Belgian political leaders reached consensus and will support CETA trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. That agreement was reached after the last round of negotiations with the French-speaking communities in Belgium, which halted the deal. Scheduled for today in Brussels signing ceremony of the agreement was canceled after the Belgian province Walloon declared firmly against CETA.
The Belgian deal would still have to be approved by the other 27 EU member states.
Under the federal system of Belgium, the national government of the country can not sign the deal until it is approved by all six regional parliament. The French-speaking province Wallonia, which has a population of 3.6 million people opposed most to the deal, demanding stronger assurances standards in the field of labor, environmental and consumer protection.
“All parliaments are now able to approve by tomorrow at midnight. Important step for EU and Canada”, said the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
The contracting process for CETA agreement took seven years. The disputes about the agreement sparked new concerns for the future of British negotiations with the EU on trade deal about Brexit. Huge obstacle is a plan to establish new commercial courts, which can be resolved disputes between companies and countries. Wallonia fears that they are given too many benefits to multinational companies. The region wants greater protection of Walloon farmers who will face new competition from Canadian imports.
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