EU-Canada relations

EU-Canada relations

The main conclusions and recommendations of this opinion are as follows:

The EESC welcomes the opening of the negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. The agreement raises expectations not only for the future of EU-Canada relations, but also for transatlantic relations more generally.
The EESC considers that inclusion of specific arrangements for the participation and consent of the provinces and territories and of civil society in the negotiations will be vitally important to the successful implementation of the agreement.

Opening up the public procurement markets is one of the EU's main areas of interest. In view of the differences between the various economic and social actors on this point, the EESC believes that the active involvement of the social partners in this aspect of the negotiations will be vital.

The EESC would like to see the European Parliament take part in the process through sufficient monitoring and information throughout the negotiations, and not just at the point agreement and ratification of the final version, as set out in the Lisbon Treaty.

Environmental and sustainable development aspects must be included within the scope of the agreement.

The EESC proposes that in conjunction with the negotiations for the agreement, a joint consultative body of EU-Canada organised civil society be set up, to facilitate firstly the negotiations and subsequently the implementation, monitoring and application of the agreement. This body, which would perform a consultative function for the future joint body that is to provide the agreement's political leadership, could issue opinions when consulted by the EU or Canada on matters covered by the agreement.