The first meeting of the German-Canadian High Level Steering Group on Bilateral Cooperation (HLSG) took place in Berlin on May 17, 2022. Established in September 2021, the Steering Group brings together high-level representatives of the German and Canadian federal governments and is intended to further enhance the already strong bilateral Canadian-German cooperation across all fields of international co-operation and foreign policy.
Russia’s war against Ukraine has changed the international environment dramatically and underscored the need for strategic, high-level coordination on foreign policy matters. In this light, the HLSG discussed the coordinated response to the Russian invasion, foreign threats to democracy including disinformation, and approaches to implementing a feminist foreign policy. Moreover, the HLSG explored energy security and diversification (LNG, clean and renewable hydrogen), and highlighted the need to enhance co-operation on critical minerals, with a view to secure sustainable international supply chains. These fields play a critical role in accelerating the green transition and combatting climate change – a priority for both Canada and Germany. The HLSG also discussed the potential for cooperating in fields of e-mobility, sustainable public transport, science and technology – particularly in key technologies of mutual interest.
The Steering Group took note of the important work of the Canada-Germany Energy Partnership and its Hydrogen Working Group, which provide an avenue to explore clean and renewable hydrogen initiatives to enhance mutual supply chain resilience between Canada and Germany. The Canada-Germany Energy Partnership will also further explore collaboration on critical minerals.
Participants agreed that the next meeting of the HLSG will take place in one year in Canada, to take stock on action items and to explore other areas of cooperation.