Premier Jean Charest and the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, praised the appointment of Herman Van Rompuy to head the European Council. Mr. Van Rompuy will become the first permanent President of the European Council on January 1, 2010.
Premier Charest and Minister Arcand also welcomed the appointment of EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton of the UK to the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In that capacity, she will also serve as Vice President of the European Commission.
Partnership with the European Union
“I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Van Rompuy in Brussels in February 2009 and Ms. Ashton in June during the Montréal Conference. I informed them both of the importance Québec places on reaching a Canada-European Union economic partnership agreement. I would like to again express our appreciation to them for the work that has begun on these negotiations. I remain convinced that this enhanced partnership will contribute to the development of our respective societies and the creation of a new economic space for Québec,” said Premier Charest.
“I hope Mr. Van Rompuy’s and Ms. Ashton’s terms in office will enable them to carry out the objectives that the European Union has set to become a major player internationally,” noted Minister Arcand.
The first round of negotiations on a new-generation Canada-EU free trade agreement was held this fall. Negotiations will resume in 2010.
Canada-EU Economic Partnership Project (in French)