Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada: Experiences and perspectives in federal and decentralized context

Representatives from the workshop held in Rome on 29 May 2015.

President and CEO of the Forum of Federations, Rupak Chattopadhyay, delivered a keynote speech to the international workshop on the “Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” (CETA), held in Rome on 29 May 2015.

In his speech, “Canada’s Internal Market Barriers: Economic Sacrifice for Political Cohesion”, he outlined the need for reform of the Canadian internal market, which can be encouraged and realized more quickly through the new European Agreement. Mr. Chattopadhyay emphasized that the CETA deal was achieved despite the multiple internal barriers to trade within Canada and the EU. The political principle of a multilateral responsibility was accepted by all parties and implemented accordingly. Another crucial federal principle was recognized and respected throughout the CETA negotiations: the sharing of information between involved parties on different levels and their participation in negotiation processes. The realization of CETA was achieved without delay because the provinces were included in its development from the very beginning.

Representatives from the European Union, academics from Canadian and Italian Universities, leaders of private sector organizations emphasized the need for and benefits of CETA.

The workshop lectures and discussions showed that CETA should not be considered a threat but rather an important step towards a higher quality of life and better living conditions in Canada and Europe. The agreement opens up new markets for businesses looking to export goods and services and invest in and commercialize new technologies in markets around the world. The meeting confirmed that the European and Canadian labor markets will not be negatively impacted but that CETA will actually have a positive impact on both sides of the Atlantic. Furthermore, workshop participants identified another benefit of the agreement – the deal will provide consumers greater choice in an expanded and open market in which manufacturers can compete and prosper. Finally, the Forum’s President reiterated the importance to continue promoting local decentralized structures for the benefit of cultural multiplicity and political variety in a more and more globalized world.

Back to Events