EC - Canada: free trade agreement in question
President of the European Council Donald Tusk warned that comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) with Canada may be the last with the EU if the government "is not able to convince people that the trade agreements on their behalf."
Pinned hopes that CETA will be formally signed on Thursday 27 October. However, despite approval by 27 of the 28 EU Member States, the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to give their support. The Federal Government of Belgium gave their support to end on 24 October. Andre Antoine, Walloon parliament speaker, said that it is impossible to adhere to this "ultimatum."
It was to be a meeting last week after the European Council, where Tusk said "all member states, except one, approved the deal."
Commenting on the event, Tusk said: "Firstly, our citizens are increasingly concerned at the expense of trade agreements, leading the negotiations to their advantage, and I'm afraid that we can not continue negotiations for free trade agreements (FTA), if we do not will prove in practice that we are very serious about the protection of European consumers, workers and businesses."
"We have made some progress in this direction. Leaders have committed to urgently reach agreement on the modernization of EU trade defense instruments. We instructed our trade ministers to break the deadlock."
Speaking before the meeting, Tusk said: "If we can not convince people that trade agreements on their behalf if we can not convince them that our representatives are negotiating to protect the interests of the people, we have not is likely to build public support for free trade. it means, I'm afraid that CETA could be our last agreement on free trade."