The Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue (CETD), formed in 2007 with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), is designed not only to strengthen Canada’s research capacity on Europe and to nurture knowledge networks between Europe and Canada, but, more importantly, to look at Europe through Canadian eyes, zeroing in on those issues which have relevance for our own society. It is the goal of this network of Canadian and European scholars to bring our knowledge about Europe more effectively to Canadian society, and at the same time to strengthen our linkages with European partners so as to harness the capacity of sharing knowledge. We aim to improve the level of public discourse and policy deliberation in Canada, by encouraging informed examination of alternative responses to policy problems. An additional goal of CETD is to increase awareness in Europe of Canadian research contributions and thus improve their international standing and impact.
The intellectual focus of CETD is twofold. The first aspect mobilizes knowledge to seek responses to common policy dilemmas facing Europe and Canada as advanced post-industrial democracies. The issues we focus on are ones where mutual learning and examination of diverse national and EU approaches are likely to yield the most useful results; these are issues of democratic governance in multilevel (including federal) systems, social policy challenges, environmental policy and climate change, economic and monetary policy, immigration, and multiculturalism. Achievement of our goals requires a deeper engagement of Canadian and European researchers and reinforcement of linkages with Canadian policy circles and the attentive public in Canada to assure that this knowledge is received. The result will be consideration of innovative policy responses, because comparative research opens the mind to new possibilities.
The second aspect of our work involves mobilizing knowledge and networks to optimize the Canada-Europe relationship, by bringing knowledge to bear to help both policy-makers and the public envisage ways for Canada and Europe to cooperate more effectively for achievement of common goals in the international sphere, while also protecting vital Canadian interests affected by the relationship. Underlying both of these dimensions is the matter of agenda-setting.
Our strategy for achieving these goals is based on the following:
a) a focus on issues that maximize mutual learning between Canada and Europe, or that can highlight Canadian research achievements because they are of particular interest to Europeans;
b) more intense collaboration between Canadians and Europeans in the focus issue areas;
c) joint work with partners in Canada, both in government and civil society, to facilitate discussion of implications for Canada of research based on the European experience;
f) a constant re-evaluation of focus issues to keep the network responsive to current concerns.
Our work is organized around five thematic research groups, each of which is headed on one or two of our lead scholars
TRG1: Environment and Sustainable Development
Lead: Joan DeBardeleben, Carleton University, and Inger Weibust, Carleton University
TRG 2: Immigration and Social Policy
Leads: Oliver Schmidtke, University of Victoria (immigration) and Jane Jenson, Université de Montréal (social policy)
TRG 3: Economic Cooperation, Competition and International Law
Leads: Kurt Huebner, University of British Columbia (economics aspect) and Armand de Mestral, McGill University (legal aspect)
TRG 4: “Democratic Deficits” and Policy Coordination in Multi-Level Governance Systems
Leads: Joan DeBardeleben, Carleton University (democracy aspect) and Amy Verdun, University of Victoria (governance aspect)
TRG 5: EU and Canada as Global Actors: International Conflict Management and Security
Leads: Frederic Merand, Université de Montréal and Jeffrey Kopstein, University of Toronto
Since 2007, CETD has extended and continues to extend its reach to include a wider range of partner organizations both in Canada and Europe in each thematic area. Some of these partners, such the EU division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (FAITC), have worked with CETD on the policy workshops using pilot SSHRC funding, whereas others (e.g., Metropolis, Elections Canada, the Canadian Institute for International Affairs) have collaborated with specific parts of the network. The role of partner institutions in Canada includes the following, detailed in partnership letters:
- help define areas of research on which knowledge is required from the academic community, in relation to current social needs and interests;
- interface with CETD in processing research findings in response to these stated needs;
- participate in dialogue with European partners on the cross-national applicability of research;
- assist in organizing and participate in policy workshops and transatlantic workshops;
- participate in smaller on-going working groups and study groups;
- assist students to become vehicles of knowledge mobilization through internships; and
- engage in reevaluation and adjustment of CETD activities through the Advisory Board.
European partner institutions are of two types: European research networks/organizations, and governmental or inter-governmental organizations (including Embassies in Ottawa), representing the themes of CETD. These partners already work closely with particular CETD scholars; the network will extend the reach of these relationships. Partnership roles include the following, depending on the partnership agreement:
- help CETD to identify those research areas for which the European experience is particularly relevant to Canada, and for which Canadian experience and research is of interest in Europe;
- serve as vehicles for spreading awareness and information about Canadian research on Europe;
- help to integrate Canadian researchers into European research networks;
- engage Canadian partners in dialogue over current research findings in Europe;
- ensure a constant flow of research findings and methodologies between Canada and Europe;
- participate in policy workshops and other events organized by CETD, host CETD members in Europe, and include CETD members in events in Europe and Canada; and
- receive student interns and assist them in developing networking/liaison abilities.
An Advisory Board (AB) of leading public figures who are knowledgeable about or have been engaged with Europe or Canada-Europe relations is consulted by CETD on optimal ways to increase our impact and deepen our interaction with relevant actors in government, business, and Canadian society.
Youth activities. Integrating youth and young researchers:
Engaging young scholars and integrating them into the network are important goals of CETD, both to ensure sustainability but also to engage their ideas and insights. Methods to involve young scholars include the following:
- PhD Mentorship program provides funding for PhD students to spend 2-4 week at other universities in Canada to work closely with experts in their particular area of research, to produce a policy brief, policy memo, or joint article.
- The peer-reviewed on-line journal for young researchers, Review of European and Russian Affairs, allows young research to participate in knowledge-sharing and highlight their research findings.
- Internships involve minimum 2 month component in a European partner institution combined with internship in Canada with a CETD lead scholar. Internships provide experience in practical uses of research, and appreciation of the utility of Europe-Canada collaborative work. In addition, interns will contribute directly to CETD’s knowledge mobilization mandate by serving as vital links between Canadian and European research partners.
CETD is housed at the Centre for European Studies at Carleton University under the Directorship of Prof. Joan DeBardeleben. Please see Contacts section of this website for a list of staff and their contact details.
Through EUCAnet, which is housed at the University of Victoria, CETD provides an up-to-date searchable database of Canadian scholars with expertise on contemporary Europe. Alongside the database are regular media tips that direct interested parties to experts on issues that are currently in the news.