The first meeting of the EU-Canada Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) took place today in Ottawa. The Joint Cooperation Committee, along with the Joint Ministerial Committee, have been established by the EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement and will provide impetus to our relationship, as well as assess implementation of the Agreement, which is being provisionally applied since 1 April 2017. The first EU-Canada Joint Ministerial Committee is due to take place in Brussels later this year.
This first Joint Cooperation Committee provided an opportunity for the European Union and Canada to take stock of developments in our broad and deep relationship, including on a number of issues linked to the numerous thematic and geographic dialogues that have taken place over the past months. Dialogues on matters relating to defence and security, human rights, energy, innovation, science and technology, on the Middle East and North Africa, and on Sub-Saharan Africa, among others, have taken place, allowing the European Union and Canada not only to exchange information but also to ensure coordination whenever possible and to explore ways to expand the areas in which we concretely work together. The Joint Cooperation Committee also proposed recommendations for the establishment of new areas of cooperation, including on employment and social affairs.
Both the European Union and Canada reaffirmed their strong commitment to ambitious climate policies in fulfilment of the Paris Agreement on climate change. This will include the strengthening of existing partnerships, seeking new alliances and contributions, and continued support to those who are particularly vulnerable. Both sides stressed the importance they attach to tackling global challenges responsibly, as well as to a rules-based global order and effective multilateralism, in particular within the framework of the United Nations. They agreed on the need for the European Union and Canada to remain engaged and coordinated in multilateral fora, including the United Nations and the G20, as well as the G7, which will be chaired by Canada in 2018. The possible participation of Canada in ongoing EU military and civilian missions and operations around the world, as part of its Common Security and Defence Policy, was also raised. The need to continue championing a progressive free and fair trade policy was also discussed.
The Joint Cooperation Committee therefore confirmed the excellent state of the close and long-standing partnership between the European Union and Canada, which is based on shared democratic values, a responsibility to defend human rights and dignity for all, and social protection. As foreseen under the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the European Union and Canada will continue to champion and uphold these values and principles through regular dialogues, constructive cooperation and concrete action.
The Joint Cooperation Committee was co-chaired by Ms. Edita Hrdá, Managing Director for the Americas in the European External Action Service, and by Ms. Alexandra Bugailiskis, Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe, the Middle East and the Maghreb at Global Affairs Canada. European Union Member States and Canadian provinces also participated.