Remarks on strengthening transatlantic security
Thank you very much, Pedro.
What a pleasure it is... it’s been a long 10 days that the Canadian delegation has been on the road. We were in Africa, we were in Germany for the G7, and here for NATO, but being able to finish with such a good friend, with whom we are so aligned, is exactly the right thing.
Because the leadership that you have shown over the years, the way we’ve been able to work together on all the things you’ve said, it has been not just constructive and productive for our peoples, it has been not just impactful on the world around us, in our bilateral and multilateral work, but it’s been a lot of fun to work with you, my friend, and I look forward to many, many more years of working very well together.
I want to thank you, formally, to your government and to the people of Spain, for hosting such a successful and important NATO Summit this week. It’s more important than ever that allies be aligned. We cannot let up on the momentum of our collective response to Putin’s war of aggression.
At the Summit, we announced that Canada and its allies will augment the capacity of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Latvia, a mission, as you pointed out, where the two strongest countries in their presence are Canada and Spain, in which the working together that we do is actually a model for the eight other countries that are part of that battlegroup.
In Latvia, we are actually redefining a concept that is so important to NATO, which is interoperability. Making sure that all these friendly allied militaries—who do things slightly differently, with sometimes slightly different equipment—can actually work together harmoniously, is not just important to be able to do in times of conflict and difficult situations, it’s actually an added advantage that we have, if we do it right. And Spain has been extraordinarily important in that work that we’re doing with the Latvians to developing a new way to operate; or a better way of operating, for NATO that could be, unfortunately, if conflict requires it, extraordinarily useful in the future.
We are also ensuring that we can quickly increase the battlegroup’s size and capabilities so it’s ready to defend NATO’s eastern flank. To the members of the Canadian Armed Forces and all the NATO troops standing beside them, including, of course, the Spanish military: thank you for helping us to defend every centimetre of NATO territory.
Putin’s unjustifiable war is causing a steep rise in fuel prices and blockading critical food exports that the world relies on, especially in the Global South, and that’s making food more expensive for people in our countries and leading to potential shortages for people in the most vulnerable parts of the world.
And I have to, again, thank you, Pedro, for being alongside Canada, one of those strongest voices on the need for Europe and western democracies in general to engage in real, substantive ways in not just humanitarian or development aid towards the Global South, but active partnerships around investment, around creating greater stability, greater economic opportunity, and greater wealth for people in the Global South, particularly given the multiple crises they’re facing right now. Whether it’s economic crises related to climate change or the crisis of this war in Europe, these are things that are challenging everyone around the world. We see it in our own populations, how much more than the impact on vulnerable populations, and that’s where your voice and others’ voice and needing to step up on supporting people in vulnerable countries around the world is so important.
We talked about actions we can take to support people and help economies grow in ways that provide good jobs and good incomes for everyone. One of the things we looked at is ways to deepen the strong trade ties between our two countries, which benefit workers and businesses in both Canada and in Spain.
Since the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement came into effect five years ago, trade between our two countries has grown very quickly, and we want to build on that momentum and strengthen partnerships between our business, investment and innovation sectors. The clean technology and renewable energy sectors have tremendous growth potential. For example, just look at our countries’ efforts to build clean electricity grids. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown, it is more important than ever that the world accelerates progress in this area.
Spain and Canada both recognize that a strong climate plan is key to growing a strong resilient economy and creating good jobs, now and into the future. It’s part of the responsibility we have to build a bright future in which younger generations can thrive, in which everyone can see themself. We know it’s a time of disruption, crisis and change for people all around the world, and including in reasonably well off and wealthy countries like Canada and Spain, there are a lot of people who look to the future and wonder if there’s room for them in the future, if they’re going to have a career, if they’re going to have opportunities, if their kids are going to be able to grow up in the same communities they had.
And the responsibility we have as progressive governments is to show that a future that is better on climate, that is more fair and equitable will create more opportunities for everyone. Because fighting climate change is part of our work for a better future, alongside the values of protecting democracy, freedom and equity that ensure opportunity for everyone. See, democracy is about everyone having a voice and everyone having the right to choose their own future.
So, Spain and Canada defend the rights of women and girls at home and all around the world. Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s leadership in our economic relationships. As Pedro said, we are also committed to promoting a feminist foreign policy on the world stage.
Prime Minister Sánchez, Pedro, it was so great to sit down with you as my last stop on this trip. We are like-minded partners and friends, and I know that the work we do together will improve people’s lives in Canada and in Spain and beyond. Because by ensuring that we have strong progressive voices standing up for equality, for democracy, and standing against authoritarianism and violations of international law is good for everyone.
I’ll be heading back to Canada this evening and I’m energized by all the meetings I’ve had over the past days, from the Commonwealth Heads of Government, to the G7, to this NATO summit, to this extraordinary bilateral visit, which was short but packed, as you’ve all seen with the communiqué that touches on so many things, because we agree on so many things.
Around the world we’re standing with Ukraine and holding Putin accountable for his unjustifiable and brutal war, we’re working on strong economic recovery for everyone that creates new growth and opportunities, we’re accelerating global action to fight climate change, we’re enhancing our defence and deterrence posture, and we’re reaffirming and strengthening the deep ties Canada has with countries and leaders around the world.
And no better example than that than right here with you my friend.
Thank you very much for all your leadership, thank you for your friendship.