The EU and North America

03.03.2021 - Article

The European Union and North America enjoy close ties. The United States remains Europe’s most important security and economic partner. Canada maintains close political, economic and cultural cooperation with the EU.

Flags of the EU und der USA
Flags of the EU und der USA© photothek.net

Traditionally close economic and social cooperation

The links between the European Union and the United States have historical roots: America’s decision in 1945 not to withdraw from Europe, as it did after the First World War, provided for an element of stability and security during the Cold War. This enabled Europe to pursue its integration. Thus the integration of Europe following the Second World War was both a historic achievement by the Europeans and the successful result of far-sighted American foreign policy.

North America and the EU are the two most closely linked economic regions in the world. Transatlantic trade and mutual investment create growth and jobs both in the EU and in the United States. In 2019 the United States was the biggest importer of goods from the EU and the second-largest exporter of goods to the EU. In 2019 the EU exported goods worth 384 billion euro to the United States, importing goods worth 232 billion euro (source: EUROSTAT). Americans invest three times as much in the EU as in the whole of Asia. EU nationals invest eight times as much in the United States as in China and India together (source: EUROSTAT).

In this context, the EU is key for bundling the interests of Germany and its European partners, for instance in the field of trade. Although they make up just over 10 percent of the world’s population, the EU and the United States produce about 46 percent of global national product and are responsible for around a third of global trade and one third of all patent registrations. They account for 60 percent of direct investments worldwide.

For historical reasons, Canada and its society also have profound ties to European traditions. Canada enjoys very close political, economic and cultural cooperation with the European states and institutions. A Strategic Partnership Agreement has been in place since 2016 to intensify cooperation between the EU and Canada, particularly on international peace and security policy, global governance, energy, research and development, the environment and climate change.

Since 2018 EU-Canadian trade has been regulated by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). This led to an increase in the volume of trade of 4.5 percent in 2019.

Canada provides support for the EU’s CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) missions in Ukraine, Kosovo, Mali, Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

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