Canada is one of the closest and longest-standing partners of the European Union. Our shared common democratic values, the responsibility to defend human rights and dignity for all, and social protection define our relationship.
The European Union's relationship with Canada has evolved over the past 40 years from primarilytrade-based into a political and strategic partnership. The EU and Canada share a strong commitment to democracy, the rule of law and multilateralism, which underpin our cooperation in all aspects of international affairs.
The European Union has negotiated with Canada the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which will institutionalise links and significantly upgrade EU-Canada foreign policy and sectorial cooperation. It reflects our joint commitment to uphold and advance democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to work together to strengthen international peace and security, and effective multilateralism. Through the SPA, the EU and Canada will also cooperate on global economic issues, sustainable development, energy security, environment, and climate change. The agreement further seeks to reinforce judicial and law enforcement cooperation between EU and Canada, aimed at fighting inter alia organised crime and corruption, terrorism, illicit drugs and cybercrime. Negotiations of the SPA were launched in September 2011, the Agreement was initialled in September 2014, and was adopted by the European Commission in April 2015. The Agreement was signed on 30 October 2016 on the occasion of the EU-Canada Summit and two-thirds of the Agreement will enter into effect on a provisional basis as of 1 April 2017, while the rest will only enter into force upon ratification by all EU Member States and Canada.