Joint declaration by the Government of Ontario and the Government of Québec for a closer economic relationship between Canada and the European Union
In the context of globalization and the integration of economies into international markets, we share a common goal to transform the relationship between Canada and the European Union (EU) into a true partnership. Our goal to forge closer economic ties flows from the many things we have in common, including respect for the rule of law, the market economy and a desire to enhance the prosperity and quality of life of our citizens.
- Considering that the transatlantic trade relationship is among the world's most important.
- Considering that the EU is the second largest foreign investor in Canada.
- Considering that the economic relationship between Canada and the European Union already makes a substantial contribution to the prosperity of our societies, but that this relationship has not been developed to its full potential.
- Considering that numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers continue to exist in both Canada and the EU, resulting in higher transaction costs, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Considering that the only agreements currently in place in the area of trade and economic cooperation between Canada and the EU are voluntary cooperation measures.
- Considering that Québec and Ontario are key economic players in both Canada and in the world, with each province containing leading sectors and clusters.
- Considering that Québec and Ontario share in the goal of making their economies more competitive, and improving the quality of public services delivered to citizens.
- Taking note that the two provinces are putting into place measures aimed at addressing major challenges such as labour shortages and climate change.
- Considering that many aspects of international trade agreements fall within the jurisdiction of provinces and territories.
- Recognizing that the 2007 Summit between Canada and the European Union provides a foundation for stronger economic ties.
- Taking note that a joint study is being carried out by Canada and the European Union to examine the benefits of a closer economic partnership.
- Understanding that the governments involved will examine the results of this study as part of the 2008 EU-Canada Summit and will assess the opportunities for commencing negotiations on a closer economic partnership.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, support and urge the commencement of negotiations, at the next Summit between Canada and the European Union, with a view to forming a new and modern generation of economic partnership to improve the economic well-being of our respective societies.
And further, we ask that provinces and territories participate in these negotiations.
Premier of Ontario
Premier of Québec