CETA Joint Committee meeting
September 26, 2018
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) inaugural Joint Committee meeting, co-chaired by Canada’s Minister for Trade Diversification, Jim Carr, and the EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, took place in Montreal, Canada on September 26, 2018. Delegations included senior officials, the CETA contact points, as well as representatives from the EU Member States and Canadian Provinces and Territories. The meeting was positive and constructive, with both Parties emphasising the importance of effective implementation of the Agreement and its early successes.
The co-chairs formally adopted the meeting agenda and the CETA Joint Committee Rules of Procedure, signed at the end of the meeting and which also apply mutatis mutandis to all specialized committees.
The Parties reviewed the work carried out by the CETA specialised committees to date. To date, thirteen formal meetings of specialised committees and bilateral dialogues have taken place and the remaining CETA committees and dialogues are scheduled to take place before the end of the year. Both sides welcomed the progress made in establishing the various committees and the work accomplished in the first year of CETA’s provisional application. This work included identifying co-chairs and points of contact for each committee or bilateral dialogue and coordination between Canadian and EU officials was required to ensure the committees could begin their work.
In this context, both Parties highlighted the usefulness of the Agriculture Committee in providing a better understanding of each other’s perspectives and in moving forward on certain points, and acknowledged the progress made by the Financial Services Committee, in particular pertaining to financial stability. They also welcomed the progress made by the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee, and the constructive discussions by the Government Procurement Committee. They also highlighted progress made by the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) Committee in establishing a work plan for the early review of the TSD Chapters, including their enforcement mechanisms. The Parties welcomed the prompt set-up of the institutional and civil society engagement mechanisms foreseen by the Agreement. In this context the co-chairs welcomed the progress achieved in the establishment of the respective Domestic Advisory Groups and took note of the productive discussions at the first CETA Civil Society Forum. The co-chairs also noted the strong focus on transparency as regards the conduct of the CETA Specialised Committee meetings, in particular through the early publication of meeting schedules, agendas and post meeting reports, and reiterated the importance of continuing with these efforts to ensure a transparent and inclusive implementation of the Agreement. The Parties also recognised the advances made on the Investment Court System by the Services and Investment Committee in line with the commitments undertaken for further work at the time of CETA ratification. The Parties look forward to the upcoming meetings of the committees which have not met yet, including the Regulatory Cooperation Forum, and look forward to their reports.
The Parties also raised issues requiring further attention, including, for the EU, management of the cheese Tariff-Rate Quota (TRQ), access to the Canadian wine and spirits market, as well as implementation and enforcement of CETA provisions on geographical indications. Commissioner Malmström, for her part, highlighted the importance of timely progress on these issues and requested to be updated in relation to the Cheese TRQ by the end of the year. Canada, for its part, raised concerns with the EU COOL measures and administration of beef and pork TRQs.
The Joint Committee formally adopted three recommendations: Trade and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and on Trade and Gender, all of which were signed by the co-chairs at the end of the meeting. The Co-Chairs also welcomed the early progress on these recommendations, including preparations for a joint event on trade and climate in January 2019, as well as recent exchanges between the contact Points on SMEs and Gender to identify priorities and objectives for the year for concrete actions and initiatives going forward.
Finally, co-chairs also asked contact points to coordinate in order to agree on dates for the second CETA Joint Committee meeting, which will take place in Brussels, Belgium.
The Joint Communique of the co-chairs of the Joint Committee is available at: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/2018-09-26-joint_communique-communique_conjoint.aspx?lang=eng
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