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Political and Security Issues

Canada and the EU enjoy a strong, bliateral relationship across the broad spectrum of political and security issues and international policy. We share a common history, common values and, most importantly, have common hopes for the future. We work closely together to promote democracy, peace and security, respect for human rights, the rule of law and effective multilateral institutions.

As the European Union's foreign policy role has grown, so too has our cooperation developed in the field. Canada has participated in European peace and security missions in Africa and Asia. Conflict prevention and crisis management have become a central component of our political dialogue.

Canada and the EU concluded a Joint Political Declaration and Action Plan in 1996 to establish a framework for our political relationship. It provides for regular consultations and meetings, from the Summit level through Foreign Ministers' meetings to expert level meetings in specific areas, such as human rights or regional issues. Canada and the EU also identify each other as "strategic partners".

  • Canada and the EU hold regular Summits that bring together the Canadian Prime Minister, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Among other things, these Summits, and the Summit Declarations, provide political direction for the relationship as a whole and frequently address shared foreign policy concerns.
  • Annual "Transatlantic Dialogues" bring together the Canadian Foreign Minister and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. These informal meetings focus on shared priorities on the international stage and bilateral issues in the foreign policy arena. 
  • Throughout the year, on an annual and sometimes bi-annual basis, senior officials and experts meet in a structured format to discuss a range of issues and themes in greater depth, for example Africa, counter-terrorism, human rights, non-proliferation and disarmament. Informal meetings also occur on an ad hoc basis on the margins of other international fora where both Canada and the European Union are represented.

This framework for consultations makes the Canada-EU bilateral relationship one of Canada's more structured in the international arena. At the same time, the relationship evolves to reflect the respective priorities of Canada and the EU in a changing world.

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