Belgian French-speaking region votes to put brakes on CETA

28 April 2016

Belgian French-speaking region votes to put brakes on CETA

The Walloon Parliament – the regional assembly which represents the inhabitants of Belgium’s French-speaking southern region – has voted to reject the signing of CETA, the trade treaty recently concluded between the European Union and Canada. As a result, Belgium will be obliged to abstain whenever the subject is raised in the European Council, the body which directly represents the heads of EU member state governments. With their vote in the regional parliament, which enjoys extensive powers under Belgium’s federal system of government, the Walloons have dealt the treaty a hefty blow.

Foto: Paul-Emile Dupret

The Walloon Parliament votes on CETA

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur expressed her delight at the Walloon Parliament’s verdict. “Just like the TTIP, CETA is a treaty that serves only the interests of the multinationals, at the expense of consumers, workers, farm animals and the environment. It forms, furthermore, a back door for American corporations who want to sue European states via a special court of arbitration for foreign investors.”

In addition to voting to block CETA, the Walloons have also insisted on applying for an opinion on the arbitration system to the European Court of Justice. A range of European organisations have expressed concerns about a parallel system of law being erected alongside the existing European judicial order. The French-speaking region is also urging the Belgian federal government to say no to the treaty coming into force before national parliaments have had an opportunity to give their views.

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