Officially signed on Sunday 30 October, the treaty of free trade between the EU and Canada will now have to be ratified by 38 national and regional Parliaments of the countries of the Union.
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Marked by bad luck : the official signing of the AACC, the comprehensive treaty for free trade between the european Union and Canada, had to be, once again, delayed, Sunday, October 30, following a technical incident occurred after the departure of the aircraft of the canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. He had to turn back for the outage is repaired. And, on his arrival at the building of the european Council, the euphoria was not to put : a few hundred demonstrators had been brushed with red facade and the service order. A dozen protesters were arrested after penetrating into the lock of safety of the building.
It is thus, finally, on the blow of 14 hours that has been endorsed this agreement described as ” history “ by all the participants, during a meeting called the ” summit “, more because of its symbolic significance and its content. The european heads of State were absent – they had signified their agreement by a written procedure at the end of the week – and represented by the president of the Council, Donald Tusk.
Read also : Canada says it is “cautiously optimistic” for the future of the commercial treaty AACC
The fierce opposition of Wallonia and of its minister-president Paul Magnette, had led to an initial postponement of the meeting of euro-canadian, originally scheduled for Thursday, October 27. The european institutions wanted to forget more quickly to this failure. Where the organization is very unusual, a Sunday afternoon, this session of signing, that there was no justification really. Apart from the desire to occupy, and, on the other, the field of the media.
During the press conference that followed the signing, Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Tusk and the president of the european Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has been stressed by all the drug’s potential benefits of the AACC and of the agreement of ” strategic partnership “ associated with it : the end of customs barriers, boost investments, job creation ” better quality “, defence of public services and the protection of the environment, etc, ” I am vexed that we could think that we wanted to sacrifice the rights of workers ” added Mr Juncker.
when asked about the opposition to this treaty and others that might follow (any mention of TTIP, or Tafta, which could unite one day Americans and Europeans, has been avoided), the three leaders adopted a mild tone. the ” free trade and globalization to protect, but few people understand and believe, said Mr Tusk. the It is necessary to convince them. “” Those who are in the street need to hear and, if possible, listen to as well. We have nothing sold on our main values “, renchérissait Mr Juncker.
Asked to react to the vivid concerns expressed by the walloon region, Mr. Trudeau has skillfully kicked into touch, not responding to the assertion that the AACC could be the “Trojan horse” of the TTIP. Mr Tusk judge, as to him, that the debate generated by Mr. Magnette has even been ” profitable “, forcing the issue ” credible information “ citizens.
also Read : Paul Magnette, the irreducible Walloon
” We have never threatened “
Mr Juncker, he is swept away. If it is said to be ” grateful “ to Mr. Magnette to have thanked the Committee for its positive role in the negotiation, he concentrated fire on the Centre démocrate humaniste, a partner in power in Wallonia. The president, Benoît Lutgen, had denounced the threats exerted on the belgian French-language and behavior ” offender “, according to him, the colleague european. the ” We have never threatened “, said Mr Juncker, who invited Belgium to ” reflecting on the mode of operation of the institutions for international relations “.
the text of The CETA will now have to be ratified by the european Parliament, probably in early 2017, which will allow implementation on a provisional and partial. Then, no less than 38 meetings, national or regional, will have to decide. Procedures that could take several years and seem to, now, full of uncertainties : the in-depth review of the original text by the Walloons will probably wake up the passions of some members of parliament who had, until then, not pay great attention to the AACC.
In Germany, the Bundestag is expected to say yes, the two members of the ” grand coalition ” y is favorable. The social democratic Party (SPD), the opponents have been placed in a minority, the result of a vote obtained by Sigmar Gabriel, party chairman and minister of the economy. The Bundesrat will also vote according to a procedure which is not determined. One of these procedures would allow the Greens and Die Linke – that participate in the twelve regional governments in sixteen – block the process.
Reluctance in several european countries
In Austria, where strong reservations were expressed, the Parliament should adopt the AACC, even if the trade unions are very powerful, there are still opposed to it. The ÖVP (conservative) is in control of the ministry of the economy, but the far right wing of the FPÖ is opposed to the project, is pushing for a referendum. The Parliament should therefore ratify the text quickly, in any case before the next parliamentary elections, the FPÖ is almost sure to win.
In Hungary, the Fidesz party of the prime minister, Viktor Orban, has long maintained the blur on his position. Now, he displays his support for the text. The government finally judged that the agreement will benefit the Hungarian companies.
in The netherlands, where farmers and antiglobalization movements have supported the fight of Wallonia, the text should reap a large majority in Parliament. The government, however, is not immune to a surprise. The anti-europeans have blocked, since April, another treaty, one that was to involve the european Union and Ukraine.
In Luxembourg, the elected representatives should ratify the agreement, even if a recent mobilization of 5,000 people – impressive given the size of the country – has weighed on the discussions. The Greens, in power, may pay, on election, their rallying. The socialists, the other partners in the liberal Xavier Bettel, hide evil in their divisions.
Read : TTIP and CETA: “Our SMES will not be the first beneficiaries of these future agreements”
consultation, as required by the Wallonia and the whole of Belgium, the european Court of justice regarding arbitration mechanisms (with judges appointed by States, but presumed independent) poses another threat to the entry into force of the agreement : if the judges of Luxembourg make a stop-negative – in a year, at best, and only if the procedure is fast, it is one of the principal bases of the treaty which could collapse.