Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, begon on 14th February 2017 a three-day mission today in France to attend the debates and the vote concerning the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, which will be held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on February 15.
The European Parliament’s CETA vote is a key step in implementing this important agreement for Québec because a positive outcome will bring the agreement into force provisionally in the months after the vote and initiate the ratification process in the Member States of the European Union.
Meetings with regional political actors and European institutions are also on the Minister's agenda during her mission in Strasbourg. Afterward, she will travel to Paris to talk to various economic stakeholders about the implementation of the CETA within France’s borders.
“I am nervous and very hopeful about the European Parliament vote that I will attend on behalf of the Government of Québec. This vote is a crucial step in implementing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union. I met with our European political and economic partners last month in Brussels and I have every reason to be optimistic about the outcome of the vote by MEPs on this very beneficial agreement for both parties,” said Minister St-Pierre.
– The European Parliament’s International Trade and Environment Committees formally endorsed CETA last month
– CETA is the largest agreement negotiated by Canada since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. It is a progressive, next-generation agreement that takes social and environmental issues into account and guarantees that governments will have the right to regulate. It will provide both sides 'businesses with special access to new and promising markets.
– Québec was an instigator of the draft agreement in 2007 and still actively promotes it.
– Since 2009, Pierre Marc Johnson has acted as Québec’s chief negotiator in the negotiations to reach an agreement between Canada and the European Union.