Canada, Europe sign Free Trade Deal
Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, to Parliament Hill for the Canada-European Union Summit following the signing of Parliament’s distinguished visitors’ guest books. (PMO photo by Deb Ransom)
We, the leaders of Canada and the European Union (EU), meeting today in Ottawa, are committed to strengthening and deepening our strategic partnership that builds on our shared history and values. We reaffirmed our commitment to contributing to our mutual prosperity through our continued cooperation. We discussed the next steps with respect to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Canada-EU Trade Agreement) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which together mark the beginning of a new, dynamic chapter in relations between Canada and the EU. We have also consulted on plans to strengthen our joint efforts to address international peace and security challenges and other crucial global issues of mutual concern.
Trade and the Economy
Today marks a truly historic moment in the evolution of the Canada-EU relationship as we celebrate the end of negotiations of the Canada-EU Trade Agreement. The Agreement delivers on the 2009 promise of a very comprehensive liberalization of trade in goods and services, significant new opportunities in government procurement, provisions to enhance and encourage investment, and improved and modernized rules on other trade-related issues. The Canada-EU Trade Agreement also establishes a range of cooperation mechanisms that will ensure continued collaboration between Canada and the EU as we continue to strengthen and deepen our economic partnership. At the same time, Canada and the EU place a strong emphasis on sustainable development, on cultural diversity, and on the right to regulate in the public interest within their territories.
Recognizing that this is a time of continued recovery in the global economy, we highlight the importance of the Canada-EU Trade Agreement as a vehicle to create new prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. The Agreement will help generate more trade and two-way investment, and promote jobs and growth. We will work expeditiously to ensure that all our businesses, workers and consumers throughout Canada and EU Member States are equally positioned to realize the opportunities created by this historic accord as soon as possible, and will lend our full support to its early ratification through our respective legal and political processes.
This ambitious and ground-breaking agreement between Canada and the EU sends a positive signal about the importance of further trade liberalization. We are committed to undertaking further efforts to put the Trade Facilitation Agreement and other decisions of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference back on track.
Deepening our Strategic Partnership
Today, we also celebrate the successful end of negotiations for the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Canada and the EU, which offers an important cooperation framework to strengthen our relations and deepen our foreign policy cooperation, and provides a platform for joint action on global issues. The SPA will contribute to stronger ties in areas such as energy, research and innovation, science and technology, and the Arctic. The agreement also seeks to enrich our dialogue on issues that directly affect the well-being of our peoples, such as the environment, migration, consular protection, people-to-people links and the special needs of youth.
We commit to ensure, as soon as possible, visa-free travel between our countries for all Canadian and EU citizens, also so that they will benefit fully from the new trade and economic opportunities that are being created between Canada and the EU.
International Peace and Security
Based on our common values and in order to foster global peace and security, we will work together to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We will also enhance EU-Canada and Transatlantic cooperation in international peace and security, the fight against terrorism and organized crime, and international non-proliferation and disarmament.
Canada and the EU remain deeply concerned by the situation in Ukraine, and condemn the aggression by Russian armed forces on Ukrainian soil and the illegal annexation of Crimea. While we welcome the agreements on a ceasefire reached in Minsk on 5 September and 19 September 2014, they must be respected and fully implemented. Russia must withdraw its military assets and forces from inside Ukraine and along the Ukrainian border, and continue to de-escalate the situation. Russia must also take concrete steps to allow for a political and diplomatic solution that fully respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We expect Russia to return to the path of full compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities. Canada and the EU continue to follow the developments on the ground, and stand ready to adapt their reaction and decisions with a view to encouraging further progress. In this context, we emphasize our commitment towards long lasting peace, prosperity, stability and security in Eastern Europe, and to that end support the further development of the Eastern Partnership.
Canada and the EU are extremely concerned by the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Syria and Iraq as a result of the occupation of parts of their territory by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). We are appalled by and firmly condemn the indiscriminate killings and other violations of international law perpetrated by this and other terrorist organisations, in particular against persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities and against women and other vulnerable groups. Those responsible for such crimes must be held to account. We will, with other partners from within and outside the region, assist the people of Syria and Iraq to act decisively against the threat of ISIL. Instability in Syria, caused by the Assad regime’s brutal war against its own people, has allowed ISIL to flourish. A lasting solution urgently requires a political transition in Syria. In Iraq, we will work together to support the Iraqi people to meet this challenge, and stand ready to support a new inclusive Iraqi government as it moves to address the needs of all Iraqis, regardless of ethnic origin or religious belief.
We strongly believe that determined action is required to stem the flow of foreign fighters and will accelerate efforts to prevent radicalisation and extremism, share information more effectively, dissuade, detect and disrupt suspicious travel, prevent financial support, and investigate and prosecute foreign fighters.
Building on our long-standing cooperation in crisis management and support for good governance, we will strengthen cooperation further in support of our respective efforts in the wider Middle East, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Western Balkans.
Global and Regional Issues
We will revitalize our cooperation in energy including under the 2007 High-Level Energy Dialogue, particularly in key areas such as energy security, increased energy efficiency, renewable energy, the safe and responsible exploitation of conventional and unconventional energy resources, LNG trade, and improved market transparency and stability.
We reaffirm our determination to work together and with partners towards the adoption of an ambitious, effective, fair climate agreement applicable to all, with legal force, in December 2015 at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21), for which we will communicate our national mitigation contributions as agreed in Warsaw, with a view to doing our part to limit effectively the increase in global temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. We will continue to work with others to mobilize climate finance from a variety of sources, including the private sector, to enable the investment shift required for the long-term transition towards low-emission economies, including through financial support to developing countries.
We welcome the deepening of ties in Arctic cooperation, including through the Arctic Council. EU and Canada are strategic partners in the field of research and innovation. We wish to reinforce our collaboration under the existing Agreement for Scientific and Technical Cooperation Between Canada and the European Community through active participation in the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, including in priority areas of Arctic and marine research, in follow-up to the 2013 Galway Statement.
We are committed to work with all partners to agree to an ambitious post-2015 development agenda anchored in a single set of goals which should be action-oriented, concise, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development, and respecting national policies and priorities. The agenda should reinforce the international community’s commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development. We also remain committed to the need for a strong post-2015 accountability mechanism.
We discussed the health of women and children as a pressing global issue, welcomed initiatives such as the May 28-30 Toronto Summit and sessions held this week on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on these issues, and noted that ending preventable maternal and child deaths within a generation could be within arm’s reach with a renewed global commitment.
Canada and the EU expressed their concern about the Ebola crisis in Africa, and stressed the importance of a coordinated international response to assist affected countries to tackle the diseases as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
This Ottawa Summit has given renewed voice and vision to our partnership, and has positioned us to work more closely and effectively together across a range of priority areas, for the prosperity and security of our peoples, and the global community.
Source – pm.gc.ca