Skiurlaub- günstig mit FeWo-direkt
Hotelsuche in 

Wallonia destroys years of work

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Q & A Is the EU-Canada free trade deal dead in the water?
Since Belgium's French-speaking region of Wallonia decided earlier this month not to back the EU-Canada free trade deal CETA, many questions about the future of CETA and the EU‘s ability to commit to other international trade deals have emerged.
Brussels (dpa) - The future of a landmark EU-Canada trade deal was hanging in the balance Monday, after days of last-ditch negotiations failed to resolve Belgian regional opposition to the deal.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is designed to ease the flow of goods between Canada and EU member states, by removing tariffs and trade barriers. Proponents argue that this will boost growth and job-creation, but opponents fear that the deal could undermine European standards and give companies undue clout.

Does this spell the end for CETA?

This is unlikely to be the end of the road for CETA, which has the backing of all 28 national EU governments. The deal has been hailed as the best and the most advanced that the bloc has ever negotiated with a trading partner.

The European Commission signalled Monday that efforts would continue to broker an agreement, with a spokesman calling for "patience" to resolve the outstanding issues.

What are the chances of a breakthrough?

It is thought to be difficult, but not impossible. Walloon Prime Minister Paul Magnette, who heads the Belgian region at the forefront of the blockade, considers many objections to have been resolved in recent days. Written assurances have been issued that environmental and consumer standards will not be eroded, among other things. But a key bone of contention remains the use of special arbitration courts to settle disputes between companies and governments. Some of Wallonia‘s demands will require time to resolve.

Did anybody see this coming?

There were warnings, but nobody appears to have taken them seriously enough. The Walloon parliament had first opposed the deal back in April, its president Andre Antoine told broadcaster RTL on Monday.

But many officials within the EU have treated the issue as a domestic Belgian problem which Prime Minister Charles Michel was responsible for resolving, by winning over regional governments in the highly decentralized country.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, addresses the General Debate of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 20 September 2016.

Is Belgium entirely to blame?

The commission and member states such as Germany are also pointing the finger at one another, following a decision in July to take the unusual step of giving national and regional European parliaments a say over the deal. The commission said it caved in to pressure from member states such as Germany, Austria and France to seek a wider mandate, in an attempt to counter vocal public opposition to free trade deals such as CETA.

German Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, on the other hand, has accused the commission of preferring the "technocratic strong-arming of trade deals." He argues that Berlin and other capitals had merely responded to the "questions and criticism of their population."

Who is right?

Both the commission and member states probably share some of the blame for not taking seriously enough the public opposition to CETA - and its sister deal being negotiated with the United States, known as TTIP. But Gabriel has also been accused of playing a double game by advocating CETA while criticizing TTIP.

What, ultimately, is at stake?

Many fear that the EU will lose its credibility as a global trading partner. The argument is that, if a trade deal is not even possible with Canada - a closely aligned country that shares many EU values - who can the bloc ever reach agreement with? Besides TTIP, this could also be a concern when it comes to Britain‘s exit from the EU and efforts to redraft that trade relationship.

"Even if the blockage of the EU-Canada trade deal by the Walloon government is solved in the coming weeks, the damage is already done to EU trade policy," former EU trade spokesman and business consultant John Clancy said Monday.

"The events of the past few days raise profound questions about the EU‘s ability to fulfil one of its core functions: breaking down the barriers to help European companies do business internationally," he added.


Kommentare zu diesem Artikel
Neuer Kommentar
Name *
Email * (wird nicht öffentlich angezeigt)
* Pflichtangaben
Diesen Artikel empfehlen

Absender Empfänger Nachricht (optional)

Tipps der Redaktion aus dem Nachrichtenportal
French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday his government planned to bring forward a law to help limit the impact of fake news on future election campaigns. Paris (dpa) - Macron told journalists gathered for a New Year‘s message in the
Democratic lawmakers are to question US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday about his past statements on communication between President Donald Trump's electoral campaign and Russia. Washington (dpa) - Sessions is to appear at a routine
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Catalan President Carles Puigdemont were holding separate meetings Monday as the crisis triggered by an unauthorized Catalan independence referendum marred by violence unfolded. Barcelona (dpa) - Rajoy started
US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a second, undisclosed meeting during the G20 summit in Hamburg, news reports said Tuesday. Washington (dpa) - The second meeting lasted about one hour and took place after the more
Six Balkan nations - not necessarily with a strong track record of collaborating - will come together for a summit on Wednesday to exchange ideas about how to cooperate and build ties in their region, according to the European Union. Belgrade (dpa) -
Questions about contacts with Russian officials have led to the resignation of one top White House official and cast clouds over other members of President Donald Trump's administration. Washington (dpa) - Key dates in the widening investigation of
Tipps der Redaktion aus dem Reiseportal
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - Norway‘s Marit Bjoergen wins the 30-kilometres cross country ski race to become the best decorated Winter Olympian of a all time with eight gold, four silver and three bronze.
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - China highlighted that construction for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is in full swing while trying to defuse questions on the sensitive issue of artificial snow-making at the ski venues.Organizing committee BOCOG
Berlin (dpa) - Figure skating events at the Pyeongchang Olympics, with day and time (in GMT), 2014 champions and athletes to watch.Monday, February 12, 0100: team event (Russia) Thursday, February 15, 0130: pairs (Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov,
Seoul (dpa) - An overview of venues to be used to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in 2018.Pyeongchang Mountain ClusterLocated around 180 kilometres east of Seoul in the Gangwon province. Here there is the 35,000-capacity Olympic stadium for the
Frankfurt (dpa) - Germany will be unable to host an Olympic Games inside the next decade but the subject will not remain closed, a leading official has said."The overall topic of a potential bid has rather a mid- or long-term character," German
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee advanced plans on Thursday to set up an independent anti-doping testing system following the drugs scandal in Russian sports.The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is also set to


(22.10.2019 19:19)

5 / 10 °C

5 / 10 °C
7 / 12 °C
powered by
Stock News

Agenda - The Week Ahea ...
Agenda - The Week Ahea ...

Afghan Farah Governor ...
Ministry Warns Cinema ...

Puigdemont won't seek ...
Turkish tensions with ...

URGENT: Norway's Bjoe ...
China highlights Beiji ...

© europe online publishing house GmbH, Weiden, Germany, | Impressum