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Brussels, 24 September 2014
EU - Canada Summit
The EU - Canada Summit will be held in Ottawa and Toronto on Friday 26 September, 2014.
The EU will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Commissioner for Trade, Karel de Gucht, is also expected to take part. Canada will be represented by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and by Minister of international trade Edward Fast. The leaders will start their discussions at 11.00.
The Summit will provide an opportunity to celebrate the recent end of negotiations on a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The leaders will also take stock of progress in EU-Canada relations, particularly in areas such as energy Arctic cooperation and visa free travel.
In terms of foreign policy, the leaders are expected to mainly discuss issues of international security and peace, focusing on Ukraine and Russia as well as the Middle East, with a specific emphasis on Syria and Iraq. Counter terrorism cooperation will be discussed, as will be increased cooperation within the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), particularly in Africa.
Finally, the summit participants are expected to address global challenges, such as climate change and the adoption of an ambitious, effective, fair and legally binding climate agreement applicable to all in December 2015 at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21)
A press conference will be held at the end of the meeting (+/- 12.10).
This will be followed by a working lunch before the leaders are expected to leave for Toronto to address representatives at an EU- Canada Business Summit.
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Strategic Partnership Agreement
The summit will provide an opportunity to celebrate the successful end of negotiations for a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The SPA complements the EU - Canada economic relationship, and will constitute the political, and value-based, dimension of the strategic partnership. The SPA promises to further strengthen sectorial and foreign policy cooperation, with an increased focus on the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) issues such as crisis management and security. It will equally strengthen cooperation on issues that directly affect citizens' wellbeing such as education, migration, consular protection, people-to-people linkages, youth and the promotion of cultural diversity. It will also deepen ties in other areas such as energy, transport and the Arctic.
The SPA negotiations started in September 2011, and the agreement was initialled on 8 September 2014. Following respective legal review, the SPA now needs to be formally approved, signed and ratified.
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Leaders will also mark the end of the negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The agreement will help to generate more trade and two-way investment and thus promote jobs and growth throughout the EU and Canada. The CETA provides for a comprehensive liberalisation of trade in goods and services, significant new opportunities in government procurement, provisions to enhance and encourage investment, and modernised rules on other trade-related issues. Once implemented, the agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods and services by 23%, or more than 25 billion Euro, on both sides of the Atlantic. Overall, the agreement could lead to GDP gains for the EU of up to 11.6 billion per year.
The start of the CETA negotiations was announced in 2009. It is the first EU free trade agreement with a leading industrialised country and one of the most ambitious agreements it has ever negotiated. After the necessary respective procedures and signatures the agreement is expected to enter into force in 2016.
The summit will represent an occasion to address other important issues for the EU in its relations with Canada such as Arctic cooperation, including through the Arctic Council, as well as increased energy cooperation and visa free travel.
Foreign and security policy
Building on the long-standing cooperation between the EU and Canada in enhancing international peace and security, the leaders are expected to address a number of issues specifically. The situation in Ukraine, including cooperation on the Eastern Partnership, will be at the centre of these discussions, as will be the developments in the Middle East, in Iraq and Syria. Leaders are furthermore expected to address the issue of and the need to stem the flow of foreign fighters.
The EU and Canada are longstanding partners when it comes to human rights issues in multilateral fora and leaders are expected to reconfirm continued work in promoting human rights, democracy and development cooperation. In particular, the summit should provide an occasion to take stock of ongoing work on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals agenda, coordination with Canada on G20 issues and to call for strong determination to work towards an ambitious, effective, fair and legally binding climate agreement by 2015. Another topic to be discussed will be the concerning situation in regard to the Ebola outbreak in Africa.