The Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

CETA gives Canadian industry and services unparalleled freedom to do business in Europe. One of the most promising aspects is the planned cooperation at the earliest stages of the regulatory process. The idea is that if Canada and the EU can discuss and compare their regulatory plans at the policy-design stage, it will help to avoid uselessly diverging rules down the line, divergences which in turn foster wasteful negotiation, disputes and litigation.

CETA establishes procedures and fora for this cooperation, including the participation of business and other interests, for regulatory cooperation generally and for several specific sectors. Canadian business groups will need to position themselves to have a seat at the table of these official regulatory cooperation fora, and a lot more will need to be done to make it work.

It is not easy even for European interest groups to work with the European Commission at the policy development stage prior to the tabling of legislation. The challenge will be to organise a dialogue with Canadian business that is more than just pro forma Treaty compliance.

MacBrien Cuper Isnard has long experience of helping our clients engage with the Commission on policy planning and is well placed to guide Canadian business interests and to coordinate support from European business and consumer allies and from the Canadian government.