The free trade treaty with Canada (CETA) may possibly be the last commercial treaty negotiated by the EU. This may occur if European leaders are not able to convince public opinion that these agreements benefit the people. This was the warning made by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, upon his arrival at the Euro Summit of heads of state and government.
Mr. Tusk immediately mentioned the free trade agreement with Canada, specifying that “negotiations are still underway” for seeking to respond to concerns presented by Wallonia, whose Minister-President, Paul Magnette, refuses for the time being to concede the full signing powers to the federal government.
“I hope that Belgium will once again demonstrate that it is a champion of compromise and that we will have an agreement on Friday to allow the signing of CETA,” said the President of the European Council.
“But the problem goes beyond CETA: If we are not able to convince the people that these commercial agreements are in their best interest, that our representatives negotiate for protecting the interests of the population, I fear that CETA may be the last trade agreement” negotiated by the EU, he warned.
Mr. Tusk is to meet with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel before the beginning of the summit.
Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)