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Workshop: Enhancing Cooperation

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Enhancing Regulatory Cooperation and Transparency

in the Context of the Canada-EU CETA Negotiations

May 4-5, 2011

Vancouver, British Columbia

Regulatory cooperation under the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) has quickly become one of the most important issues for trade negotiators, federal/provincial and EU/member state regulators as well as the academic sector in both Canada and the EU. According to economic and legal assessments underpinning the CETA negotiations, the challenge negotiators are facing to find mutually agreeable and promising regulatory cooperation models may ultimately determine the real impact of the CETA on free trade. The purpose of this event was to bring together international trade experts to begin mapping these challenges, identify potential obstacles presented by the complex regulatory structure of the two trading partners, and to propose avenues for addressing such obstacles building on known successes in regulatory cooperation.

The workshop was organized by the Canada-EU Trade Environment Technology Exchange (TETE) project (, in collaboration with the National Centre for Business Law (NCBL) at the University of British Columbia ( and held in Vancouver, British Columbia from May 4 to May 5, 2011. The primary objective of the workshop was to bring together leading TETE project experts to present and reflect on the challenges of regulatory cooperation in the CETA negotiations and to propose models for successfully overcoming them. The workshop specifically focused on four broad aspects of regulatory cooperation relevant for the CETA: conceptual models for regulatory cooperation; federalism, multi-level governance in knowledge and technology regulation in the EU and Canada; the role of transparency in regulatory cooperation; and institutional issues including dispute settlement mechanisms. These topics were selected to cover as extensively as possible the issues identified at the previous TETE meetings as well as in ongoing discussions with project participants.

The exchange of ideas and discussions resulting from the participants’ presentations reinforced the view that regulatory cooperation may indeed be the most critical aspect of the CETA negotiations. The overall conclusion from the workshop was that selecting appropriate models for effective regulatory cooperation is a very difficult endeavour, especially when the negotiating partners are two complex, developed federal entities, each with its own unique constitutional structure.  The workshop identified several key aspects of regulatory cooperation relevant to the CETA context that may have been previously unknown or underestimated by the negotiators as well as challenges for ‘traditional’ regulatory cooperation approaches in future deep economic integration agreements. Participants agreed that their ideas would likely benefit policy makers as well as contribute to future thinking about economic integration, and therefore welcomed the idea of a contributing to a special volume of the Kluwer Law Journal, Legal Issues of Economic Integration, to be devoted to articles emanating from the presentations made at this workshop.

Workshop Documents:

  • Full report: PDF (including agenda and list of participants)

Workshop Presentations and Papers:
The draft presentations and papers from the workshop are not available at this time, but will be made available in their final form after publication in a special volume of the Kluwer Law Journal, Legal Issues of Economic Integration.


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