CETA – Brussels government only to reach decision if parliamentary resolution is withdrawn
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    CETA – Brussels government only to reach decision if parliamentary resolution is withdrawn

    © Belga
    Limited progress was made last week with the CETA.
    © Belga

    The Brussels government has consistently held that, if there if a lack of agreement from within, the CETA(Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreeement) matter will come under the remit of the regional parliament with responsibility for adoption of the resolution. The Government will only reach a decision if the Brussels Assembly withdraws its resolution.

    The Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort (of the PS), confirmed this, on Friday night, when questioned by the Belga press agency.

    Earlier in the day, the Brussels minister for Foreign Affairs, Guy Vanhengel (of the Open Vld), had confirmed that the Brussels government may not be in a position to come to a decision.

    This is regarding the issue of signature by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the CETA by October 12th.

    So far, the interpretative note written in an attempt to prevail upon countries, who have not yet given their green light to this free trade agreement, has not officially been received.

    Didier Reynders, the Minister for FPS Foreign Affairs repeated that the Brussels Minister-President had sent the note on Monday.

    He said, “The e-mail reached us at 10.30 p.m on Wednesday. It was then subject to wider dissemination on Thursday at 9 a.m.”

    He went on, “However, the CETA matter was not on the government’s agenda (editor’s note: for Thursday). We simply spoke of it in an informal manner.”

    He further said, “However, unlike the Walloon government, we have never given a decision. Moreover, we have consistently maintained that, by its very nature, this is not a matter for the our government but for our parliament,” Rudi Vervoort commented on Friday evening.

    The Minister-President did not conceal the fact that the Flemish Christian Democrat and Open Vld partners, also represented at federal government level, did not hold with the analysis of the other majority Brussels parties.

    There is therefore no consensual position within the Brussels government.

    However, Rudi Vervoort openly suggested that during the next few days, progress in the matter might allow parliament to withdraw the resolution adopted in this matter.

    That being so, the government, when in a position to do so, would reach a swift decision. This would, in all likelihood, be completed electronically.

    This is because the Minister-President is scheduled to be away in Japan for a few days.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times