Saturday

19th Aug 2017

Belgians meet for fresh Canada talks

  • Protest against EU-Canada free-trade agreement Ceta. (Photo: Campact)

Belgian federal and regional authorities are meeting on Wednesday morning (26 October) for more discussions on the EU-Canada free-trade pact, Ceta.

They made some progress during a six-hour negotiating session on Tuesday, Belgium’s foreign minister Didier Reyners said.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But Belgium’s French-speaking entities - Wallonia, Brussels capital region and the French linguistic community - still refuse to give the federal government the mandate to sign the trade treaty.

The German-speaking community also said on Tuesday it was withholding its consent, although it doesn't oppose the deal.

Wallonia is due to present new proposals on Wednesday, notably on agriculture.

All 28 EU countries need to approve Ceta before the European Commission can sign it. Belgium's constitution gives communities and regions devolved powers to approve trade deals.

Reynders couldn’t say whether Belgium would be in position to approve the deal before Thursday, when Ceta is due to be signed at an EU-Canada summit.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and European Council president Donald Tusk spoke on the phone on Monday and said that they still believed it would be possible to hold the meeting.

But the Walloon leader Paul Magnette has rejected the deadline and warned he would interrupt negotiations if he was threatened with ultimatums.

A spokesman for the European Commission said on Tuesday there was need for ”patience” while Belgium tried to establish its position.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, meanwhile, said he believed a solution would not be found this week.

"We are on the way to find a compromise and solutions for questions raised by the Walloons, but also by citizens all over Europe," he told German radio on Tuesday.

"It would not be a drama to give negotiators 14 more days."

Ceta failure deepens EU trade crisis

Canada said on Friday that the free-trade agreement with the EU had failed and that the bloc was "not capable" of concluding agreements.

Canada woos sceptical EU left on trade deal

Future of CETA largely hangs on the support of Europe’s social democrats. Canada’s trade minister has been touring hotspots of scepticism to convince them that the deal is progressive.

Belgium green lights unchanged Ceta

Wallonia and Brussels have voted to give the federal government the power to sign the EU-Canada trade deal, whose content is not altered by the new documents attached.

Airbnb too 'different' to pay EU tax

US home rental firm said its “model is unique” because most of the money stays in pockets of local people, as France and Germany prepare EU tax crackdown.

EU cautious with German diesel plan

The European Commission welcomed the German carmakers' pledge to update software in diesel cars, but is waiting for details on how emissions will be reduced.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides