On Thursday, 23 February, the Saeima ratified the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Canada, of the other part. The SPA will provide a framework for multilateral political cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy, as well as economic and sectoral collaboration.
Cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Canada is already subject to a number of other treaties. However, the decision to conclude such a framework agreement was driven by the ambition of both parties to deepen the cooperation by incorporating a broader range of individual sectors.
The SPA provides for the EU-Canada cooperation on foreign and security policy, including the fight against terrorism and organised and cyber-crime. It also establishes ground rules for cooperation in multilateral and regional formats and organisations.
The SPA is also expected to expand the economic links and sectoral ties through the promotion of free trade and investment, as well as in the spheres of tax administration, research and innovation, and judicial cooperation.
The Agreement provides the mechanism for conducting political dialogue by organising annual summits at leaders’ level and consultations at ministerial level. It also establishes a Joint Ministerial Committee and a Joint Cooperation Committee with the objective of monitoring the development of the strategic relationship between the parties.
Negotiations on the SPA were launched in September 2011, and the Agreement was initialled in September 2014. The SPA must now be ratified by the parliaments of all EU member states and Canada. The European Parliament approved the Agreement on 15 February.
Saeima Press Service