It was a great honour for me to open the markets on International Women's Day at the Toronto Stock Exchange on 8 March and onthis special occasion to highlight WE EMPOWER, our joint initiative with UN Women and the International Labour Organization, to put the spotlight on gender equality.
It is a topic that will dominate this year's G7 Summit, one that will be incorporated in all G7 roundtables and discussion themes as we continue to advance the empowerment of women both at home and abroad. Gender equality is at the heart of EU's foreign and domestic policies. Their contributions to society and entrepreneurship are a key driver of the economy, growth and job creation. Gender equality is also at the core of building lasting peace, one of the themes at the Women’s Foreign Ministers Meeting to be co-hosted this fall by Canada and the EU in the context of the G7.
The G7 Summit on 8-9 June will take place in the picturesque region of La Malbaie and will be an excellent opportunity for Canada and the European Union to move towards closer cooperation across a broad range of issues. I look forward to the participation of both Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and their delegations at the Summit. At a time when many question the merit of multilateralism, Canada and the EU remain resilient in the shared commitment to a rules-based world order. The G7 is our chance to advocate for multilateral solutions to today's challenges, for open economies and open societies.
With this editorial, I am making my Newsletter debut here in Canada. Lucky timing too. I arrived last September, days before CETA was provisionally applied, and I have had the privilege to visit several Canadian provinces since. In addition to Toronto, my travels took me to Quebec, British Columbia, and the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. I am most grateful for the warm welcome I received from my generous and gracious hosts and I look forward to getting familiar with all Canadian provinces and territories in the months and years to come.
Perhaps most rewarding of all is to see the benefits of CETA materializing. The elimination of tarifs has made businesses on both sides of the Atlantic instantly more competitive, and they are eager to seize all new opportunities for growth under CETA – something I have witnessed and will continue to witness first-hand.
I invite you to continue to follow our @EUinCanada activities and news. You are also welcome to stay in touch with me @EUAmbCanada.
Ambassador of the European Union to Canada