Monday

24th Sep 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.

... or 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.

Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

The justice commissioner says the accommodation-rental website will better inform users about prices, and about the legal status of their 'hosts'. Facebook, however, could face sanctions if it doesn't comply with EU rules.

Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

The justice commissioner says the accommodation-rental website will better inform users about prices, and about the legal status of their 'hosts'. Facebook, however, could face sanctions if it doesn't comply with EU rules.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  2. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  3. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  4. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  5. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  6. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  7. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  8. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us