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Procedure : 2013/2133(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0407/2013

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 09/12/2013 - 23
CRE 09/12/2013 - 23

Votes :

PV 10/12/2013 - 7.14
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - Strasbourg
Negotiations for an EU-Canada strategic partnership agreement

European Parliament resolution of 10 December 2013 containing the European Parliament’s recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service on the negotiations for an EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement (2013/2133(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the ongoing negotiations between the EU and Canada for a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2006 on the human rights and democracy clause in European Union agreements(1),

–  having regard to its recent resolutions on relations with Canada, in particular those of 5 May 2010 on the EU-Canada Summit(2), of 8 June 2011 on EU-Canada trade relations(3) and of 13 June 2013 on the role of the EU in promoting a broader transatlantic partnership(4),

–  having regard to the 1976 Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation between the EEC and Canada(5),

–  having regard to the 1990 Declaration on transatlantic relations between the EC and Canada,

–  having regard to the 1996 Joint Political Declaration and Joint Action Plan,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission on EU-Canada Relations (COM(2003)0266),

–  having regard to the 2004 EU-Canada Partnership Agenda,

–  having regard to the 2011 Report to the EU-Canada Joint Cooperation Committee,

–  having regard to the outcomes of the EU-Canada inter-parliamentary meeting of April 2013,

–  having regard to Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Rules 90(4) and 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0407/2013),

A.  whereas the relations between the EU and Canada are historical, strong and built on shared interests and values; whereas the shared values of democracy and the protection of human rights should form a core part of any agreement between the two parties aiming to provide a framework for that relationship;

B.  whereas the EU and Canada have a long history of extensive political and economic cooperation, formally dating back to 1976 when the EU signed a Framework Agreement with Canada, the first with an OECD country; whereas this agreement has for a long time constituted the appropriate framework to deepen relations, enhance political association and further cooperation;

C.  whereas Canada is a consolidated parliamentary democracy; whereas Canada shares similar democratic values and principles with the EU;

D.  whereas the SPA currently under negotiation would update and revitalise the relationship between the EU and Canada and considerably contribute to the deepening of political, economic and cultural relations and the improvement of our cooperation in many areas; whereas it codifies the status of the EU and Canada as strategic partners;

E.  whereas the SPA, beyond improving the institutional structure of relations, alongside the CETA, would provide Europe’s and Canada’s citizens with tangible benefits and opportunities as long as all stakeholders are involved in the process; whereas the opening of markets and regulatory cooperation is expected to generate important economic gains and have positive effects on employment for both Canada and the EU and, in light of broadening the transatlantic partnership and given the existing NAFTA-framework, may lead to the creation of a transatlantic market, a win-win situation for all actors involved as long as current social and environmental standards are not lowered;

F.  whereas the benefits and opportunities of intensified EU-Canada relations should be equally distributed among all sections of both the European and Canadian population according to their living conditions and requirements; whereas the different economic and industrial conditions of both the EU and Canada should be recognised and whereas respect for a sustainable and responsible use of resources needs to be guaranteed;

G.  whereas on 18 October 2013 the President of the Commission and the Canadian Prime Minister reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), while the negotiations on the Strategic Partnership Agreement are continuing; whereas the CETA and the SPA are complementary in strengthening the EU-Canada relationship;

H.  whereas in parallel to the negotiations on the SPA, an EU-Canada PNR agreement has been negotiated which is supposed to deepen the relationship also in the field of counter-terrorism and to provide proper safeguards against disproportionate targeting practices based on the retention of EU passenger data;

I.  whereas Canada formally withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2011; whereas the EU has repeatedly called on Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with its international commitments;

J.  whereas the issue of a full visa waiver should be swiftly resolved ensuring that persons and enterprises from all EU Member States, including Romania and Bulgaria, have equal opportunities for cooperation with Canadian counterparts;

K.  whereas the EU-Canada strategic partnership should be duly reflected in international fora and organisations; whereas, in this connection, the Arctic Council’s decision, supported by Canada, on EU observer status is regrettable; whereas the EU has committed itself to collaborating with the Canadian authorities to resolve this issue;

1.  Addresses the following recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service:

   (a) to make all necessary progress in order to swiftly conclude the agreement;
   (b) to insist that all EU agreements with third countries should include reciprocal conditionality and political clauses on human rights and democracy, as a common reaffirmation of the mutual commitment to these values and regardless of the state of protection of human rights in those countries; to adopt appropriate safeguards to ensure that the suspension mechanism cannot be abused by either side;
   (c) to insist that such conditionality should form part of the SPA with Canada, to ensure the consistency of the EU’s common approach on the matter;
   (d) to encourage, if possible, all the parties involved to initial and sign the SPA and the CETA at their earliest convenience and to underline their complementary nature;
   (e) to ensure that civil society and the main stakeholders are fully involved, informed and consulted in the process;
   (f) to ensure that the agreement contains a solid commitment to inter-parliamentary cooperation that recognises the important role of the European Parliament and the Canadian Parliament in EU-Canada relations, especially through the long- established inter-parliamentary delegation;
   (g) to provide periodic reports on the implementation of the agreement to Parliament, which should present an overview of activities carried out and results achieved with regard to the different areas of the agreement, based on objective metrics;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution containing the European Parliament’s recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service, the Member States and the Government and Parliament of Canada.

(1) OJ C 290 E, 29.11.2006, p. 107.
(2) OJ C 81 E, 15.3.2011, p. 64.
(3) OJ C 380 E, 11.12.2012, p. 20.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0280.
(5) OJ L 260, 24.9.1976, p. 2.

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