Wed. Nov 4th, 2020
Remarks by President Charles Michel following the EU-Canada Leaders' meeting via videoconference

Avant toute chose, je voudrais exprimer l’émotion de l’Union européenne suite à ces nouvelles attaques terroristes qui ont été perpétrées en France.

Je voudrais dire notre solidarité avec la France, avec le peuple français. Je voudrais dire tout notre soutien pour les victimes, pour les familles des victimes. Et je voudrais dire qu’une fois encore, ce sont des attaques perpétrées contre la démocratie, contre les libertés et plus que jamais, nous devons être rassemblés, debout pour défendre ces valeurs qui nous rassemblent de démocratie, d’État de droit et de libertés fondamentales.

Nous avons eu l’occasion, lors de cette vidéoconférence avec la présidente de la Commission, le premier ministre du Canada, de passer en revue le partenariat et même l’alliance étroite, solide, robuste qui lie l’Union européenne et le Canada.

Au delà du partenariat, au delà de l’alliance, il y a des liens d’amitié solides qui nous rassemblent, Union européenne et Canada, parce que fondamentalement, nous constatons que nous partageons des valeurs communes, des valeurs centrales au départ desquelles notre vision du monde est inspirée: État de droit, droits de l’homme, la conviction que nous avons besoin d’un monde fondé sur des règles, le soutien au multilatéralisme, la conviction que les défis globaux doivent mobiliser des réponses générales et des réponses globales.

Nous avons eu encore une fois l’occasion, dans le détail, dans la substance, d’aborder les différents sujets au départ desquels nous entendons continuer à travailler étroitement ensemble pour resserrer nos liens et pour faire en sorte que ce socle robuste entre le Canada et l’Union européenne puisse avoir une valeur ajoutée utile au service d’un monde plus juste, au service d’un monde meilleur, au service d’un monde plus équitable.

Today we discussed three key areas of EU-Canada cooperation: Covid-19 and Economic Recovery, EU-Canada Relations and SOME international issues.

Today the world is at a crucial juncture – we see the resurgence of Covid-19 everywhere. So it’s natural that Covid-19 – and our economic recovery – were at the heart of our agenda. We are determined to fight the pandemic together – as a global community, in line with our values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Our goal is two-fold: first, protect the health of our citizens and second, ensure an innovative, sustainable, and inclusive economic recovery. And there is one way to do this – through solidarity, cooperation and multilateralism. The work of the G7, the G20, and the United Nations are crucial to these efforts.

The EU and Canada also cooperate on Covid vaccines, treatments, and tests to make sure all people have fair and affordable access.

And we discussed strengthening the WHO, global pandemic preparedness and response, and the necessary reforms.

We welcome G20 efforts on debt relief to support the most affected low-income countries, especially in Africa.

This year we celebrate the third anniversary of the provisional entry into force EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). CETA has been good for both the EU and Canada.  Bilateral trade has increased by 24% for goods and 25% for services. And we hope for the swift ratification of CETA by ALL our Member States.

Climate change may not grab the headlines right now.  But it’s no less urgent today than yesterday. We stressed the urgency to step up global action to tackle climate change. The EU and Canada share the common goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. And our economic recovery offers a unique opportunity for a “Green Reset” of our economies.

We also highlighted our close collaboration on our digital transformation. We work together to ensure that Artificial Intelligence and other digital technologies play a role in our Covid-19 recovery.

We also discussed a range of foreign policy and security issues – including China, Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Eastern Mediterranean, Sahel and Venezuela. The EU and Canada see eye to eye on these issues.

Specifically on China, we have serious concerns about the human rights situation in China, including the arbitrary detention of EU and Canadian citizens.

Strong transatlantic relations are critical to address today’s geopolitical challenges and uphold the rules-based global order that we both cherish.

We also agreed to cooperate in protecting our democratic systems against cyber-attacks and disinformation.

Our EU-Canada relationship is strong, anchored in the values of democracy, human rights, and multilateralism. And we look forward to expanding our cooperation at our next Summit, when conditions allow. Thank you.

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