'Belgian rejection of CETA spells the end for the treaty’

24 October 2016

'Belgian rejection of CETA spells the end for the treaty’

Foto: SP

Belgium’s refusal to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union means the beginning of the end for the treaty, according to SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur. “The Walloons continue to stand up for democracy and fair trade,’ she says. ‘That’s not compatible with this stranglehold agreement. This must mark the end of CETA, nothing else is possible. Its supporters have suffered a heavy defeat.”

In the view of the Walloons, the French-speaking Belgians in the country’s south, the controversial arbitration system should be scrapped from the agreement, while demands in relation to agricultural production must be tightened. Canada, on the other hand, does not want to see negotiations reopened. “With the justified demands of the Walloons the treaty is further away than ever,” says Mineur. “So it’s logical that the chair of the European Parliament Committee on Trade has also declared CETA dead.”

“Across Europe people have rebelled against this,” adds SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk. “In Amsterdam’s Museumplein too we demonstrated last Saturday with a broad coalition. From farmers to environmental activists and from trade unionists to employers, all of these groups let it be known that this sort of treaty isn’t in their interests. There has to be a radical change of direction. It’s time for more democracy and fair trade. Drawing a line under CETA is an excellent first step.”

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