Wednesday

20th Jun 2018

Canada's PM cancels EU summit amid Ceta woes

  • Belgium's French speakers want more guarantees on the EU-Canada trade pact. (Photo: Die Linke)

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled a trip to Brussels, as Belgium failed on Wednesday (26 October) to clear internal opposition to the EU-Canada free-trade pact (Ceta).

“Canada remains ready to sign this important agreement whenever the EU is,” a spokesman for Canada’s trade minister Chrystia Freeland told Global News television.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

Ceta has been signed by 27 of 28 EU states. But some of the French-speaking entities in Belgium, which have devolved powers to approve international trade treaties, have refused to give the federal government permission to sign.

Representatives of the nine Belgian entities talked until late on Wednesday, and will keep talking on Thursday.

Belgium’s foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders refused to call the situation a failure.

”We are waiting for a concrete answer from the entities, so we can present the Belgian position at a meeting of EU ambassadors tomorrow,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Other people in the room said the negotiations had made headway, but the French-speakers wanted to consult experts and lawyers on what has been agreed so far.

According to Belgian public broadcaster RTBF, the Belgians agreed to a general safeguard clause, which would allow any regional entity within a federal structure like Belgium's to withdraw the country from Ceta.

They also want a contested investment protection system to become a real public court, amid fears that the mechanism, in its current shape, is biased towards corporate interests.

Farmers would also see special protection and support measures triggered if they are hurt by Canadian competition.

”If we manage to agree on this in Belgium, the proposal will be presented to the other EU member states. Then it will have to be approved by [Belgium's] regional parliaments,” said Paul Magnette, Wallonia's minister-president.

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.

Belgium breaks Ceta deadlock

[Updated] Belgian leaders signed a joint declaration, clearing the way for the government to sign the EU-Canada trade pact. Wallonia's leader Paul Magnette said it was a victory for his people, and the rest of Europe.

Greek bailout exit takes shape

At a meeting next week, eurozone finance ministers and the IMF are expected to agree on new cash, debt relief measures, and a monitoring mechanism to ensure that Greece can live without international aid for the first time since 2010.

Opinion

Eurozone needs institutional reform

Both the examples of Greece and Italy test the limits of a system with inherent weaknesses that feeds internal gaps, strengthens deficits and debts in the European South, and surpluses in the European North respectively.

Opinion

Europe could lose out in North Korean bonanza

South Korean businesses including Hyundai and Samsung are already scoping investment opportunities. Will North Korea become a 'new Vietnam' opportunity - or more like Myanmar, where slow Brussels policy-making meant EU exporters lost out.

News in Brief

  1. PES to announce 'spitzenkandidat' names in October
  2. Macedonian parliament ratifies name deal
  3. EU to hit US with import duties from Friday
  4. Commission: New on-road CO2 test would take years
  5. Juncker orders migration 'mini-summit' on Sunday
  6. Luxembourg gave illegal state aid to energy firm
  7. Negotiators lower finger printing age of refugees to six
  8. EU to lift its internal data storage barriers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. How to get around the EU posted workers directive
  2. EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'
  3. Fate of EU refugee deal hangs in the balance
  4. Merkel, Macron in pre-summit pledge on migration, eurozone
  5. Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs
  6. Swedish party puts EU referendums back in fashion
  7. EU summit set to outsource asylum
  8. Dutch request to clarify Brexit Britons' rights annulled

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us