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December 4, 2017 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

EU-Canada joint ministerial committee meeting

The first meeting of the EU-Canada joint ministerial committee took place in Brussels on 4 December 2017. The committee adopted a joint statement:

"We are completely likeminded partners and since the signing of recent agreements our relations moved to an even deeper and stronger partnership. We are both committed and we are both supporting first of all multilateralism and rules-based international order. The importance of this could not be underestimated in these days. So our partnership is strong and beneficial not only for our citizens but also for serving a certain idea of multilateralism and of the world."

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

"From Canada's perspective, we value very much our partnership with the European Union and today more than ever we value what the European Union stands for in the world. It stands for democracy, it stands for a strong voice in support of human rights, the European Union is a strong voice in favour of the international rules-based order. We appreciate that, we support you and we are very grateful. We look forward to working as allies in all of these issues in the days and months to come."

Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada

EU-Canada bilateral relationship

The committee agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the EU and Canada. The cooperation has entered a new era with the provisional application of the strategic partnership agreement (SPA) since 1 April 2017 and of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) since 21 September 2017.

The committee discussed in particular how to step up security and defence cooperation in areas such as crisis management and security, cyber security and responding to hybrid threats.

The EU and Canada also committed to working together on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Committee agreed that the EU and Canada will co-chair a Women Foreign Ministers meeting in 2018.

The committee also reviewed how to strengthen EU-Canada cooperation in third countries in regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

Foreign policy coordination

A number of key issues on the international agenda were also discussed, including the situation in eastern Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Myanmar/Burma.

Global issues

The EU and Canada discussed global issues, including climate change, human rights and democracy, as well as migration and counter-terrorism.

Signing ceremony

In the margins of the meeting, the EU and Canada signed an agreement allowing for the exchange of classified information between them. This agreement enables greater cooperation, including in the framework of common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions and operations.

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