodiversity; and combating illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
Commissioner Malmström said: “The EU and Canada believe that global issues require multilateral solutions. Together we are sending a clear message that international cooperation is beneficial to all. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our trade relationship. Almost two years after it entered into force, CETA is providing concrete proof of the mutual benefits of open trade. Exports on both sides are up, and our businesses and citizens are already seeing the benefits.”
It was reported yesterday that a UK trade envoy had resigned in protest over the growing risk of a no-deal Brexit, which would see the country excluded from CETA. Andrew Percy described proposed tariffs which would apply to UK-Canada trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit, and which are a predominant factor in Canada’s reluctance to extend the terms of CETA to the UK once it leaves the EU, as ‘cack-handed’.