There was a huge amount of EU tub-thumping yesterday (30 October), as the EU and Canadian summit happened in a very rushed manner and the CETA* deal was signed by Justin Trudeau and Jean-Claude Juncker. The media have presented the signing as the end of the journey for CETA saying that it’s time for everyone to accept this trade deal as finalised.
"The corporate-driven agenda gravely endangers labour, health and other social legislation, and there is no justification to fast-track it … Civil society should demand referendums on the approval of CETA or any other such mega-treaty that has been negotiated behind closed doors," Alfred de Zayas, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and
Le chef de file des libéraux et démocrates au Parlement européen, Guy Verhofstadt (Open VLD/ADLE), a estimé mardi que le Conseil commerce du 11 novembre prochain pourrait revenir sur la proposition de la Commission européenne de faire du CETA un ’accord non-mixte’, pour le considérer comme relevant de la compétence exclusive de l’UE.
We support Wallonia and its prime minister Paul Magnette for courageously standing up against CETA. We ask you to stop bullying Wallonia and the Brussels region for their democratic decision to oppose CETA. The EU-Canada trade deal must be completely renegotiated to remove any special rights for corporations -- at the minimum.
Late on Friday, Canada’s trade minister – the former FT journalist Chrystia Freeland – declared that the trade agreement with the EU (the so-called Ceta) had failed. She’d been commuting between Brussels and Namur, the seat of Wallonia’s regional parliament, for a few days, trying to get the region’s left-wing government to support the trade deal. But her efforts, and those by others, were in vain. Wallonia didn’t budge. All the EU leaders that were in Brussels to seal the deal ahead of Justin Trudeau’s visit on Thursday, had to return back home empty-handed.
The opposition to CETA and TTIP has been unprecedented in the history of the EU. Concerns have been expressed by millions of people across the continent, including lawyers, academics, political parties, local authorities and virtually all sectors of civil society. Many governments have also expressed reservations on CETA. Only the Walloons, however, had the guts to show it the red card.
European governments today failed to sign off the EU-Canada trade deal known as CETA. Campaign group Global Justice Now welcomed the defeat of CETA deal, which they claim will lead to an increase in the power of big business over our food standards, public services and decision-making. They called on the EU to stop the negotiations of CETA.