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Canada and EU trade, security ‘inextricably linked’: McKay

by Amanda Connolly (feat. Stefanie von Hlatky)

iPolitics
April 28, 2016

It would be “naive” to think Canada and the European Union could have any kind of a trading relationship without a relationship on mutual security concerns, a crowd of international security experts heard Thursday.

“The two are inextricably linked,” said John McKay, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of National Defence, at the third annual EU-Canada Common Security Defence Policy Symposium in Ottawa.

Canada and the European Union are set to sign two major deals this year — the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and a Strategic Partnership Agreement that will see them cooperate more closely on issues like combating terrorism, Arctic security and energy policy.

Both deals will deepen the ties between Canada and the European Union, but haven’t been without their share of criticism.

CETA’s investor protection provisions have raised concerns in Europe about how they will affect businesses and in Canada, critics have suggested the deal would hurt the domestic automotive and dairy industries.

But getting both deals in place will strengthen both Canada and the EU, said one European official.

“We will lay the foundations for transatlantic economic security,” said Pedro Serrano, deputy secretary general for the CDSP and for the European External Action Service’s crisis response team.

Speakers at the conference stressed that Canada and the EU need to work together on issues beyond traditional security concerns, including trade but also on issues such as how best to improve gender equality and awareness in international institutions and the military.

One example pointed to by speakers was the need to include women in discussions on security issues, whether it be getting them to the negotiating table in the Syrian negotiations or inviting them on to news panels.

Stefanie von Hlatky, director of the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy and a Fulbright visiting research chair in public diplomacy, said the problem isn’t a lack of qualified women.

“To paraphrase Mitt Romney, ‘I’ve got binders full of women,'” she said.

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, parliamentary secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, echoed those sentiments during her closing keynote for the symposium.

“Why in the world, especially today, are we not maximizing the potential of women in the achievement of our security?” said Goldsmith-Jones.


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