European leaders are on their way not to let any stone unturned to rescue the much troubled European Union-Canada trade impact on last Friday, after ministers failed to satisfy the Belgian regional parliament that is blocking the deal. Ministers from all 28 EU states, including Belgium, pledged their support for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. But their hopes were turned down after fierce opposition from Wallonia, the Francophone region of Belgium.
Failure to reach at a resolution by Friday will certainly force Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to abandon EU-Canada summit due to take place in Brussels on 27th October. Inside Brussels and many other national capitals, this act would be seen as a worst humiliating outcome for Europe. The EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told that there has to be an agreement and their Canadian friends need to know whether to book their ticket or not. Belgium’s foreign minister Mr Didier Reynders told that he hoped for progress at the EU summit.
Canada is much impatient with the European Union’s last minute doubts over the trade deal which began negotiating seven years ago. If Europe was unable to sign a trade deal with a country like Canada, then who does Europe think they can do business within the years to come? Trudeau commented. Malmstorm urged for the talks on reforming EU trade policy. She added that it cannot be dragged for years and years because then it will lose its relevance.
In order to have a complete and permanent agreement, Ceta should be ratified by 28 national parliaments and 10 other regional assemblies and upper houses. Speaking to Walloon MPs, Mr Paul Magnette, the minister-president, who studied at the University of Cambridge and was a political scientist told that he had encountered thinly veiled threats but refused to climb down. In his opinion Ceta was weighted against European producers. ‘Why would Europeans not have the right to protect their markets against exports that would eventually threaten our sectors? This is what I am fighting for’ he commented.