The 18th EU-Canada summit took place in Brussels on 14 June 2021. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, represented the EU. Canada was represented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The leaders discussed how to work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic and pursue a sustainable, people-centred and inclusive recovery. They reaffirmed their ambitious commitments on fighting climate change and protecting the environment, and their determination to promote democratic values, peace and security.
They also launched a new Canada-EU dialogue on health, an Ocean Partnership Forum and an EU-Canada Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials.
Following the summit the leaders issued a joint statement.
“Defeating COVID-19 remains our top priority. The EU is the largest exporter of vaccines — we have exported roughly half of the vaccines we have produced. We have supported Canada’s vaccination campaign by shipping roughly 16 million doses to Canada. This represents 60% of all vaccines received by Canada.”
President Charles Michel
Ending the COVID-19 pandemic and driving a sustainable global recovery
The leaders committed to stepping up multilateral efforts to help ensure universal, equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and treatments through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. They welcomed the G7 commitment to share at least 870 million vaccine doses directly over the next year, targeting those in the greatest need.
The leaders also welcomed the scaling-up of manufacturing capacities in order to increase and diversify the supply of COVID-19 vaccines while maintaining open and secure supply chains.
The EU and Canada will coordinate efforts to strengthen the World Health Organization (WHO) and the global health security architecture in general to be better prepared for future pandemics.
“I welcome Prime Minister Trudeau’s support for an international treaty on pandemics in the framework of the WHO.”
President Charles Michel
To enhance bilateral collaboration on pandemic preparedness, the leaders launched a new Canada-EU dialogue on health under the EU-Canada strategic partnership agreement (SPA).
The leaders agreed to steer the global recovery towards green, innovative, inclusive and resilient economies and the creation of decent jobs. Another common objective is to make global supply chains more resilient and sustainable.
Furthermore, the leaders will seek a consensus-based solution as regards a reform of the international tax architecture by mid-2021 within the OECD, in line with G7/G20 commitments.
They also agreed to resume travel between the EU and Canada as soon as this can be done safely.
Fighting climate change and protecting the environment
Recognising the urgency and the interlinked nature of the challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss, the leaders stressed the need to step up global action and provide more coordinated responses.
The EU and Canada are determined to reach the most ambitious outcome possible at the upcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to keep the world on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Aiming to lead by example in becoming climate-neutral economies by 2050, the EU and Canada will fully and swiftly implement their enhanced 2030 emissions reduction targets/Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The two sides will strengthen their collaboration on promoting measures and technologies to support a just energy transition. They remain committed to scaling up efforts to meet the climate finance goal of $100 billion per year goal through 2025, and to scaling up their financial contribution to climate adaptation action.
The leaders agreed to pursue the adoption of an ambitious global framework to conserve, protect and restore biodiversity at the next UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) and ambitious outcomes at the UN Food Systems Summit, with a view to leading a global transformation towards sustainable food systems.
The EU and Canada will step up cooperation and multilateral action on the circular economy, the efficient use of natural resources and the sound management of chemicals and waste. They will also work towards a new global treaty on plastics, including to combat ocean plastic pollution. In this context, the leaders launched an Ocean Partnership Forum under the EU-Canada Ocean Partnership Declaration.
Harnessing the potential of trade, technology and innovation
The leaders reaffirmed their strong support for the rules-based multilateral trading system and the indispensable role played by the World Trade Organization (WTO). They agreed to work together to strengthen and modernise the WTO, including through close cooperation in the Ottawa Group of like-minded countries.
They welcomed the positive results achieved by the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and remain strongly committed to ensuring its full and effective implementation.
“This year we celebrate the 5th anniversary of the signing of CETA. This agreement is good for our citizens, for our businesses and for our economic recovery.”
President Charles Michel
To diversify sources of important green and digital economy inputs away from less like-minded producers, and to foster competitive EU-Canada supply chains, the leaders established an EU-Canada Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials.
The EU and Canada will deepen digital cooperation through the Canada-EU Digital Dialogue and the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), leveraging digital tools to promote a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery. To ensure that the Internet remains free, secure and open, the EU and Canada jointly support global standards for and regulatory approaches to digital trade and technologies.
Cooperation between the two sides will also be enhanced in other key areas, including the Horizon Europe research programme, higher education, hydrogen, artificial intelligence, quantum technology and space.
Promoting democratic values, peace and security
The EU and Canada will continue to cooperate closely on promoting international peace and security and their shared values, including defending human rights, gender equality, media freedom, liberal democracy, the rule of law and the rules-based international order.
They will work closely together to address common concerns and challenges faced in relations with China and Russia, and discuss engaging with these countries where that is possible and in the EU’s and Canada’s respective interests.
The leaders warmly welcomed the invitation received by Canada to participate in the PESCO Military Mobility project. Alongside the US and Norway, Canada will be among the first non-EU countries to participate in the project, representing another important step towards closer EU-Canada partnership in security and defence.
The leaders reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and for the Belarusian people’s calls for a democratic and just Belarus. They also resolved to further deepen cooperation and dialogue on key regional issues, including in relation to the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Indo-Pacific, Myanmar, Iran/JCPOA, Africa (particularly the Sahel region) and Venezuela.
Finally, the leaders reaffirmed their determination to strengthen their cooperation on matters pertaining to the Arctic, and to conclude a new EU-Canada Passenger Name Record (PNR) Agreement as soon as possible.
EU-Canada relations are underpinned by a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Provisionally applied since April 2017, these agreements have greatly boosted both sides’ economies and led to an ever closer partnership between the EU and Canada.
Compliments of the Council of the European Union and the European Council.