The EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) have been completed today, after two years of preparatory work and five years of negotiations. Few partners have as much in common as the European Union and Canada.
Ahead of the Summit, President Barroso said: “Canada is one of the European Union’s oldest and closest partners. And now that our negotiating teams have completed their work on both the CETA and the SPA we can really talk about a comprehensive strategic partnership.”
Since 1945 the British and their European neighbours have in truth associated. With the Americans and Canadians they came into an Alliance intended to preserve European liberties against an outside threat. And with one another they have built, through the European Economic Community, a framework for prosperity and for the development of new political links. These two institutions find no parallel in history. Their creation demonstrates at once the continued vitality of the European peoples and their devotion to liberty.
Canada was the first industrialized country to sign an agreement with the EU then known as the European Economic Community — in 1976, and the same year the EU opened one of its first overseas delegations in Ottawa. What started in the 1950s as an economic relationship has grown into a strategic partnership in which both cooperate on everything from regional stability and security to the environment and higher education.
Two-way trade in goods between Canada and the EU reached $78.7 billion in 2011 and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). EU-Canada economic ties are strong and growing.
Internationally, too, Canada and the EU have found common causes. Both been among the strongest supporters of the United Nations, they have joined forces to mitigate the impact of landmines worldwide; since the entry into force in 1997 of the Mine Ban Treaty, known as the Ottawa Convention.
The creation of the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic arm, now provides an opportunity to broaden the relationship. So, today’s achievements are great news.
The Strategic Partnership Agreement, which was completed today will further enrich the political dimension of EU-Canada relationship and contribute to the deepening of ties – in relation to crisis management and security of course, but also in other very important areas such as education, transport, energy, the Arctic or science and technology.
And today Canada, the first G7 partner with which we are signing a free trade agreement, is for us a strategic partner, an ally and a friend. We are united by common historic roots and shared values and interests:
Shared values democracy and liberty that rests upon three pillars. representative democracy; economic freedom; and the rule of law. The foundation for all three is the acceptance by the members of our societies of a sense of common obligation.
-“We both support a democratic, united and sovereign Ukraine and We want to strengthen the EU-Canada foreign policy and global cooperation through a strategic dialogue on key issues, particularly with articulated measures and actions – for instance on Ukraine, Iran, and the Middle-East; said José Manuel Durão Barroso President of the European Commission at joint press conference together with Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council.
Source: European Commission – SPEECH/14/631 26/09/2014