Canada-EU Trade Agreement Conference, London, UK, 18 November 2011

14 10 2011

Macdonald House

Since 2009, diplomats from Canada and the European Union have been in negotiations to produce a comprehensive trade agreement known as CETA. For people in the EU, the agreement would provide improved access to the Canadian market, a relatively small but prosperous country. For Canadians, CETA is perhaps more important, for it provides alternatives to export dependency on the United States. I’ve blogged extensively about this agreement.

The negotiations have been protracted and have involved eight rounds of bargaining. For a chronology of the process, see here. For press coverage, see here, here, and here. For a recent C.D. Howe Institute study on the agreement, “Go Big or Go Home: Priorities for the Canada-EU Economic and Trade Agreement”, see here.

Two days from now, on 17 October, the ninth round of negotiations will begin. We are told that this will be the final round. It is now a good time for academics to discuss the agreement and its implications for Canadians and Europeans. A small conference about CETA has been organized. It will take place at Macdonald House in London, UK on 18 November.

Programme: Canada-EU Trade Agreement Conference

18 November 2011, Macdonald House, Grosvenor Square, London

12:45pm Registration

1pm Brian Parrot,  Minister Counsellor (Commercial and Economic), Canadian High Commission. Welcome statement.

1:10pm  Stefania Paladini, Coventry Business School, “FTAs: an Overview ” (10 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion)

1:30pm Alan Hallsworth  and Tim Rooth, Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion). “Protectionism and Prudence:

A European perspective on Canadian international economic policy since the 1930s

2:00pm Malcolm Fairbrother, Lecturer in Global Policy and Politics, University of Bristol. “Canadian Trade Policies from the FTA to the CETA: Myths and Facts” (20 minutes for presentation, 10 minutes for Q&A)

2:30pm Andrew Smith, Coventry University. “Applying the Concepts of Cultural Distance and Imagined Communities to Understanding Canadian Economic Diplomacy”  (20 minutes for presentation, 10 minutes for Q&A)


3:15pm Keynote Speaker: Robert Hage, (Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and former Canadian diplomat), “Changing Canada: the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement.”   (20 minutes for presentation, 10 minutes for Q&A)

3:45pm Roundtable Discussion

4:15pm Conference Ends

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP Andrew Smith before 15 November 2011. ab035 at

This conference has been generously supported by Coventry University and the London Canadian Studies Association (LoCSA). The assistance of the Canadian High Commission has been absolutely essential. I would also like to thank Michael Kandiah, King’s College, University of London for his great help in organizing this conference.

A note about our keynote speaker: Robert Hage is a Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.    Mr. Hage was a Canadian diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for 38 years and served as Canada’s Ambassador to Hungary and Slovenia, as Director General for Europe and Director General for Legal Affairs. He also served in Canada’s Embassies in Washington, Lagos, Paris and as Deputy Head of Mission in the Canadian Mission to the European Union in Brussels.

In Ottawa, Mr. Hage was also the Director of four divisions including International Financial and Investment Affairs and  relations with the European Union. He was Principal Counsel for the Canada-USA Free Trade Agreement, Counsel on the Environmental Side Agreement to NAFTA and was a representative for Canada at the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.

Mr. Hage was born in Calgary, Alberta and received his early education there.  He is a graduate of the following universities: University of Calgary, University of Toronto (LL.B), University College London (LL.M) and the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris.



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