Summary: It was all sweetness and light at the European Union's Summit with Canada in Ottawa on December 17 as leaders from the two sides announced a cluster of trade and cooperation Agreements in areas as varied as mutual recognition of veterinary standards, nuclear research and anti-personnel mines. But perhaps the most profound deal concerned trade: the new EU-Canada Trade Initiative (ECTI), which comes two years after the EU and Canada launched their Joint Action Plan.

The EU-Canada Summit brought together Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrtien, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, European Commission President Jacques Santer and the current President of the European Council, Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima, Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schssel, as well as European Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan. "The timing of this Summit couldn't be better", said Mr Chrtien. "In two weeks, the European Union will introduce a new common currency, the Euro. Our close working relationship with the EU over the years will help Canadian individuals and business to seize the opportunities in a Europe where people, goods and capital can flow much more freely." The Summit atmosphere - which contrasts with the tensions the EU is facing with Canada's neighbour the United States over bananas - also comes after years of bitter brawls on fishing and leg-hold traps for furry animals. The new EU-Canada Trade Initiative builds on the 1996 Action Plan. It involves consultations on multilateral issues, in particular in view of the new Round of trade talks which the World Trade Organisation is due to launch late next year. In the bilateral field, the leaders agreed to instruct their officials to work together to identify new areas of potential cooperation, including in mutual recognition, equivalence and regulatory cooperation; services; government procurement; intellectual property rights; competition issues; cultural cooperation; and, business-to-business contacts. A progress report on this initiative will be submitted to the next EU-Canada Summit meeting in 1999. Under a separate deal, entitled the Canada-EU SME and Euro Initiatives, the two sides will work together to raise awareness of how the introduction of the Euro could affect Canadian businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. Veterinary Agreement. The two sides formally launched the EU-Canada Veterinary Equivalence Agreement, approved by EU Farm Ministers on December 17, covers...

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