The first meeting of the Joint Committee established under the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was held in Montreal. It was co-chaired by the Canadian Minister for International Trade Diversification, James Carr, and European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström.

According to a Commission press release issued on September 27, Carr and Malmström reviewed the progress achieved since the start of provisional application on 21 September 2017, took stock of the status of the implementation of the Agreement, and discussed how CETA is creating new opportunities for people on both sides of the Atlantic.

Three recommendations were adopted setting the stage for further work under CETA, specifically on trade and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), climate change and the Paris Agreement, and trade and gender.

To increase trade and investment opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), contact points and a dedicated website for such companies will be set up, to take into account the needs of SMEs in the implementation of CETA.

Minister Carr and Commissioner Malmström discussed how the Agreement can further support efforts to address the urgent threat of climate change. By adopting a joint Canada-EU Recommendation on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, they affirmed their commitment to effectively implement the Paris Agreement. Intensifying existing collaboration in the climate field, the adopted document states that the two sides will “cooperate, work together and take joint actions” to contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement and the transition to low greenhouse-gas emissions.

On the topic of trade and gender, the agreed document recognises the importance of making trade policies more gender-responsive.

The meeting was also an occasion to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the provisional application of CETA. Since September 2017 Canada and the EU have benefitted from increased trade in many sectors.