European Union leaders express economic solidarity with Canada at summit in Brussels
The EU-Canada Summit took place in Brussels on 5 May 2010. The EU was represented by Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council; and by Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Canada was represented by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mrs. Catherine Ashton, the European Union Trade Commissioner, Mr. Karel De Gucht, and the Minister of International Trade of Canada, Mr. Peter Van Loan, also attended the summit.
European and Canadian leaders held a business-like, friendly and productive Summit. The leaders expressed their commitment to reinforce the long standing, strategic EU-Canada relationship which is firmly anchored by shared history and values. The leaders focused their discussions around bilateral relations, global issues and regional conflicts.
Leaders discussed the EU-Canada bilateral relationship with a strong focus on the economic partnership. They took stock of the progress achieved during the current negotiations for an ambitious Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that will give a new impetus to trade, investment, innovation and job creation. Leaders sent a clear signal that the EU and Canada reject protectionism, affirming their commitment to reaching an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced conclusion of the Doha Development Round.
Over time EU-Canada cooperation has extended to fields such as foreign and security policy and the European Security and Defence Policy. Bi-lateral relations thus go beyond flourishing commercial ties and cover economic, political and social spheres. In this regard, Leaders noted that informal discussions had begun on upgrading the framework of our relationship in the future, not least in the areas of justice, freedom and security.
Leaders reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to resolve the remaining obstacles to achieving the common goal of visa-free travel to Canada for all EU citizens as soon as possible.
Leaders analysed the global economic situation. The importance of G20 actions in securing the global economic recovery, strengthening financial regulation and supervision and laying the foundation for strong, sustainable and balanced growth was stressed, as well as the present role played by Canada as chair of the G8 and host of the G20 in June 2010.
On the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, leaders underlined their deep concern about the Iranian nuclear programme and their support for the adoption of a new United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution, should Iran fail to give a satisfactory response to the international community's offer of engagement. The EU and Canada agreed to work together towards a substantive and balanced outcome of the Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to occur this month in New York, with progress on all three pillars of the Treaty: nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Leaders stressed that both the EU and Canada will keep pursuing a high level of ambition to tackle climate change challenges. They agreed that adaptation to and mitigation of climate change remains a key global challenge, and will require supportive energy policies. Cooperation should focus on financing mechanisms as well as on support to clean development in third countries. Integrating the agreements contained in the Copenhagen Accord into the UNFCCC negotiating texts will be critical to advance the negotiation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the end of 2010.
Leaders expressed their commitment to deepen cooperation on crisis management activities. Both sides welcomed the active cooperation to date, notably in ongoing Common Security and Defence Policy missions in challenging environments including Afghanistan, Kosovo and the Palestinian territories.
In Afghanistan, leaders welcome current and future opportunities to work together, notably on police reform, and also on border issues through productive fora such as the Dubai Process and the G8 Afghanistan Pakistan Border Region Prosperity Initiative.
Leaders re-affirmed the long term commitment and support of the EU and Canada to the reconstruction of Haiti. They underlined the importance of international donor coordination and of maintaining Haitian national ownership of the reconstruction process.
The EU expressed appreciation for the strong development focus and priorities of the Canadian G8 Presidency. Leaders stressed the need for a coordinated approach to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals are achieved by the 2015 target date. They agreed to continue to reinforce EU-Canada co-operation on development issues in multilateral fora, including in the field of aid effectiveness.
Closing the Summit, leaders stressed that the EU and Canada enjoyed excellent relations and their readiness to continue discussions at the highest political level.