"The problem with Canada," senior EU official involved in the talks told me, echoing a view that is heard in many of the EU member governments today, "is that it's not really one place. You think you're talking to Canada, and you make a deal, and then it turns out that someone else, in one of the provinces, has gone the other way. There's no unity."
While the premiers of Quebec and Ontario both gave this deal their outspoken assent this week, the Europeans can't help noticing a major barrier to a deal that would harmonize European and Canadian standards and allow companies to do business with governments as if they were at home: Canada's provinces have never been able to get that kind of co-operation between each other. Note the tragic irony: Canada, a sovereign nation with 10 provinces and three territories, is considered fractious and lacking in unity by an organization that contains 27 independent nations and employs 3,000 full-time translators, including a woman who spends her days rendering Estonian into Maltese.
Europe has become a totalitarian state over the past few decades, slowly building up 27 "independent" nations into a bureaucratic mess. Now they want Canada to do the same and are frustrated that Canada's provinces actually have some independence from the mother ship.
Europe has taken its seize-control attitude, muscle it has flexed in particularly fine form with Ireland and Romania recently, abroad. Watch out, US - when the depression hits home and Europe(tm) is busy diversifying its portfolio of satellite nations, we might have yet another superpower/competitor to deal with.
Europe used to be a beacon of how great a continent could be if each community followed its own rules, and if each culture stayed true to itself and allowed/disallowed certain members of the population to live among them based on merit. It has now become worse in terms of corruption and self-service than the Italian mafia just before RICO statutes took most of it down.