The belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, announced, Thursday, that the representatives of the different regions of the country agreed on the draft treaty with Canada.
The representatives of the various regions and language communities of Belgium, who found themselves Thursday morning to talk about the draft treaty of free trade between the european Union and Canada (CETA), reached an agreement, said on Thursday 27 October, the belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, in the late morning.
Belgium must send the terms of this agreement to the ambassadors of the 27 member States of the EU in Brussels, who will meet in the day, before being presented to the various Parliaments of Belgium, who will speak on it ” before Friday midnight, “.
For his part, the president of the european Council, Donald Tusk, has said ” happy “ of this agreement, and has indicated that he would contact the prime minister of canada, Justin Trudeau, once all the procedures have been finalized within the EU for the signing of the CETA.
The agreement was also welcomed by the head of canadian diplomacy, Stéphane Dion, who participates in a ministerial conference on the maintenance of peace in the francophone environment in Paris. the ” If this happens, it is an excellent new “, he said, saying ” cautiously optimistic. “
The Walloons ready to a compromise
For several days, the belgian federal government tried in vain to convince the Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital region and the community of French language for Belgium to reconsider their veto, which blocked the signing of the CETA by Belgium and, in consequence, by the Union as a whole.
hence, on Wednesday evening, the canadian government had announced the postponement of the move of Justin Trudeau, and his delegation to Brussels on Thursday, a date had been originally fixed for the official signing of the treaty of free trade. Thursday morning, the summit between the EU and Canada had been cancelled. No new date has been set at this stage.
The Walloons seemed ready to accept a compromise on Thursday. They have already achieved that the “interpretative note” attached at the beginning of October, the treaty is complete : it contains additional assurances concerning the protection of public services, housekeeping a withdrawal clause in the agricultural field, etc
It is also intended that the courts of arbitration (supposed to settle conflicts between multinational corporations and States) are not put in place in the framework of the provisional application of the agreement (which should intervene between the green light of the european Parliament and various national Parliaments).
also Read : Paul Magnette, the irreducible Walloon
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA or comprehensive economic and trade Agreement) is a trade agreement that does not only reduce tariffs between the EU and Canada, but also wants to lead to a convergence of certain standards to limit what advocates of free trade called “non-tariff barriers” to trade. The ambition is to reduce from 36% to 3 % the share of european exports subject to such barriers.