CETA is not the first agreement between Canada and the EU. Check out the table below to see the ones that came before it

Name Year Description
Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy 1959 Canada and Euratom agree to work together to promote peaceful uses of atomic energy in order to improve the lives of their citizens
Bilateral Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation 1976 This establishes a direct link between Canada and the European Community and gives the two parties most favoured nation status with each other. They also establish more economic, technological, and environmental cooperation.
Transatlantic Declaration 1990 Established how Canada and the EU will consult with each other on economic, cultural, and scientific cooperation
Joint Canada-EU Political Declaration and Action Plan 1996 Outlined commitments to working together in many areas, including promoting democracy and the free market in post-communist Europe
Mutual Recognition Agreement 1998 Establishes good manufacturing practices for pharmaceuticals and mandatory conformity procedures in several industrial and technological sectors
Competition Agreement 1999 Established cooperation between the Canadian Competition Bureau and the European Commission
Veterinary Agreement 1999 Agreement on sanitary measures to protect public and animal health in respect of trade in live animals and animal products
Wine and Spirits Agreement 2003 Allowed for Canada and the EU to trade wine and spirits more freely
Canada-EU Partnership Agenda 2004 Both parties agree to cooperate and strengthen dialogue and contacts at the political level when it comes to international security, multilateralism, justice, and economics
EU-Canada Air Transport Agreement 2009 Under this agreement the European Aviation Safety Agency recognized certification of Canadian aviation products and services, allowing the Canadian aviation industry to be much more competitive in the European market
Strategic Partnership Agreement 2016 Under this Agreement, the EU-Canada Joint Ministerial Committee meets annually to review co-operation over the past year and to identify means of taking forward the collaborative bilateral dialogue

(Source: Canada-EU Relations: An Overview)

As you can see, Canada and the EU spent a lot of time and effort to improve their relationship and the lives of their citizens. However, creating a comprehensive economic and trade agreement was not an easy task.

Click HERE to learn about the background process to CETA