Minister of Foreign Affairs concludes successful visit to Europe

News Release

February 19, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded a successful working visit to Europe, which took place from February 16 to 19, 2017.

Earlier in the week, the Minister joined the Prime Minister for his historic address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, after she met with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, and Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade.

While attending the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bonn, Germany, the Minister met with Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, and participated in a working session on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among other discussions. The Minister took the opportunity to meet with many counterparts, such as Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, and foreign ministers from the United Kingdom, Turkey, France and South Africa. At the G20, the Minister also met with the foreign minister from Italy, this year’s G7 host, and discussed Canada’s upcoming G7 presidency.

Later, the Minister joined the Prime Minister in Berlin and Hamburg, where they participated in bilateral meetings with Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and discussed key foreign policy and trade priorities for Canada and Germany, including the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). In Hamburg, the Canadian delegation attended the annual St. Matthew’s Day banquet, where the Prime Minister was a guest of honour.

The visit concluded with the Minister’s attendance at the Munich Security Conference, where she participated in working sessions on several issues, among others, global governance, international security challenges—including the situations in Syria and Ukraine—and transatlantic cooperation. The Minister delivered the keynote at a gathering of women leaders and separately participated in a panel on global cooperation in an era of protectionism, both on February 18. In Munich, the Minister also held bilateral discussions with Ukraine’s President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. This was the Minister’s first bilateral meeting with China’s foreign minister, and the two discussed ways to create a stronger, more stable long-term relationship following the Prime Minister’s visit to China and Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Canada.


“In an ever-changing global environment, alliances and a rules-based international order matter now more than ever. Our bilateral visit to Germany, this year’s G20 gathering, and the Munich Security Conference provided an essential opportunity to advocate for a renewed transatlantic alliance and focus on the middle class and those working hard to join it. Canada is ready to work closely with allies and partners to develop durable solutions to global challenges.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick Facts

  • Germany holds the G20 presidency in 2017 and will host the leaders’ summit in Hamburg on July 7 and 8.
  • Canada was instrumental in launching the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors process in 1999, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. Building on the format of the G20 finance ministers’ meetings, then-prime minister Paul Martin was one of the first to campaign for a formal G20 leaders forum.
  • In response to the global financial crisis in 2008, the G20 was elevated to include heads of state and government.
  • Today, the G20 is the central forum for international cooperation on financial and macroeconomic issues.
  • February 16, 2017, marked the first-ever address by a Canadian prime minister to the European Parliament.

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