It is a true pleasure to be in Montreal, the most European of Canadian cities. I really feel at home here. For many reasons. Also because in Montreal, I didn’t hear anyone shouting: “send him back”.
In the unstable global setting we live in, it is reassuring that the friendship between the EU and Canada is as stable as ever. For the European Union, Canada is a strong ally and a very good friend. Canada shares our vision of the world, our values and our objectives. We are both passionate believers in democracy, rule of law, human rights, solidarity among people and nations, as well as rules-based international order. This is why we will continue our fight for those principles. And to all those who wishfully declared that the West was dead and liberal democracy obsolete, we have a clear answer: you are wrong. We will never give up on our values.
The same vision of the world means that we are committed to making the world safer in every aspect. To this end, during this EU-Canada summit we discussed climate crisis, preserving clean oceans, empowering women and managing local conflicts. We also agreed to deepen our bilateral relationship, and strengthen economic links. Three years ago we agreed on CETA. Justin will remember that the birth of CETA was not easy, especially on our side. At the time, some tried to scare our citizens that CETA was dangerous. But today it is clear that CETA has brought many benefits to people on both sides of the Atlantic. Trade is up, and the calamities predicted by some doomsayers have not materialised. This proves that by acting together we can overcome challenges, and that the winners are the people of Canada and the Europe. We will work further to ensure that more businesses and people profit from CETA.
To conclude, let me again thank you Prime Minister for this very good summit and for standing side-by-side for things that matter in this world. And also for your focus on people, on Canadians and especially your model to support the middle class. It’s a model for the world. Dear Justin, it is great to have you as a partner, and as a friend. In fact, I believe that you are Europe’s best friend. Thank you.