EU-Canada cooperation in Foreign Policy and Security Issues

Module leaders: Joan DeBardeleben, Michèle Knodt, Toms Rostoks

With the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) in October 2016, the EU and Canada reinforced the foundation for cooperation in addressing a range of key international issues. Among the key commitments made are efforts to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, support for multilateral institutions and processes, and reinforcement of processes facilitating global sustainable development. The EU and Canada likewise face a number of specific shared challenges in the current period, including instability in the Middle East, relations with Russia in the context of the Ukraine crisis, humanitarian crises and refugee flows, terrorism, and assuring cybersecurity.

The EU and Canada have demonstrated a strong record of foreign policy cooperation even preceding the signing of the SPA. This module will explore how the SPA expands opportunities to reinforce this pattern, including Canadian participation in missions of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), coordination of policies, cooperation in addressing conflict situations, and work toward joint objections in organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the G7 and the G20. A focus will be similarities and differences in EU and Canadian approaches, as well as existing and innovative modalities of cooperation and obstacles to coordinated policies.

The module will organize three major workshops during the course of the project. The first of these, to be held in Ottawa, will explore the challenges and opportunities presented to the EU and Canada resulting from changes in US policy on a range of international issues, occurring at the same time that a broader reconfiguration of global alliances and redistribution of global influence is under way. The second workshop, to be held in Darmstadt, Germany, will focus specifically on the role of the EU and Canada as conflict managers in variety of regional and institutional settings. Finally, the third workshop, to be held in Riga, Latvia, will examine EU and Canadian approaches to Russia, including the role of NATO, economic sanctions, energy relations, and relations in border regions.