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D-CA: Delegation for relations with Canada

The Delegation for relations with Canada (D-CA) oversees the European Parliament's relations with Canada, a country that has become one of EU's closest partners.

For more than 40 years, the delegation has held annual inter-parliamentary meetings with Canadian representatives. Few other delegations have maintained such a regular, productive dialogue.

Chair and membership

The D-CA delegation is currently chaired by Bernd Kölmel, a German member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) in the European Parliament. He is supported by two vice-chairs: Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl (EPP, DE) and Paul Brannen (S&D, UK).

The delegation has 16 full members and 16 substitute members.

The chair and the vice-chair are elected by the other members of the delegation. All the members are drawn from the European Parliament's political groups, with the political makeup of the delegation reflecting that of Parliament as a whole.

Canadian counterparts

The Delegation's counterpart in the Parliament of Canada is the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association (CEPA). The President of the CEPA's Executive Committee is MP Scott Simms.

Another 28 Senators and 97 MPs also participate in the Association.

In addition, the European Parliament's D-CA delegation meets with Canada's provincial authorities. This manner of working reflects the division of competences in the country's political system and helps MEPs gain a better understanding of Canadian issues.

Political relations solidified by the SPA

The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) signed by Canada and the EU on 30 October 2016 advances bilateral foreign policy goals while providing a platform for joint international action.

The agreement also reinforces cooperation in strategic areas, including
  • international peace and security,
  • human rights,
  • environmental protection,
  • research,
  • innovation,
  • energy security and
  • education.

The SPA has been provisionally applied since 1 April 2017.

Trade and economic links underpinned by CETA

Trade and economic activity between the two partners will be boosted by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Signed at the EU-Canada Summit in Brussels in October 2016, CETA goes beyond removing custom duties and contains ambitious chapters on sustainable development, labour and the environment.

It was approved by the European Parliament in February 2017 and has been provisionally applied since 21 September 2017.

CETA will take full effect once all the national parliaments of the EU Member States have also ratified the agreement, as the agreement was concluded as a "mixed EU agreement".

Recent encounters

The 39th EU-Canada inter-parliamentary meeting took place in Brussels on 22 June 2017. The joint statement agreed between the two parties at the meeting resolved to increase their exchanges.

The statement also noted new opportunities for political cooperation created by the bilateral Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). Article 27 of the SPA agreement specifies that both sides should promote "exchanges of delegations from the European Parliament and the Parliament of Canada".

The most recent meeting between Canadian and European parliamentarians took place in Ottawa on 7-11 May 2018, during which members discussed trade, migration and environment.