The Walloon Minister-President Paul Magnette presented a declaration today (Monday), which had been signed by around forty academics from both Europe and across the Atlantic. This requests that the European Commission reverses the rationale by which it does business.
The objective of this “Namur Declaration,” for which Mr Magnette took the initiative following the “CETA” episode (the free-trade treaty between the EU and Canada), is principally “to abandon the rationale by which trade simply becomes an end in itself.”
Mr Magnette explained, when giving a press conference in the European district in Brussels that, “Trade is only of practical use if it also serves the ends of sustainable development, reduction of poverty and inequalities, and the fight against global warming.”
The text codifies the improvements that Wallonia obtained during its negotiations with the European Commission, Canada and the federal government.
The leader of the Walloon government says that it also takes up “what we have not obtained, but also what we wanted to see” in the EU’s commercial treaties.
The declaration has been signed by big names in the academic and economic world. These include Thomas Piketty, Philippe Aghion, Paul Craig, László Andor, Philippe Maystadt, Philippe Van Parys, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, as well as academics from Canada and United States.
Its objective is to arouse debate, and “if the Commission chooses simply to trade on its current reputation and path, then we are at least entitled to know the reasons why.”
The Brussels Times