Taken from : Both Canada and the EU fear the agreement could fall apart if both parties try to whittle down concessions to reflect Brexit.GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
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Written By: Alexa Dominique Pascual
Canada and the EU have had a strong partnership since 1959 when Canada signed the “Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy.” The agenda showcases the importance of science and technology for economic development. The program also implements nuclear research and the exchange of information in areas such as the peaceful use of nuclear energy. This brought citizens to have the proper knowledge of the essence of the peaceful usage of nuclear energy and its mutual benefits between states. This brought the EU and Canada to have strong strategic relations even until this day. (Government of Canada, View Treaty- E103119, Agreement between Canada and the European Atomic Energy Community for Cooperation in the Area of Nuclear Research). On October,30,2016 “The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been signed to benefit the EU and Canada when it comes to their economic well-being and their economic relations in foreign policy. The agenda has created opportunities for European and Canadian businesses to strengthen their trade and investment strategies, also to develop their relationship on the international stage. In the same year, the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) has been signed and approved by the European Parliament on February 15, 2017, alongside CETA. The “SPA” agreement provides policies relating to security, defence, development and climate change. The SPA agreement has also been Canada’s most ambitious policy with the EU. Because not only is the agenda focused on strengthening the military but also it strengthens values in human rights and feminism. Which makes the policy well diverse when it comes to helping every citizen. The agenda also promises to improve sustainability worldwide, which gives the agenda an increasing amount of responsibility. Canada, being a country that greatly supports humanitarian aid, and the EU being the biggest donor for humanitarian aid, has an increasing potential to make a positive change in our world today. (Government of Canada, Join declaration following the third EU-Canada Joint Ministerial Committee meeting, 2022)
What is The EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA)? How does this agreement benefit foreign policy?
The Strategic Partnership Agreement focuses on developing security, human rights and the issues regarding climate change. In terms of human rights and people-to-people ties, the agenda promises to foster people-to-people ties by engaging with NGOs and think tanks. In this way, the government will hear from its citizens on how to address the challenges our society is facing. This will not only strengthen the government's relationship with its citizens, but also officials will learn from the youth on how to strengthen the economic sector and the livelihood of all people in our society. This strategy will also develop and promote diversity in our political system and in our society in general. (Council of European Union, Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Canada, of the other part,p.24 Article 16,2016) This strategy will give opportunities to minorities to reach their full potential in contributing to delivering policies to make our world a better place. The parties also commit to the agenda of promoting economic development, a sustainable government and raising awareness about environmental damage. The proposition of reducing poverty worldwide and contributing to organizations that support nations that are in crisis will not only benefit these developing nations, but also it will increase opportunities for people to live in a sustainable environment. Having an agenda established by Canada and the EU can bring a significant improvement to international development and can slowly improve the lives of citizens worldwide. Especially because Canada and the EU are the biggest contributors to humanitarian aid, alongside each nation's support to military, trade and economy. There is a potential for the world's economic development to prosper slowly if each nation involved in the SPA agenda continues to contribute to what the policy promises to offer. Participating nations should continue to collaborate and cooperate to the principles of the policy to enhance its agenda further. Not only will the agenda be enhanced, but also the relationship between states will strengthen.
In terms of the prevention of illicit drugs, the agenda promises to reduce the provision of drug trafficking and the usage of drugs. In this way, the policy addresses the prevention of drug overdose, which can cause harm to citizens. This brings participating nations to support and reach the goals of the “2009 UN Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation Towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem”. Having this strategy in the agenda will benefit not only each nation's development by having healthy citizens so that they can reach their full potential in contributing to the workforce. But, it will also save lives and it will create a healthier environment for the youth to grow up in. To live in an environment where drug overdose is not common will greatly benefit the well-being of our citizens. In this way, by being healthy and productive, we can create a better world. This brings us, to the importance of protecting our security. Every citizen wants a safe environment to live in. The agenda does not only pay attention to cyber-attacks and potential threats like terrorism. But also, it focuses on preventing our citizens to be a contributor to harm, like overusing drugs can bring a person to do horrible things if not taken in moderation. The security for our own citizens is every nation's main priority when it comes to foreign policy and domestic policy. That is why nation-states have to stick together to form a stronger alliance to combat threats that harm each nation's national interests. In terms of international threats and interference, “Personal data protection” is a must that each state has to prioritize. The parties express the importance of protecting personal data by showcasing the prevention of terrorism and organized crime.
The continuous participation in the protection of an individual’s personal data will lead to a safer nation. The act of committing crime has been an ongoing issue in our world today. Especially in places with an increasing amount of visitors and places that are most vulnerable to attack. The protection of our own citizens is a must in order to gain peace and prosperity. In order to achieve this, authorities have to have access to data if there is a potential threat to national security. However, a citizen deserves the right to have privacy in their own personal data. But, if there is a need for surveillance to access data because of suspicious threats, then action has to be done. In general, the state prioritizes the protection of their own citizens to prevent harm that can be caused in home soil. In this way, the prevention of cyber interference has to be monitored and protected. (Government access to data in third countries, 2021)
Relating this to the ongoing situation on Chinese interference, there has been speculation that the Chinese government has been interfering with Canadian elections and national security. According to recent reports conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, China has been meddling during the federal elections, which can potentially increase cyberattacks within the country. This gave an ongoing threat to national security which brought to the attention to our allies to remain careful and cautious in terms of their national interests. The main source of these accusations has been from Canadian intelligence. However, it is very unclear if the documents were a finished product of careful analysis. (The Guardian, Canada roiled by leaked intelligence reports of Chinese election ‘meddling’,2023) This is not the first time that China has been meddling in an election, this is also happening in the US. This brings attention to the international community to be cautious and to shift their attention to prioritizing their own national security. The manipulation that China is bringing to the table can cause great damage to diplomatic relations with our allies. It is one of China’s main goals to split the alliance and to confuse each nation when it comes to their decisions in diplomacy. In this way, this ongoing issue brings attention to the alliance to strengthen diplomatic relationships and to protect our own national interests. Canada has all the resources to combat such interference, and with the participation of Canadian national security agencies and intelligence agencies then, this problem can be resolved. Not only will this possible interference affect diplomatic relations, but also the Chinese government plans to spread disinformation to citizens by creating fake social media accounts to spread Chinese propaganda and by spying on citizens. The only way to combat this is to have the full cooperation of intelligence agencies, government officials and security agencies, to prevent these issues from happening and to safeguard the livelihood of our own citizens. (CNBC, Dozens of Fake Social Media Accounts Pushed Pro-China Talking Points, 2022)
On the other hand, trade relations with the EU, Canada and China have been an ongoing factor in increasing economic development. There may be a lot of factors that each state would disagree on with China, but we still need them for trade and to increase our economic well-being. (Government of Canada, Canada- China relations) That is the purpose of international relations, there will always be disagreements and agreements. The most important factor that each state has to prioritize is how each state can benefit from one another. In terms of strengthening each nation's foreign policy and domestic policy.
What is the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA)?
CETA is a trade agreement between Canada and the EU. That contributes to the exportation of goods and services to each state, which strengthens businesses and the economic sector of the EU and Canada. The agreement eliminates tariffs, the costs of exportation, trade in food, animal and plant products with the implementation of the safeguard of human, animal and plant safety. The agenda also creates market access to specific sectors, that gives more access to professionals and consumers to gain benefits in the market. This also gives the protection of European food products when it is being sold to the Canadian market. In this way, the relationship between parties continues to strengthen in terms of high investment and international trade.
The elimination of tariffs has also been implemented by 98%, making an ambitious goal of having tariffs be eliminated by 2024 of approximately 99%. (European Commission, EU-Canada Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement).
The relationship between states will strengthen making businesses to have an opportunity to have easier access to the importation of products so that each citizen will benefit from Canadian and European products. The alliance and the partnership between states will be beneficiary to strengthen economic development, which will give a great benefit for each nation’s domestic policy. Each nation’s economic finances will increase, making citizens benefit from additional departments and organizations that the government chooses to implement to bring a positive benefit to each individual. Having this policy reach its full potential can increase productivity and employment if there are more jobs available for each citizen. The funds that will be received from each state can possibly contribute to increasing funds for the establishment of a new department or company. This can lead citizens to be involved in a more productive society. Implementing this agenda increases and contributes to more resources available for Canadian and European consumers to benefit from each other's businesses. The action of reducing tariffs for companies to export and import their products makes it easier for Canadian businesses to sell local products to Europe. This also gives way for Canadian businesses to offer EU public contracts. In return, both sides benefit from this agreement increasing each other's agenda in foreign policy at the time and benefiting their domestic policy by increasing funds and resources for local businesses to continue to thrive internationally and locally. This agreement also protects Canadian innovators when investing and collaborating with European companies. This also gives way to more opportunities for Canadian businesses to showcase what Canada has to offer in the international scene. This will make potential clients internationally to be interested in investing and partnering up with Canadian businesses. The agreement, until this day continues to strive to strengthen European and Canadian partnerships in trade and exportation. (The Government of Canada, Benefits of CETA)
This increased Canada’s access to the EU, increasing their sales to $ 24 trillion in market. $44.5 billion was earned by Canadian businesses, which increased more sales in 2018.
At the year of 2018, the fastest-growing exportation was aluminum which reached up to 378%, motor vehicles 89%, minerals and fuels up to 84%, inorganic chemicals (up 82%) and wood pulp (up 45%).
The top country that gained export from Canadian businesses is the Netherlands, with an increase of $1.6 billion (or 51%); Italy, with $735 million (or 33%); and Germany, with $649 million (or 17%). (The Government of Canada, Benefits of CETA)
How does this agreement benefit international politics between the EU and Canada?
The EU and Canada benefit from one another by implementing a close partnership in terms of combating potential threats to each nations well-being and security. Citizens from each nation will be more secure in terms of cyberattacks and terrorist attacks. In this way, there will be less damage to the environment and to an individual's safety. The agreement also promises to bring a more sustainable environment by increasing funds to support environmental damage. The benefits of increasing support to the prevention of climate change will also improve a nations economic development. Because if funds increase to combat climate change, then there will be an increasing amount of efficiency and a lower production cost. If production costs are lowered, this will give companies the opportunity to employ more workers. Also, if the minimum wage increases, this prevents employers from taking advantage of employees who have fewer options in the workforce.
Participating countries also created a strong partnership when it comes to the collaboration in human rights and the delivery of humanitarian aid. In this way, each state will benefit from a secure environment and will slowly become a safer place to live in. In terms of policy development, the implementation of NGOs and think tanks will also bring a significant benefit to the policies of the government. This will give an opportunity for citizens to speak up about a cause that they are passionate about. By doing so, officials will most likely consider a new strategy in their agenda. This will also give an opportunity for officials to hear from the youth on what needs to be done in order for people to live in a better world.
In terms of the trade agreement, each nation will benefit from the funds that businesses are making through trade negotiations. In this way, both parties will have local products be sold internationally. This will also promote different cultures across the alliance, and this will strengthen each nation's relationship. Both sides will benefit from this agreement because both parties are benefitting from the funds they accomplish through this partnership. This will increase productivity in the workforce, which means more jobs for economic development to prosper. In this way, development and employment will increase which will lead to a more stable environment. Canada and the EU should continue this strong partnership for the benefit of each citizen and to maintain a strong economy. We need each other to help our society grow in to a more stable place to live in, and officials need to maintain this relationship so that future generations will be able to live a better life. Also, in terms of combating foreign interference, the alliance needs to stick together to prevent such issues from happening. Working hand in hand with the alliance will strengthen our security sector and the well-being of our citizens. The government must continue their work on creating a strong partnership with the EU and its allies.
(Government of Canada, View Treaty- E103119, Agreement between Canada and the European Atomic Energy Community for Cooperation in the Area of Nuclear Research,https://www.treaty-accord.gc.ca/text-texte.aspx?id=103119)
(Government of Canada, Join declaration following the third EU-Canada Joint Ministerial Committee meeting, 2022,https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2022/05/joint-declaration-following-the-third-eu-canada-joint-ministerial-committee-meeting.html)
(Council of European Union, Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Canada, of the other part,p.24 Article 16,2016,https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:22016A1203(03)&qid=1497734705778&from=EN)
(Government access to data in third countries, 2021,https://edpb.europa.eu/system/files/2022-01/legalstudy_on_government_access_0.pdf)
(The Guardian, Canada roiled by leaked intelligence reports of Chinese election ‘meddling’,2023,https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/mar/07/canada-china-election-meddling-leaked-intelligence-reports)
(CNBC, Dozens of Fake Social Media Accounts Pushed Pro-China Talking Points, 2022,https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/05/dozens-of-fake-news-websites-and-social-media-accounts-pushed-pro-china-talking-points.html)
(Government of Canada, Canada- China relations,https://www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/china-chine/relations.aspx?lang=eng)
(European Commission, EU-Canada Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement,https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/index.aspx?lang=eng)
(The Government of Canada, Benefits of CETA,https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2019/07/benefits-of-ceta.html)
(The Government of Canada, Benefits of CETA)