17 December 1996
Mindful of the ties of history, tradition, culture, and kinship that bind us, and of our community of values we, Canada and the European Union, agree to further enhance our co-operation in pursuit of common objectives and on the basis of deeply-held, shared, principles. This joint endeavour is given special meaning by the trading relationship that has characterised the transatlantic region since the age of discovery, and by a commitment to common security and democratic values that have led Canadians and Europeans to join in defence of freedom and democracy in Europe and elsewhere. Our deep attachment to democracy and the rule of law, our shared commitment to the protection of human rights, and our promotion of free market economies, the 1976 Framework Agreement and the 1990 Declaration on Canada-EC Relations, all of these give special meaning to the actions we will undertake together. In this context, we may associate all interested participants, including the Canadian provinces and other sub-national entities in their respective areas of competence, in developing transatlantic contacts and in implementing the Joint Action Plan.
The transatlantic community benefits from a long tradition of co-operation in international security and defence. In view of the new security environment on the European continent, we are committed to the construction of a European security architecture in which the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the European Union, the Western European Union, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe have complementary and mutually reinforcing roles to play.
We will co-operate actively to give new impetus to democratic development, good governance, the rule of law, and human rights. Preventive diplomacy, peace-keeping and peace-building will receive increased attention in the future. We will co-operate closely on the former Yugoslavia. We will jointly strive to rebuild a viable civil society in this war torn region and to create the conditions necessary for a lasting peace.
On the basis of our shared experience in assisting the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine and other NIS, we will work together seeking to entrench stability, democracy, free markets and economic growth in the region.
We will take new steps to enhance our collaboration in all appropriate fora dealing with arms control and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In the area of conventional arms control, including the objective of eliminating anti-personnel land-mines, we have agreed to make a special effort. In response to the challenges posed by the threats to global security, and the transnational impact of global trends, we willenhance co-operation to deal better with issues such as environmental degradation, nuclear safety, uncontrolled migration, terrorism and international crime. We will seek to enlist the support of other members of the UN to promote effective international regimes wherever needed.
Recalling the priority we attach to development aid, notably with respect to the least developed countries, we agree to reinforce our coordination in multilateral fora and co-operate more actively at the bilateral level.
We will promote economic prosperity by adopting measures to strengthen our trading relationship and increase business-to-business contacts and give priority to resolving pending bilateral trade disputes and to enhancing the development of bilateral trade flows. In doing so, we will emphasize co-operation and the rules-based resolution of disputes as guiding principles. Our focus will be on practical results in reducing and removing barriers to trade. We will also work closely in the World Trade Organisation in an effort to open new markets and increase prosperity.
In addition to the common approach between Canada and the European Union in combating secondary embargoes, we will work together under the Action Plan in order to avoid unilateralism and the extraterritorial application of laws.
In order to secure the long-term future of our bilateral relationship we agree to place special emphasis on the people to people links that form a bridge across the Atlantic. In order to renew our ties based on shared cultures and values, we will encourage contacts between our citizens at every level, especially among our youth. We will also remove unnecessary barriers between people by making it easier for our respective busi ness men and women to make contact and to identify new commercial opportunities.
In recognition of the impact information technology has had on scientific and academic development, we will take imaginative new steps to enhance collaboration on science and technology. Cognisant of the new realities of globalization and the emerging information society, including the opportunities offered to increase prosperity, we will co-operate to develop information and communication strategies that respect cultural and linguistic diversity.
To ensure that our elected officials remain engaged and sensitive to the new currents of our dynamic relationship, we will actively promote contacts between our Parliamentarians, as well as our young people, and our artists and creators, on issues of common concern.
In order to achieve our common goals we today adopt this Joint Political Declaration and its Joint Action Plan aimed at furthering our bilateral co-operation. Thesedocuments do not affect any legal position of Canada, the European Community, or its Member States, nor do they prejudice the respective legal positions of Canada and the Kingdom of Spain in the "Fisheries Jurisdiction Case" before the International Court of Justice. The Action Plan is based on our community of values, which is the source of our strength in so many fields. We are committed to sharing these values, and the benefits they bestow, with other countries that may seek our co-operation and support. In this respect, we will consider with the United States, on a case-by-case basis, trilateralisation in specific areas covered by the Joint Action Plan.
As our dynamic relationship continues to evolve we stand ready to respond to new challenges and opportunities by updating and amending our mutual agenda to meet future demands.
DONE at Ottawa, in duplicate, this 17th day of December, 1996, in the English and French languages, both versions being equally valid.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA: Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister
FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION: John Bruton, President of the European Council
This Action Plan is designed to strengthen and expand Canada-EU relations. It consists of four parts:
The Action Plan will apply the Joint Political Declaration and be implemented on the basis of the mechanisms established under the 1976 Canada-EC Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation, the Declaration on Canada-EC Relations of 22 November 1990, and, as appropriate, other bilateral or multilateral instruments. Canada-EC Summits will assess results and perspectives.
Canada and the EU are important economic partners who share a common outlook and philosophy with regard to international trade and commerce. They commit themselves to strengthening the multilateral trading system and to facilitating their bilateral trade and investment flows.
1. Reinforcing the multilateral trading system
a) Strengthening the WTO
b) Uruguay Round unfinished negotiations
They will work together for and commit themselves to the successful completion of the negotiations on telecommunications and financial services, aiming at the conclusion of genuine multilateral agreements based on the MFN principle, as well as ensuring multilateral liberalisation of maritime transport.
c) Government procurement
d) New issues on the trade policy agenda
They will address together, in the WTO and other international fora, the new issues on the trade agenda, in particular:
(i) Environment: They will follow-up on the report of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) for the Singapore Ministerial by working within the CTE to ensure that trade and environment policies are mutually supportive.
(ii) Investment: They will strive for a successful conclusion of the negotiations on a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) in the OECD framework, enshrining strong principles on international investment liberalisation and protection.
They agree to promote work on trade and investment within the WTO and to make every effort to create the conditions required for the launching of negotiations on investment in the WTO, which should not prejudice the results of the MAI negotiations.
(iii) Competition: They will pursue work on the scope for multilateral action in the fields of trade and competition policy with a view to putting the question on the agenda of future WTO proceedings with the objective of possible rule making.
(iv) Labour standards: They confirm their endorsement of the provisions on core labour standards contained in the WTO Ministerial Declaration adopted at Singapore on 13 December 1996.
e) Opening new markets
They will co-operate in creating additional trading opportunities, bilaterally and throughout the world in conformity with WTO rules.
They will consult about recent respective initiatives in the area of market access.
They will work toward the conclusion of a multilateral Information Technology Agreement as soon as possible.
In the perspective of the WTO Singapore meeting they will pursue all possibilities for further trade liberalisation.
f) Intellectual property rights (IPR)
g) Standards and technical regulations
They will co-operate to ensure the full implementation of the Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Agreements, and give consideration to developing further initiatives in the WTO to eliminate technical barriers to trade.
2. Reinvigorating the bilateral economic relationship
They will consider with the United States, on a case-by-case basis, trilateralisation between Canada, the European Union and the United States for subjects included in the New Transatlantic Market Place.
a) Dealing with bilateral trade disputes and facilitating trade
They will give priority to resolving pending bilateral trade disputes and to enhancing the development of bilateral trade flows. They commit themselves to a more effective use of, and where necessary to improve, existing mechanisms, including those under the 1976 Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Co-operation, to provide early warning of potential trade and investment disputes and to address the increase of trading and business opportunities.
b) Joint study
They will carry out a joint study on ways of facilitating trade in goods and services and further reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers.
c) Standards certification and regulatory issues
They will rapidly conclude a bilateral agreement on mutual recognition of conformity assessment, which includes certification and testing procedures for several sectors.
They will strengthen regulatory co-operation, in particular by encouraging regulatory agencies to give high priority to co-operation with their transatlantic counterparts, so as to address and prevent technical and other non-tariff barriers to trade and investment resulting from different regulatory processes at all levels.
d) Competition policy
They aim to bring the bilateral co-operation agreement in the area of competition policy into force in 1997.
e) Government procurement
They will work to expand the access at all levels to their respective public procurement markets, on the basis of fair and balanced opportunities. They will also examine other issues of common interest to advance liberalisation of public procurement markets.
f) Financial services
They will co-operate with a view to facilitating market access to their respective financial services industries.
g) Intellectual property rights (IPR)
They will renew their efforts to resolve all remaining bilateral IPR problems.
h) Customs and indirect taxation
(i) They will endeavour to reach a bilateral agreement on customs co-operation and mutual assistance in early 1997. This agreement should cover:
(ii) They will establish, as much as possible, a common approach with regard to interpretation of the WTO Customs Valuation Code.
(iii) They will exchange information with respect to value-added taxation systems in both Canada and the Community.
i) Anti-dumping and countervailing duties
They will work together towards the achievement of multilateral consensus in the interpretation and implementation of the WTO rules concerning anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
They will follow up on the results of their bilateral fisheries negotiations of 1992 and 1995.
They express their determination to adopt all the necessary measures with a view to the early ratification and subsequent implementation of the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.
k) Veterinary, sanitary and phyto-sanitary co-operation
They will aim to conclude the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral agreement concerning equivalence in the veterinary sector, without delay. They will also co-operate on sanitary, phyto-sanitary and other veterinary matters.
They will jointly support the development of a global navigation satellite system and the multilateral co-operation mechanisms to achieve that goal.
They will co-operate on air traffic management and air safety.
They will exchange information on maritime transport of dangerous or polluting goods, further strengthen co-operation in the area of Port State Control, and develop co-operation on vessels traffic management information systems, including use of the European Permanent Traffic Observatory (EPTO).
They will consult regularly using existing mechanisms on energy and energy-related issues, and pursue the possibilities for joint or coordinated actions where appropriate, notably in the field of energy trade, investment and deregulation, energy policy including environmentally related issues, energy technology, and nuclear questions. This also includes energy co-operation with third countries, and, in particular, the former centrally planned economies.
n) Information society, information technology, and telecommunications
o) Statistical co-operation
3. Employment and growth
Faced with the twin challenges of achieving economic growth and combating unemployment, they will co-operate in the follow-up to the G-7 Summit initiative and the G-7 Jobs Conference in Lille.
They will continue to exchange views on macroeconomic issues in the light of the importance of a sound macroeconomic framework, both for the development of an harmonious relationship and for the fostering of non-inflationary growth, the reduction of imbalances and international financial stability.
They will establish a dialogue on employment policy as well as labour related and social issues under the aegis of the Joint Co-operation Committee. Such a dialogue may include: removing barriers to employment and disincentives to entering the labour market; integration of young people into the labour market; fostering workers mobility; approaches to training and innovations in the work place.
As stated in the 1990 Declaration on Canada-EU Relations, Canada and the EU share a commitment to strengthening the transatlantic relationship and to the security and stability of Europe, the extension of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law, in the wider world. They have a common interest in stimulating and supporting efforts aimed at resolving international and civil conflicts also by promoting peace-keeping and peace-building measures. They also share a commitment to working through relevant international organisations and implementing preventive diplomacy in conformity with international law.
In the spirit of the commitments and mechanisms identified in the 1990 Declaration, areas for common consultation and action will be jointly identified and periodically reviewed.
1. Strengthening co-operation on Euro-Atlantic security issues
Recognising the indivisible character of Euro-Atlantic security they confirm that NATO remains, for its members, the centrepiece of transatlantic security, providing the indispensable link between North America and Europe.
In the context of the relevant institutions and in the light of their evolution, they will continue to work together to promote common security, including through the design of a new European Security Architecture.
They will work together in ensuring that the process of integration into European and transatlantic security structures occurs in a manner which enhances the common security preserved by the transatlantic link.
2. Strengthening co-operation on global issues
a) United Nations
They will coordinate their efforts to resolve the financial crisis of the United Nations and consult on reform of the UN system.
Wherever possible, they will coordinate more closely their positions in all appropriate UN bodies, including specialised agencies and subsidiary organs of the UN, in the spirit of transatlantic relations.
b) Global security, disarmament and non-proliferation
They will co-operate to achieve further progress on disarmament measures and will co-ordinate their efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons by working towards the implementation of the CTBT and promoting and strengthening of, and universal adherence to, the NPT, the early and effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the conclusion of a verification regime for the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. They will promote efforts to negotiate a convention to ban the production of fissile material for weapons purposes and will co-operate within the G-7/P-8 on the safe and effective management of weapons fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes. They will work to promote greater restraint and transparency in conventional arms transfers and co-operate to promote the further strengthening of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the elimination of the irresponsible use of anti-personnel mines.
c) Human rights and democracy
3. Regional co-operation
Within the general framework of their consultations, Canada and the EU will enhance the level of their co-operation in specific areas where this might prove appropriate and fruitful. For the time being they reaffirm their interest in the following areas:
They will strengthen their coordination in the OSCE framework, including on conflict prevention and crisis management, confidence and security building measures, the new security model, and fostering democracy and human rights.
b) The Balkans
They will continue their work together to ensure the full implementation of the Dayton/Paris Peace Accords and of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and to assist in the reconstruction of the region.
They will work together to safeguard and develop the political, legal, economic and human conditions needed for a full return of peace, stability, rule of law, and respect for human rights to former Yugoslavia. In the spirit of preventive diplomacy they will also co-operate in order to promote general conditions of stability in the region.
c) Central and Eastern Europe
They will consult and work together in order to support the process of transition towards full democracy and market economy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe with specific reference to problems of common interest.
d) Russia, Ukraine and other NIS
They will consult on their respective policies with regard to Russia, Ukraine and other NIS with specific regard to problems and actions of common interest. This consultation will take place bilaterally and in multilateral fora such as the EBRD, IBRD and the IMF.
e) Middle East
They will consult on further steps necessary to promote peace and stability in the Middle East.
4. Development co-operation
Recalling the priority they attach to development aid, notably with respect to the least developed countries, they agree to reinforce their coordination in multilateral fora and co-operate more actively at the bilateral level.
5. Humanitarian assistance
They will consult on improving the delivery of multilateral humanitarian assistance and the efficiency of UN humanitarian operations and, where appropriate, may undertake joint initiatives towards these ends.
In an era of increasing globalization, Canada and the EU pledge to pool their efforts to respond effectively to the new challenges affecting their social and physical environment.
1. Preservation of the environment
They will reinforce their efforts to improve the effectiveness of multilateral actions to protect the global environment including by strengthening the exchange of information and reporting on global environmental issues, such as biodiversity, climate change, depletion of the ozone layer, desertification and erosion, water quality, land-based sources of marine pollution, hazardous wastes, contaminated soils, and forest issues.
They will work together at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and will continue working on the successful conclusion of the CSD's work on the sustainable management of forests. They will also work together at UNEP, and at the Global Environmental Facility to encourage greater effort in the challenge of preserving the global environment.
They will enhance their bilateral dialogue by:
2. Arctic co-operation
They will co-operate on the sustainable development and the environmental protection of the Arctic region.
3. Migration and asylum
4. Fight against terrorism
5. Combating international organised crime, drug trafficking, and misuse of the information highway
6. Co-operation in legal matters
7. Co-operation in health
Canada and the EU will work together to develop a co-operative approach which recognises the need to share information and experiences on health issues. Increasing globalization has lead to the need to collaborate on a variety of health issues including those related to communicable diseases and the regulation of health goods and services.
They will exchange information on occupational respiratory diseases and explore the possibility of co-operation between the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the International Centre for the Prevention of Occupational Respiratory Disease (ICPORD).
History, language, commercial relations, and long-standing cultural exchanges have cemented transatlantic ties on culture and society. To allow this valuable relationship to grow further into the next century and beyond, new bridges need to be built between the peoples of Canada and the EU.
1. Strengthening educational and cultural links
2. Strengthening and broadening science and technology co-operation
Building on the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Co-operation between Canada and the EC, which entered into force in February 1996, they will further strengthen and broaden their co-operation in the area of science and technology.
Recognising that scientific and technological advances underlie their ability to meet global challenges and the fostering of economic growth and job creation, they will promote co-operative science and technology activities in support of topics identified in this document.
They will co-operate in the field of bio-technology and encourage regulatory co-operation, including with respect to genetically modified organisms.
3. Business-to-business contacts
Canada and the EU will devote their best efforts to identify and support the estab lishment of transnational strategic business alliances, technology transfers and other forms of industrial co-operation. To this end, they will explore the scope for supporting business-to-business contacts, including round-tables, seminars and conferences on issues of mutual interest and, if appropriate, for fully utilising the existing mechanisms established by the 1976 Framework Agreement.
4. People to people links
In order to promote closer links between people they will: