Canada's Trudeau tells EU: the world needs you

Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:23am EST
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By Philip Blenkinsop

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the European Union on Thursday as an unprecedented model for peaceful cooperation, in a speech to EU lawmakers that contrasted sharply with the critical stance of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Speaking to the European Parliament a day after it backed a comprehensive free trade deal between Canada and the EU known as CETA, Trudeau said the 28-nation bloc had a crucial global role to play.

By contrast, Trump has questioned the value and future of the EU and has applauded Britain's shock decision to leave it.

"You are a vital player in addressing the challenges that we collectively face as an international community ... Indeed the whole world benefits from a strong EU," Trudeau told delighted EU lawmakers in his speech, delivered in English and French.

Canada and the EU share a belief in democracy, transparency and the rule of law, human rights, inclusion and diversity, said Trudeau, who is also due to visit Germany on his European tour.

"We know that, in these times, we must choose to lead the international economy, not simply be subject to its whims," he added.

CETA AS MODEL TO TRUMP?   Continued...

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) arrives with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani to adress the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, February 16, 2017.  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler