(© picture-alliance/dpa)


  6 Debates

The European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday approved the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada. Legislation that will facilitate trade between the two entities is likely to take effect within a short period of time. The EU has resisted populist trends for the first time in a long while, some commentators write in delight. Others fear that Ceta will only boost populism.

After seven years of negotiations and wrangling the EU and Canada signed the Ceta free trade agreement on Sunday. The Belgian region of Wallonia dropped its opposition to the deal on Friday - after securing additional concessions. Has the struggle to get the deal signed in the final phase discredited the EU, or is it proof of strong democracy?

Today Thursday was supposed to see the signing of the Ceta trade agreement between Canada and the EU. But since Belgium failed to reach a consensus with it regions, the Canadian governmental delegation has cancelled its trip to Brussels. Some commentators are pleased that Wallonia kept up its resistance, saying this may force renegotiations. Others voice disappointment at the EU's inability to take action.

The Ceta free trade agreement between the EU and Canada is still hanging in the balance. The deal was supposed to be signed this week but now threatens to fall through owing to the opposition of Wallonia, which is critical of certain aspects of the agreement. Are the Walloons spoiling a major opportunity for Europe or are they the voice of the people?

The question of whether the EU and Canada will sign the Ceta free trade agreement at the end of October is still open. The Walloon regional parliament rejected the deal on Friday. Wallonia's consent is required for Belgium's central government to sign the deal. The agreement's demise would be good news, some commentators believe. Others see Ceta as too important to fail.

After planning to consult only the EU Parliament as regards the Ceta free trade agreement with Canada, the EU Commission has now decided to allow the national parliaments to have their say. Some see this as a clever move in the dispute over the distribution of power in Europe. Others believe it is a mistake particularly in a context of growing Euroscepticism.