EU and Canada Strengthen Ties and Address Global Challenges in Summit

The European Union and Canada underscored their shared commitment to common values and global challenges during the recent EU-Canada Summit held on November 23 and 24. Hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in St John’s, Newfoundland, the summit featured discussions led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.

The two entities, longstanding partners, collaborated on addressing critical issues such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Leaders condemned terrorist attacks by Hamas in the Middle East, expressing a shared dedication to preventing violence and working towards a peaceful coexistence based on a two-state solution.

In the context of the conflict in Ukraine, President von der Leyen praised the close collaboration between Canada and the European Union. Both reiterated their unwavering support for Ukraine and emphasized the maintenance of pressure on Russia through effective sanctions, in coordination with other G7 partners.

The summit yielded several significant agreements, advancing the strategic partnership between the EU and Canada. Key among them is Canada becoming an associated country to Horizon Europe, the EU’s flagship research and innovation program. This move enables Canadian researchers to participate in the program alongside their EU counterparts.

Furthermore, the EU-Canada Green Alliance was established, representing a comprehensive engagement under the European Green Deal. This alliance will enhance cooperation on climate, energy, environment, oceans, sustainable mobility, and more. President von der Leyen announced the EU’s participation in the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge initiated by Prime Minister Trudeau at COP26, aiming to increase carbon pricing coverage to 60% by 2030.

An additional highlight is the European Commission – Canada Hydrogen Action Plan, focusing on developing the hydrogen market between the EU and Canada as a clean technology to aid in the green transition.

The leaders also solidified the EU-Canada Digital Partnership, emphasizing values in fostering a digital transformation. Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, online platforms, digital identity, and skills will be deepened through this partnership.

The agreement on Passenger Name Record (PNR) was welcomed, facilitating counterterrorism and organized crime efforts while respecting privacy and data protection standards.

Reflecting on their trade relationship, leaders acknowledged the positive impact of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) over the last six years. Trade in goods increased by 66%, reaching €77 billion, benefitting both European and Canadian businesses.

President von der Leyen highlighted the potential for further economic cooperation, particularly in the critical raw materials sector. She extended an invitation for Canada to join the Critical Raw Materials Club, emphasizing Canada’s unique position in possessing all the raw materials required for lithium batteries. The EU stands as Canada’s second-largest export market, contributing to what President von der Leyen termed a “perfect match” in this field.