Montréal, 6 November 2018
Check against delivery!
Merci beaucoup Chrystia [Freeland, Ministre des affaires étrangères du Canada], à tous les amis qui nous accueillent ici, ainsi qu'au Premier Ministre [du Canada, Justin Trudeau] qui nous a fait l'honneur de nous recevoir et de nous accueillir hier après notre arrivée.
C'est un plaisir pour moi et toute mon équipe d'être à nouveau à Montréal, au Canada, un mois et quelque après ma dernière visite, à l'occasion de la réunion des femmes Ministres des affaires étrangères d'à travers le monde – comme tu l'as rappelé – que nous avons eu le plaisir de rencontrer ici.
Je pense que c'est important de reconnaître le travail et les résultats que tu as obtenu, que le Canada a obtenu dans ce domaine, et que nous avons eu le plaisir et l'honneur de soutenir, et qui est en effet une idée que nous avions discuté lors de notre première réunion dans ce format à Bruxelles, il y a un an.
As you have said, Canada and the European Union are natural partners and friends, in a moment where this is particularly important, not only for the two of us, for our people, but also for the rest of the world.
I believe that this [EU-Canada] Joint Ministerial meeting we are having today can be important to take stock and give a direction to EU-Canada relations in many different fields and sectors, looking ahead to joint initiatives that can be beneficial for our citizens - both in Canada and in the European Union.
As you mentioned, we now have the [EU-Canada] Strategic Partnership Agreement provisionally in place, entering into force already since one year and a half, which is a good timespan to evaluate the beneficial results and also the way forward. We also have our trade agreement that has been turning one year old a month or so ago, with good results already.
This gives us a new framework for cooperation, reaffirming our shared values – democracy, rule of law, human rights, but also multilateralism, diversity, free and fair trade and the common understanding that we have to work together to preserve, reform and uphold the multilateral system in the world of today, which is not a small thing in today's environment - to be able to count on such a friendship and a partnership like the one we enjoy.
Today I believe we can not only assess the state of our relationship, but also discuss about concrete results we can achieve in the coming months, in particular in the field of multilateralism - our common work in the multilateral system - on security and defence issues, on the promotion of democracy in our own societies and around the world, on climate change, on energy, on oceans, also in the area of justice, freedom and security.
I think we have indeed a very good and broad agenda and I am very much looking forward to continue working so closely together with you personally and with Canada.
Thank you also for this exceptional welcome to which we are getting used, and for having us received by the Elder with those wise words he has been so kind to share with us.