Canada is one of the European Union’s oldest and closest partners. What started out in the 1950s as a purely economic relationship has evolved over the years to become a close strategic partnership.
The EU and Canada work closely together on global challenges such as the environment, climate change, energy security and regional stability throughout the world. Canada also participates in EU election observation missions.
European and Canadian representatives meet regularly to exchange views at all levels, from bilateral summits of leaders to meetings between officials on specific issues including in various multilateral fora. The EU-Canada Partnership Agenda [29 KB] adopted at the Ottawa Summit on 18 March 2004, identifies ways of working together to move forward, especially where joint action can achieve more than acting alone.
The Partnership Agenda acknowledges the significant evolution of EU-Canada relations as a result of developments in the EU since 1976 when the relationship with Canada was first formalised through the Framework Agreement on Economic Co-operation. This was the first formal agreement of its kind between what was then the EEC and an industrialised third country.
In 2013-2014, EU-Canada relations are being upgraded through negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). CETA is a ground-breaking agreement which will provide for an ambitious liberalisation of trade and investment relations. This EU-Canada agreement could lead to GDP gains for the EU of up to €11.6 billion per year. The SPA aims to advance EU-Canada foreign policy and sectoral cooperation, as well as to provide a platform for joint action on the international stage.
In addition to trade relations, other policy sectors are also important in the relationship: cooperation in justice and home affairs, science & technology, education & training… more [100 KB]