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D-CA: Delegation for relations with Canada

The Delegation for relations with Canada (D-CA) is one of the oldest delegations in the European Parliament, its first meeting taking place in March 1975.

40 inter-parliamentary meetings between the European and Canadian parliaments have since been held. The most recent took place in Strasbourg in March 2019.

To enable the Members to deepen their understanding of the breadth of issues across this vast and diverse country with its federal structure, meetings in one of the provinces have often added to the visits to Canada for IPMs. Provincial visits have included on-side visits, such as the Oceans Network Canada in the University of Victoria, the CANMET Energy Research Centre in Varennes and the Centre of Prevention of Radicalisation Leading to Violence in Quebec.

Bilateral relations

The original delegation was created one year before the EU-Canada Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation was signed, in 1976. This Framework Agreement was the first of its kind that the European Community signed with an OECD country.

During the most recent (8th) parliamentary term, the Canadian and European parliaments adopted two important agreements:

  • the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which provides a more ambitious framework for deepening the political and parliamentary cooperation between Canada and the EU
  • the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which is already leading to more trade and prosperity for our people.

The agreements have been provisionally applied since April and September 2017 respectively.

Historic visit

On 16 February 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the first Canadian Prime Minister to do so. Prime Minister Trudeau underlined the commitment of both the EU and Canada to certain common causes, including individual liberties, free trade, tackling climate change, combatting gender-based discrimination, fighting for justice and maintaining global security.

Canadian counterpart

The Delegation's counterpart in the Parliament of Canada is the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association (CAEU).

CAEU was established in 1980 to provide a structure for exchanges between Canadian parliamentarians and several parliamentary interlocutors: the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, similar European parliamentary organisations and individual parliaments of all countries of Europe.

Deepening of parliamentary relations

Over the eight legislature, the Canada Delegation and the inter-parliamentary meetings focused on a wide range of issues, including trade and economic issues, foreign, security and defence policies, energy, environment and climate change, migration, visa and privacy and arctic cooperation.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) provides a new framework for deepening the political cooperation between the two sides. In particular, under Article 27(e), the promotion of exchanges of delegations from the European Parliament and the Parliament of Canada is foreseen.

Building on the Agreement, the 38th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting adopted a joint statement in which both Parliaments committed to strengthen the level of discourse between them, as a counterpart to other bodies set up under SPA, such as the Joint Cooperation Committee and the Joint Ministerial Committee. In order to transform the IPMs into an ongoing and uninterrupted dialogue, they agreed to additional (videoconference) meetings of delegations. Such meetings have taken place regularly since the signing of the Joint Statement.

During the most recent meeting, the two co-presidents (Bernd Kölmel, MEP and Scott Simms, MP) signed a joint statement in which they expressed they are confident that EU-Canada relations are in rude health, and that our cooperation will continue to flourish in the new parliaments.