After two weeks of marathon negotiations, the Parliament of Wallonia agreed the signing of CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Canada on Friday, October 28. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council said that the treaty would be ratified at a summit on Sunday.
The Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, whose country is currently chairing EU countries, praised CETA as a “milestone of EU trade policy”. CETA is a “modern and progressive agreement that opens the door to new opportunities while protecting important interests”. In the EU-Canada trade, CETA is said to abolish 99% of the current tariffs, according to EU figures.
The concerns of the CETA critics are now to be taken into account with additional clarifications and guarantees. For example, the Belgian competitors are able to hold a protective clause for their farmers in case of emergency. In addition, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is to be asked to draw up an opinion on the controversial rules on dispute resolution between companies and states.