Loading...

EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

23 views

Loading...

Loading...

Transcript

The interactive transcript could not be loaded.

Loading...

Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Mar 1, 2017

Canada enjoys one of the closest possible relationships with the European Union. It is a country that shares a common culture –‘c’est un pays bilingue’ – with two EU languages as national languages, and that has a healthy respect for democracy and the rule of law. That we are set to ratify the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) later today demonstrates the value that we in the European Union place on that strong, traditional and lengthy relationship.
Canada, with its similar levels of GDP per capita, as an advanced economy and a NATO Member State further cements ties and mutual interests. For example, there are two extracts from the SPA that, to my mind, sum up exactly what this is all about and what it stands for. The first reads, ‘The Parties shall implement this Agreement based on shared values, the principles of dialogue, mutual respect, equal partnership, multilateralism, consensus and respect for international law.’ The second extract reads, ‘Recognising that sustainable globalisation and greater prosperity can only be achieved through an open world economy based on market principles, effective regulations and strong global institutions [...]’. I think these two passages sum it all up, illustrating exactly what the SPA and CETA are all about, namely ambitious, free-trade, liberal multilateralism. These are the values that they seek to embody and defend, at a time when they need defending more than at any other time in the European Union’s recent history.
Whilst my main area of concern, as rapporteur, is the SPA, it is important that we consider this alongside CETA and the wider international political climate in which we now find ourselves. Whether we look to the election of President Donald Trump in the United States or, in my personal view, the regrettable decision of my country, the United Kingdom, to leave the European Union, or the rise of populist, protectionist parties across Europe, it is clear that the merits of free trade, multilateralism and the liberal international world order are, unfortunately, being questioned by many, and we must stand up and fight for them. Such questions can be answered only by concrete results. This means increasing trade, creating economic growth, providing jobs and creating a safe and secure world.
The SPA and CETA will, hopefully, do exactly these things, and I can illustrate what can be achieved by defending these values that they are based on. To focus on some of the main headlines of the SPA in the areas where coordination of efforts is envisaged, I will take a few areas of particular interest. Preventing nuclear proliferation; ensuring the effective working of the International Criminal Court, now increasingly challenged; strengthening counterterrorism efforts and combating the financing of international terrorism; enforcing consumer protection; fighting the trade in illicit drugs; tackling cybercrime; and discussing the High North Arctic Strategy, increasingly threatened by an expansionist Russia – these are just a few examples of what is envisaged in the SPA.
Much of what we see in the SPA is, in fact, the development of long—standing links and coordination. I am proud to say that 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the initial political agreement between Canada and the European Union, all the way back to 1977, a testament to the long and enduring links between the two sides. It was only a year later that, as a student, I found myself living for several months, in 1978, in Canada and appreciating at first hand the strong bonds and common culture that bind us together.
Existing cooperation between Canada and the EU and its Member States spans a number of key policy areas: for example, the Europol Agreement, active since 2005, which provides a valuable vehicle for the sharing of data and information in the fight against international crime and terrorism; Canada’s consistent military contributions to the common security and defence policy of the European Union; and our frequent meetings with Canadian parliamentarians when they participate in joint electoral observation missions with the OSCE and NATO parliamentary assemblies. Furthermore, the visa liberalisation agreement, in place since 2015, will now be completed and extended to the entire European Union, as agreed.

Loading...


to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...