Cecilia Malmström writes on signing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade agreement at the summit between the EU and Canada:
This agreement is an important achievement, for many reasons.
First of all, it clearly demonstrates that when Europe comes together, we can shape globalisation according to our values and our standards. We reached an agreement on the EU side after some tumultuous discussions. Sometimes we need to make things a bit complicated first, in order to make them better as a result - it has always been the crises that foster progress in our European Union.
There is much skepticism about both globalisation and trade these days – across Europe as well as in North America and elsewhere. In recent years we have been engaged in a very passionate European debate on trade. This is important, because it helps us improve our EU trade policy. As a Swede, I know for a fact that openness to trade and stringent social standards are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary - we need open and fair rules on trade to support, maintain and improve our welfare states. Trade agreements are not the silver bullet to solve all our problems, but it is an important tool that Europe has at its disposal to strengthen economic growth and foster jobs.