The European Commission and the Government of Canada have made several political commitments to intensify cooperation between regulators. The results of business surveys, notably on the conditions/barriers for market access, have confirmed the impact of differences in regulations on EU-Canada trade and investment. As a consequence, both sides decided to explore ways and means of encouraging regulators to cooperate on a voluntary basis when creating technical regulations that they believe may have significant trade effects.
1. The current state of regulatory cooperation is recorded in the road map [106 KB] .
2. The most recent study on EU-Canada trade and investment was complited in 2009, in preparation for negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which began in October 2009. The EU and Canada have agreed that a chapter on Regulatory Cooperation should be included in this agreement.
Background to the existing cooperation activities
At the Canada-EU Summit held in Ottawa on 19 December 2002, the Commission and the Government of Canada agreed to treat this issue in two separate ways, namely to:
- "intensify our regulatory dialogue and work towards a new Framework in this field"; and
- "design a new type of forward-looking, wide-ranging bilateral trade agreement covering, inter alia, new generations issues and outstanding trade barriers".
A voluntary framework [48 KB] for regulatory cooperation was adopted in 2004 between the Commission, led by DG Enterprise and Industry, and the Canadian government, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada (DFAIT).
The voluntary Framework is designed to promote more effective Canada-EU regulatory co-operation, and to work towards preventing and eliminating unnecessary barriers to trade and investment while ensuring better quality and effective regulations to achieve public policy objectives, as described in the press release.
Discussions on a Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement (TIEA) began after the summit, but have since been abandoned and are now replaced by the CETA negotiations.