Canada–European Union relations
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Relations between Canada and the European Union (EU) and its forerunners date back to the 1950s. While the relationship is primarily an economic one, there are also matters of political cooperation. Canadians also use English and French — both European languages — as official and majority languages.
Canada's relationship with Europe is a consequence of the historical connections generated by colonialism and mass European immigration to Canada. In the Middle Ages, Canada was first colonized by Vikings on the shores of Baffin Island plus those of Newfoundland and Labrador. However, centuries later in the Modern Age, it would be mainly colonized by France and, after 1763, it formally joined the British Empire after its conquest in the Seven Years' War. In addition, it also had colonial influence from Spain in British Columbia plus southern Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The United Kingdom has extremely close relations with Canada, due to its British colonial past, and both being realms of the Commonwealth. However, the United Kingdom ceased to be a European Union member state on 31 January 2020. Historically, Canada's relations with the UK and USA were usually given priority over relations with continental Europe. Nevertheless, Canada had existing ties with European countries through the Western alliance during the Second World War, the United Nations, and NATO before the creation of the European Economic Community.
The history of Canada's relations with the EU is best documented in a series of economic agreements:
In 1976, the European Economic Community (EEC) and Canada signed a Framework Agreement on Economic Co-operation, the first formal agreement of its kind between the EEC and an industrialized third country. Also in 1976 the Delegation of the European Commission to Canada opened in Ottawa.
In 1990, European and Canadian leaders adopted a Declaration on Transatlantic Relations, extending the scope of their contacts and establishing regular meetings at Summit and Ministerial level.
In 1996, a new Political Declaration on EU-Canada Relations was made at the Ottawa Summit, adopting a joint Action Plan identifying additional specific areas for co-operation.
Areas of conflict
Canada–EU Free Trade Agreement
Since as early as June 2007, the Government of Canada led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been pressuring the EU and its member countries to negotiate a Canada-EU free trade agreement Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur supported the idea, while former Canadian trade negotiator Michael Hart called the idea "silly."  The Canada Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT), founded in 1999, had been a principal advocate for a free trade agreement supported by more than 100 Canadian and European chief executives. CERT was co-chaired by former Canadian trade minister Roy MacLaren and former editor of The Economist magazine Bill Emmott.
In June 2009, EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton and Canadian Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day released a joint statement regarding the start of negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Minister Day stated "This first meeting represents a solid step toward a historic economic agreement between Canada and Europe. These negotiations are a priority for our government."
CETA has been provisionally applied since September 2017. See the article Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement for details of compromises made.
Potential EU membership
It has been proposed as early as 2005 that Canada could join the European Union. Proponents argue that cultural and political values of Canadians and Europeans have much in common unlike rest of the American countries, and that Canadian membership would strengthen both sides politically and economically. While conceding that Canada, located in Northern America, and Europe are over 3,000 km (1,900 mi) distant, being separated by the North Atlantic, proponents note that the EU already has a member outside Europe, Cyprus, that is geographically in Western Asia. In addition, Canada is the closest American sovereign country to the European continent, specifically to Northern Europe. This could become much more relevant if Greenland joined the European Union again. The EU and Canada enjoy a very close and friendly strategic partnership. The Delegation of the EU to Canada, in close cooperation with the missions of EU countries, promotes European culture year-round through a number of well-established public diplomacy activities. These events have been effective in increasing the knowledge and understanding of the EU and its relations with Canada. In 2019, Canada was proposed to join the EU's Horizon Europe scientific research initiative.
In addition, CETA is possibly the farthest-reaching FTA between the EU and a foreign country. Because of the nature of CETA, some[who?] have said that it wouldn't be that far of a leap to EU membership. There have not been any polls conducted on the opinions of Europeans or Canadians regarding closer relations and EU membership. The province of Quebec would help to strengthen the Francophone bloc in the EU, with Francophone nations such as France, Belgium and Luxembourg likely to support Canadian membership. EU membership may also help to curb separatist sentiments in Quebec. Canada can also bring an English/Anglophone bloc to the EU after Brexit. In addition, it may decrease Canadian dependence on the United States regarding trade and security. It would also easily meet the Copenhagen Criteria for EU membership. Additionally, the EU is Canada's second-largest trading partner. Canadian and EU officials have not yet commented on this. Recently, the constant trade disputes with China and between the North American countries, plus the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, have opened a debate about the possibility of Canada's membership to the EU.
|Area||4,324,782 km2 (1,669,808 sq mi)||9,984,670 km2 (3,855,103 sq mi)|
|Population Density||103/km2 (268/sq mi)||3.7/km2 (9.6/sq mi)|
|Capital||Brussels (de facto)||Ottawa|
|Global Cities||Paris, Rome, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam, Athens, Dublin, Helsinki, Warsaw, Bucharest, Lisbon, Nicosia, Budapest, Copenhagen, Sofia, Stockholm, Prague, Zagreb||Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Québec City|
|Government||Supranational parliamentary democracy based on the European treaties||Federal parliamentary democratic|
|First Leader||High Authority President Jean Monnet||Prime Minister John Alexander Macdonald|
|Current Leader||Council President Charles Michel
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
|Queen Elizabeth II|
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
|Official languages||24 official languages, of which 3 considered "procedural" (English, French and German)||English and French (see Official Languages Act 1969)|
|Main religions||72% Christianity (48% Roman Catholicism, 12% Protestantism,
8% Eastern Orthodoxy, 4% Other Christianity),
23% non-Religious, 3% Other, 2% Islam
|67.3% Christianity, 23.9% Unaffiliated, 3.2% Islam, 1.5% Hinduism, 1.4% Sikhism, 1.1% Buddhism, 1.0% Judaism|
|Ethnic groups||Germans (ca. 80 million), French (ca. 67 million),
Italians (ca. 60 million), Spanish (ca. 47 million), Poles (ca. 46 million),
Romanians (ca. 18 million), Dutch (ca. 13 million), Greeks (ca. 11 million),
Portuguese (ca. 11 million), and others
3.4% Caribbean and Latin American
|GDP (nominal)||$16.477 trillion, $31,801 per capita[when?]||$1.793 trillion, $50,577 per capita[when?]|
Canada's foreign relations with EU member states
- Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
- Delegation of the European Commission to Canada (Ottawa)
- Foreign relations of Canada
- Foreign relations of the European Union
- List of Canadian ambassadors to the European Union
- Mission of Canada to the European Union (Brussels)
- Canada–Russia relations
- European Union–NATO relations
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- "Canada and Quebec Unite on EU Free Trade Accord", Paul Wells, Maclean's, July 30, 2007
- "French push on for EU-Canada free trade".
- "CERT - Canada Europe Round Table for Business".
- "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - EU and Canada start negotiations for economic and trade agreement".
- "Canada-Europe trade deal risks derailment over visa spat". The Star. Toronto.
- ENBlogger. "How Visa Restrictions Impede CETA Progress".
- "This Country Is Threatening To Block The Canada-EU Trade Deal".
- "German Papers: It's Time For Canada to Join the EU". Der Spiegel. 3 March 2005. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
Canada shares the longest undefended border in the world with the United States. Their economies are deeply intertwined with hundreds of billions in trade. But this week's decision by Ottawa to reject Washington's missile defense plan shows that politically, Canadians are from Venus and Americans from Mars.
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- "Canada and the European Union".
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- "Canada eyes new funds and collaborations to boost international science". ScienceBusiness. 2019-06-20.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- Delegation of the European Commission to Canada
- The EU's relations with Canada
- Mission of Canada to the European Union
- Canada - EU: Negotiations Towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
- Resource for information on EU-Canada Relations from University of British Columbia
- Trade information between EU and Canada, Animated infographic, European Parliamentary Research Service