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A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and the British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
A focus on three questions: why should Europe matter to Canada; what is happening in Europe and where is the EU going; Britain is the gateway to Europe, why? Several topics are addressed as the speaker responds to these questions, including the following. A quote from a Report by the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs in July, 1996 with regard to the agendas of each of Canada and the European Union (EU). The need for substantially stronger transatlantic commercial links to preserve and strengthen the Canada/Europe relationship. An urging of the Canadian government to focus attention on Canada's links with Europe, and to follow more closely the debate in Europe about enlargement, plans for economic and monetary union and steps towards closer foreign policy co-ordination. The ultimate goal of transatlantic free trade. What the relationship between Canada and the EU looks like today. The EU-Canada Action Plan. An illustration of the importance of these links. How the European market matters to Canada and how developments in the EU are relevant on this side of the Atlantic. A look back at why the EU was formed in order to understand what is happening now in Europe. The EU as more than a free trade area. What the future EU of 24/25 members will look like. The issue of a single currency. The much-debated European Monetary Union (EMU) and the plans for a single European currency--the "Euro"--in 1999. The question as to whether or not Britain will join. How and why Britain is the gateway to Europe. The factor of geography. An examination of Britain's economic record. Mutual trading benefits for Canada and the U.K. A consideration of what the speaker calls "Euro-myths." Some economic realities. Some concluding words, beginning with a quote from the former British Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, then from the present British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind. The need to strengthen ties between Canada and Europe. Taking full advantage of the enormous potential of each other's markets as we move towards the 21st century.