Comparative Intergovernmental Politics: CETA Negotiations between Canada and the EU

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

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Comparative Intergovernmental Politics: CETA Negotiations between Canada and the EU


  • Valerie J. D'Erman Department of Political Science and European Studies Program, University of Victoria, Canada


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Abstract:  The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU) required long-term negotiations between two major polities of the industrialized world. During the negotiations, Canada acquiesced to the EU’s demand that Canadian provinces participate directly in discussions, setting an important precedent in the dynamics of Canadian external trade. This paper examines the dynamics of intergovernmentalism in the policy area of external trade within the settings of the Canadian provinces and the EU member states, and uses the findings to suggest that in this realm the EU is a stronger example of federal synthesis of decision-making than is Canada. This is significant because it contradicts many established theories of federalism within political science, and implies that the EU could become a strong source of normative example for federal-style polities in the globalized world. As well, the strength of the EU’s single market lends credence to the institutions embedded within the supranational polity, and gives the EU significant normative power as a prototype for other experiments in regional integration.

Keywords:  Canada–EU relations; European integration; federalism

Published:   11 August 2016


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v4i3.565


© Valerie J. D'Erman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.