Walloon government: seven days to give its opinion on transatlantic free trade treaties - violation of democracy

Thursday, 06 October 2016 13:38
The Walloon Minister-President is not a happy man. The Walloon Minister-President is not a happy man. © Belga
Assessing “the gravity” of the situation, the Walloon government is not ready to run with the parliament if the latter were to approve a new resolution against the CETA.
This is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade agreement, the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada), for which an anticipated interpretative declaration is still awaited.

However, the seven days remaining for the government to provide its response already constitute “an unacceptable violation of our democratic principles,” confirmed the Walloon Minister President,  Paul Magnette, during a plenary debate on the subject, in the regional assembly.

The Walloon government was invited to reach at decision about this by October 12th, the date of a meeting on the issue by the EU Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) on the signature delegation to sign CETA, which it is refusing to grant to the federal government.

An EU Council of Ministers is planned for October 18th, and the Treaty may be signed on October 27th during the EU-Canada summit. This is according to the schedule set out by Mr Magnette (of the Socialist Party).

The Walloon government has no more than seven days to promulgate a potential change of view if the promised interpretative declaration were to prove satisfactory to it.

“It is predicted for the next few hours, the next few days, but I've had nothing,” Paul Magnette lamented to the deputies.

He hammered, “This bad form is a violation of our democratic principles, it is not acceptable.”

Mr Magnette hopes that the parliament has appropriate time to consider the contents of the interpretative declaration before settling the matter.

Oscar Schneider
The Brussels Times
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