Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Justin Trudeau and counterparts from the European Council and the European Commission will reaffirm their support for Ukraine still at war with Russia.

Canada – EU  Summit: Long-time allies aim to strengthen ties | War in Ukraine

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a reception as part of the Canada-European Union summit in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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The crises in the Middle East and Ukraine inevitably come to the table at the meeting between Justin Trudeau and his Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen. Faced with geopolitical uncertainty, the allies will try to send a signal of unity and build on new alliances in terms of energy transition as well as research and development.

Thursday evening, the opening reception for the Canada – European Union Summit was delayed.

Around twenty demonstrators demanding a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas gathered to make their position heard a few steps from the brasserie where the leaders were welcomed. So, even in Saint John, Newfoundland, it's difficult to forget major international crises.

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Around twenty demonstrators who demand a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas gathered to make their position heard at a few steps from the brasserie where the European and Canadian leaders were welcomed.

Canada and the European Union have long supported a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict. The meeting could be an opportunity for the allies to jointly reiterate this position in the final declaration expected at the end of the summit.

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Charles Michel, President of the European Council, affirms that the two allies are committed to peace. We sanction those who want to undermine the international order based on rules and in this crisis in the Middle East we defend the principles of international law, we defend the right for Israel to defend itself in accordance with international law, we support humanitarian aid, we support a two-state solution.

This week, the Prime Minister said that there was much work to be done to achieve lasting peace in the region.

L he outcome of another conflict, overshadowed by recent events in the Middle East, will be unavoidable for the leaders gathered in Newfoundland.

The meeting of Newfoundland is an opportunity to reiterate unwavering support for the Ukrainian government which is still standing, 21 months after the Russian invasion.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, center, welcomes European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a reception in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Justin Trudeau, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen have every interest in keeping the Ukrainian question on the agenda considering that the lasting support of allies like the United States seems uncertain, thinks Patrick Leblond, professor at the University of Geneva. graduate school of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa.

I think that we will want to recall this commitment, […] therefore send a certain moral support, even if that is perhaps also okay be commitments, let's say, firmer at the financial or military level and in a certain way perhaps put a little pressure on the side of the Americans.

Access to energy sources has taken on a geopolitical dimension since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This war prompted European countries to look to Canada as a new source of supply.

There is currently a common challenge since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which is to find ways to ensure energy supplies, especially within the Union. European, without depending on countries like Russia.

A quote from Frédéric Mérand, professor and director of the Department of Political Science at the University of Montreal

Europe is eyeing Canadian hydrogen and natural gas, among other things, but there are also critical minerals that are part of the energy transition. It's clear that Canada is becoming much more important and interesting in this regard, believes Patrick Leblond.

Last year, Canada and Germany signed an agreement on the development of hydrogen.

The German Chancellor had just traveled to Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, to sign it, where a company from this province plans to build a factory that will use wind energy to produce electricity. hydrogen for export purposes.

The European Union is Canada's second largest economic partner. Trade in goods and services between the two partners reached $147 billion in 2022. More than ever, Justin Trudeau and his European counterparts want to collaborate on economic and commercial partnerships, climate change and energy transition.

It's an overall relationship that is very close with very few irritants and almost no open conflict, explains Frédéric Mérand, professor and director from the Department of Political Science at the University of Montreal.

According to him, Canada's main interest in increasing its relations with the European Union stems from the fact that it currently has few friends in the world, even if it wishes to get closer to Japan and of Korea and even if its commercial and human relations with the United States are very rich.

The specter of a Donald Trump victory creates uncertainty. The European Union therefore remains a unique ally with which Canada can, for example, promote democracy, the energy transition and regulate the power of the GAFA; since Canada alone is too small to intervene on these issues.

The leaders will announce Canada's membership in Horizon Europe, a research and innovation whose 2021-2027 budget amounts to $100 billion.

Canadian companies will be able to access part of these funds, collaborate with European researchers and thus develop intellectual properties that will remain Canadian.

It will also be about a digital partnership, the European Union's membership in the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge, a green alliance and the construction of Canadair water bombers intended for Europe.

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