The EU and Canada will talk about whether to keep Thursday’s summit in place on Monday
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    The EU and Canada will talk about whether to keep Thursday’s summit in place on Monday

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will talk to the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. They will discuss whether to keep Thursday’s summit in place.

    This summit was designed to seal the trade treaty between the EU and Canada (CETA). The terms of the treaty have been negotiated over the past few years.

    However, Wallonia, Brussels and the Wallonia-Brussels federation have voiced concerns over this treaty and the interpretive declaration which was supposed to address any doubts. The federal French-language authorities have refused to delegate their power over signing the treaty to the federal government. Or at least not until their criticisms have been taken on board.

    Despite intense negotiations between the Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and European and Belgian federal MPs, Wallonia has not yet given the go-ahead. There are doubts as to whether the EU-Canada summit in Brussels next Thursday will go ahead.

    The European Commission thinks the situation is a Belgian problem, a European diplomatic source told the Belga agency.

    The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will talk to the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. They will talk about whether the EU-Canada summit will go ahead. If they can’t reach an agreement, the summit could be cancelled or postponed. The Commission does not want to speculate at this point, the diplomatic source added.

    On Saturday, the President of the PS Elio Di Rupo called for the signing of the treaty to be delayed for 2 months. This is so there can be a public debate and to ensure certain demands are met. This concerns judicial aspects and the interpretative declaration.

    Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga)