The Canada-European Union Summit

A/ Framework

Canada and the European Union have a long-standing relationship based on several agreements and declarations. The relationship is the oldest official relationship that the EU has ever established with an industrialized country, dating back to 1959 at the time when both parties signed a cooperative agreement for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. In 1976, they signed a framework agreement for a commercial and economic collaboration. Since then, the already close relationship has been significantly reinforced by other agreements, namely the Transatlantic Declaration of 1990, which established consultation mechanisms between Canada and the EU, the Joint Canada-EU Political Declaration and Action Plan of 1996, which defines each party’s commitments in a number of areas, and the Canada-EU Partnership Agenda of 2004.

Today, Canada and the EU plan to strengthen their relations and reinforce their political contacts to:

- promote international security and efficient multilateralism;
- promote global prosperity; and,
- pursue justice and internal affairs cooperations to address current global and regional challenges.

To effectively manage the development of Canada-EU relations and to identify areas where dialogue must be strengthened, Canada and the EU are committed to:

- pursue high-level dialogue, during summits or ministerial meetings, on essential issues that are threatening the international community;
- make the most of the contact opportunities between Canadian ministries and their EU counterparts to review political issues of joint interest;
- create a coordination group responsible for quickly and efficiently implementing political decisions; and,
- update the legal framework governing Canada-EU relations.

The Canada-EU dialogue thereby covers all areas of cooperation and includes regular meetings between ministers, experts and officials. These discussions reach their culminating point during the annual Canada-EU summits.

B/ Partnership for peace and international security

At the Canada-EU Summit in October 2008, in Quebec City, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, adopted a joint declaration. This summit made it possible to pursue the relations that unite Canada and the EU and reinforce their promising strategic partnership.

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Photo : MAEE/Frédéric de La Mure
Sommet UE -CANADA : Accueil de M. Nicolas Sarkozy, président de la République, et de M. José Manuel Barroso, Président de la Commission européenne, par M. Stephen Harper, Premier ministre du Canada (Citadelle, Québec). 17.10.2008

Several issues were discussed at the summit, notably those of peace and international security; Canada and the EU have formed a close collaboration regarding these two issues.

Canada and the EU will expand their joint efforts, particularly within the United Nations framework, to foster the establishment of an international order based on effective multilateralism, international law, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

With regard to the latest developments in Georgia, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemn Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Canada and the EU welcome the significant progress in the implementation of the August 12 and September 8 agreements within the agreed deadlines, particularly notably regarding the international discussions held under point 6 of the August 12 accord, which began in Geneva on October 15. Canada and EU support the October 22 donors’ conference in Brussels, organized by the European Commission and World Bank, which will be an important step for the reconstruction of the country. Canada and the EU seek the path of understanding and cooperation with Russia, with the expectation that Russia will conduct itself in a responsible fashion, consistent with its broader commitments.

Canada and the EU express their willingness to cooperate closely, in coordination with the OSCE and the United Nations, to contribute to the reduction of risks in the regions where frozen conflicts persist.
Canada and the EU reaffirm their long-term commitment to stabilization and development in Afghanistan, in accordance with the principles set out in the final statement of the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan, which took place in Paris on June 12, 2008. On this basis, the National Development Strategy must enable the Afghan authorities gradually to take over their responsibilities, and intensify their reform efforts at the political level (respect for human rights and judicial reform) and in terms of security and the economy (agriculture, energy), and better to engage civil society in development projects in order to increase aid effectiveness. We are pleased with the good cooperation between Canada and the EU, particularly regarding the deployment of Canadian police officers as part of the EU police mission in Afghanistan. We will therefore support:

-  the planning and holding of the 2009 and 2010 elections;
-  the reform of the security sector, notably the police, by reinforcing the EUPOL Afghanistan mission, and the justice and corrections system consistent with commitments made during the Rome conference in July 2007;
-  strengthened cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours in the form of increased support for the implementation of the G8 Afghanistan-Pakistan Initiative agreed in Potsdam in May 2007 and reaffirmed by the G8 Coordination Arrangement in June 2008; strengthened cooperation and capacity building of Afghani and Pakistani border authorities, particularly in the context of the Dubai process.

We are deeply concerned about the proliferation risks associated with Iran’s nuclear program and its failure to comply with its international obligations. We urge Iran to respect fully without delay the United Nations Security Council resolutions, and in particular to suspend all uranium enrichment activities, failing which it faces sanctions and growing isolation under the ’dual-track’ approach. We call on Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA and we firmly support the efforts made to resolve the issue through negotiations.

Canada and the EU remain committed to the Middle East Peace Process and stand ready to assist the parties in any way possible to reach a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. We support the Quartet’s Roadmap and the Annapolis process and call on the parties to fulfill their respective commitments. We condemn all acts of violence and terrorism. We remain strongly concerned by the continuation of Israeli settlement activities. We urge all parties to respect the commitments made at the Paris donors’ conference in support of Palestinian reforms and the establishment of a future Palestinian state that is independent, sovereign, democratic and viable, coexisting in peace and security with the State of Israel.

In Haiti, Canada and the EU are working in close collaboration with the Haitian authorities to promote the modernization of judicial institutions, better access to justice, and implementation of the rule of law, all of which are essential to the country’s development. To this end, we commit to consolidate democratic institutions including support for the electoral process, and we will endeavour to promote strengthened local governance. We will continue our efforts to help Haiti recover from the effects of recent hurricanes, to modernize a transportation corridor, and to complete the construction of a border post between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

As donors to and partners of the AU-UN peace mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Canada and the EU are working to promote peace and improve the humanitarian situation in Sudan. In this regard, we call on all parties to honour their ceasefire commitments and we reaffirm our commitment to the fight against impunity. We call on Sudan to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. We call on the Government of Sudan and the autonomous government in southern Sudan to implement without delay the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south Sudan.
Canada and the EU deplore the ongoing violence and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia. We share the same concern with regard to the resurgence of piracy along the Somali coast, and reiterate our contribution to the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 1814 and 1816.

Cooperation in civilian and military crisis management is now a critical tool in our joint approach to global and regional issues. In an effort to strengthen our cooperation, we have approved a joint work program dealing with crisis management, conflict prevention and training, including:

-  strengthened police cooperation in the field in Afghanistan, the Balkans and the Palestinian territories;
-  and strengthened cooperation to build capacity in the areas of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and crisis management in Africa.
We will deepen our dialogue on issues related to the responsibility to protect, with the objective of providing greater operational scope to this concept.

Electoral observation is an area of close cooperation between Canada and the EU. We welcome the exchange of letters to facilitate this cooperation and to make it more effective.

We will seek to identify and implement shared responses to address the world’s food crisis in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.
Last, we will continue to focus our attention on the consequences of the increase in the cost of energy and raw materials.

Last modified on 15/04/2009

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