EU and Canada sign CETA

Yesterday, 30 October, in Brussels, the European Union and Canada signed both the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and a new Strategic Partnership Agreement that deepens cooperation across numerous policies. Speaking at the end of the 16th EU-Canada Summit, European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said: “Today, the people of Canada and the European Union have opened a new chapter in their relationship. More than half a billion people on both sides of the Atlantic will enjoy new opportunities. For many people, it will mean new jobs and better jobs.” By removing almost all import duties, CETA will allow European exporters of industrial and agricultural goods to save more than 500 million euros every year. The agreement protects workers’ rights, environmental standards and consumer safety. Governments will retain all of their powers to legislate, regulate and provide public services. “CETA promotes all of the things that Canadians and Europeans care about,” said President Juncker, “decency in the workplace, our health and safety, our cultural diversity, the quality of the land, sea and air that surround us.” By signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the EU and Canada have taken their relationship to a new level. The agreement deepens cooperation in vital areas of policy including security, the fight against terrorism, defence, migration, climate change, energy, development, research and innovation. President Juncker said: “Today we have signed two agreements that not only symbolise our commitment to a shared future but also set out a common project that will improve the lives of millions of Canadians and Europeans.”