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Canada-France Enhanced Cooperation Agenda

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Strengthened by an unwavering friendship and united by a common history, today, and more than ever, Canada and France share a vision for the promotion of peace, democratic values, human rights, inclusion, solidarity and respect for diversity. Faced with an ever growing number of challenges and increasingly complex issues, Canada and France are resolved to work together to ensure peace, security, sustainable development and prosperity.

To that end, Canada and France affirm their desire to strengthen their ties and work more closely by mobilizing and supporting all parties that are committed to the development of their bilateral relations, whether they be institutions, citizens, civil society organizations or businesses.

The Enhanced Cooperation Agenda is a testament to this shared ambition to provide a clear and practical framework for this work and these efforts.

A Political Partnership in Service of Peace, Security and Sustainable Development

Allies and partners in the United Nations, the G7, G20, NATO, OSCE and the International Organisation of La Francophonie, Canada and France are enhancing their important political partnership in the service of peace, security and development.

Faced with threats to international security, Canada and France intend to hold regular bilateral consultations in order to share their analyses and assess ways of taking concerted action to promote their common interests. With a commitment to more effective multilateralism, Canada and France will further cooperate within multilateral forums to maintain peace, notably in Francophone regions; prevent conflicts and protect women and children in armed conflicts; support stabilization operations; promote democracy and human rights; and fight terrorism, crime and violent extremism. In this regard, the foreign affairs ministers for both countries will together create a roadmap.

Under the aegis of the Franco-Canadian Defence Cooperation Council and its four subordinate committees, bilateral cooperation in the area of defence is close-knit and will continue to become stronger. This cooperation covers a broad range of subjects, from sharing strategic analyses to military cooperation, including exchanges in the areas of research, development and defence equipment. As part of the international coalition against Daesh, Canada and France remain committed to defeating Daesh quickly and to ensuring that a political solution is reached in order to stabilize the situation in Syria. They will also continue to identify practical opportunities for cooperation in external theatres of operation.

Canada and France will deepen their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its sources of funding, as well as in the prevention of radicalization leading to violence, under the Declaration of Intent instituting a strengthened partnership in the area of domestic security cooperation that was signed in Paris on January 13, 2016.

Building on their close cooperation leading up to the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, signed in New York on April 22, 2016, Canada and France will work together to sustain the global momentum achieved in Paris in December 2015 and ensure the timely and full implementation of the Agreement. Canada and France will also work with country partners to assist in implementing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), notably with respect to strengthening their adaptation efforts.  

Canada and France also reaffirm the universality of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and commit to implementing it by giving special attention to the poorest and most vulnerable people. Within this framework, Canada and France will endeavour to integrate sustainable development goals into their cooperation, which includes fighting climate change, addressing inequality and taking action in support of women and girls. This approach is particularly applicable to the regular and in-depth bilateral dialogue that Canada and France will establish in the area of development assistance.

Canada and France consider it imperative to strengthen prevention and response capabilities nationally, regionally and internationally to address global health crises, such as the Ebola and Zika virus epidemics. Canada and France will continue their engagement towards enhancing global health security under the World Health Organization and by collaborating within the G7, as part of the Global Health Security Initiative, and by actively supporting international efforts to improve implementation of the International Health Regulations.

Enhanced Economic and Scientific Cooperation towards Shared Prosperity

At a time when the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Paris Agreement on climate change are beginning a new era rich in economic opportunities, Canada and France intend to continue the development of their economic partnership and to strengthen their commercial and scientific ties. CETA is a progressive, ambitious and mutually beneficial agreement worthy of the strong and historic ties that unite the European Union, France and Canada. Canada and France support the rapid implementation of CETA and are working together to promote the opportunities that the agreement will engender.

United by their cultural affinities and a high level of qualification among French and Canadian youth, bilateral ties have multiplied between businesses, institutions of higher learning and research, competitive clusters and centres of excellence. Pursuant to the Declaration relating to Canada-France cooperation in innovation, Canada and France will continue to encourage the establishment of such links and partnerships, and will promote research and innovation in areas of mutual priority, with the support of the France-Canada Research Fund. Canada and France recognize the importance of strengthening scientific cooperation in the Arctic, where Canada wishes to promote socioeconomic development. They will rely on the renewal of the Joint Economic Action Plan (JEAP), adopted in May 2016, to promote cross investment, bilateral trade and innovation, and to ensure that businesses in both countries have full access to information about the opportunities offered by CETA. This is all with the objective of promoting economic growth in both countries that will benefit the entire population.

As Canada and France are North American neighbours due to the presence of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Canada and France will continue to support the integration of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon into the regional environment in order to promote its economic development. They will commit to facilitating exchanges between the inhabitants of both territories, especially youth who are able to benefit from educational and cultural experiences.

Contributing to the Links Between our Societies, Cultures and Citizens

With a common history, language and values, Canada and France emphasize the increasing importance of the links that unite their communities, institutions and citizens. They strongly reaffirm that respect for human rights, inclusion founded on diversity and the priority on open government constitute an essential resource for Canadian and French society. Consistent with the G7 Principles and Actions on Cyber, Canada and France reiterate their attachment to respecting human rights in cyberspace and on the Internet. These links will also be strengthened through the Canada-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement, which will bring Canada, the European Union and its member states closer together in their cooperation on key foreign policy issues.

Conscious of the importance of having young people who are open to the world, Canada and France commit to ensuring further opportunities for youth to reach out to one another as they prepare together for a common future. They recognize the essential contribution of the Youth Mobility Agreement in this area, and are committed to working together to promote the opportunities offered by this Agreement and to support the development of partnerships between universities, colleges and French and Canadian youth exchange organizations.

Wishing to identify good governance practices for the benefit of their citizenry, Canada and France commit to identifying and implementing cooperative initiatives in the area of public service innovation and digital government.

Canada and France will combine their efforts to promote the recognition and study of the French language as widely as possible throughout North America and the world. Their efforts will be reflected by increased cooperation in the training of French-language teachers, facilitating the recruitment of French teachers from both countries in educational institutions and creating digital content in French.

Dedicated to promoting the principles and objectives of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Canada and France will strengthen measures to disseminate culture and promote the arts and, in particular, will encourage digital innovation in the creative and cultural spheres.

In recent years, in commemoration of the centennial of the First World War, Canada and France remember the collective role played by their citizens in this terrible conflict of the 20th century.  2017 will be a special year of commemoration for both nations: Canada and France will mark together the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, as well as the 375th anniversary of the city of Montréal. These events will provide an opportunity to underscore the importance of the two countries’ shared Francophone heritage by deepening their cooperation in the field of cultural exchanges.

Renewing our Partnership

The Enhanced Cooperation Agenda will be regularly renewed by Canadian and French authorities to ensure that it continues to reflect the strength of their bilateral relations, as well as the evolving challenges and mechanisms that they promote in order to work closely together.

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