Canada walks out of EU trade talks
The heads of the EU member states agreed on the conclusion of a Free Trade Zone Agreement between the EU and Canada. This was announced after the Summit of the Heads of EU member states and governments. Earlier one of the Belgian regions Wallonia vetoed the government’s right to sign the trade agreement while other EU states approved it. Wallonia’s population is more than 3 million people which is less than 1% of the EU population. However, according to Belgium’s legislation, the government cannot sign such deals without approval of all regions of the Kingdom.
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COUNCIL:
Our citizens are increasingly concerned about whether the trade deals we negotiate are in their best interest. And I am afraid that we won’t be able to continue to negotiate FTAs if we do not prove in practice that we are very serious about protecting consumers work as end components. Today we have made some progress in this regard.
CHARLES MICHEL, BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER:
We continue tense negotiations with Wallonia authorities, European Commission and keep in touch with Ottawa. The head of Belgian Foreign Ministry Didier Reynders and I receive information regarding the negotiations every hour. We need to reaffirm the EU’s ability to act and complete international trade agreements. The European Commission made a number of proposals to reach the compromise and Belgium at the governmental level wants to sign the Agreement.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed hope that the agreement will be finally approved by all national and regional parliaments naming it ‘the best trade agreement the EU has ever concluded’. The next date of possible signing is October 27 during EU-Canada Summit.