There was a “technical” meeting between representatives for Wallonia and the European Commission on Sunday morning, a Walloon government spokesman told the Belga agency. The meeting allowed representatives for the Walloon region to once again explain their concerns about the Free Trade Treaty between the European Union and Canada (CETA). However, there were no negotiations.
Members of the Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders’ cabinet were also at the meeting. Wallonia confirmed its opposition to the Trade Treaty on Friday, and called for negotiations to be reopened so their concerns could be taken into account. Two days after the Wallonia-Brussels Federation’s Parliament session, Walloon MPs approved a bill asking the Walloon executive power not to delegate its powers over signing the Treaty to the Federal government. The treaty has been the subject of criticism for several months.
European Ministers should theoretically meet in Luxemburg to sign the treaty on the 18th of October. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, should be given the power to approve it for the EU during the next EU-Canada summit on the 27th of October. The Walloon President-Minister Paul Magnette used the secrecy surrounding the CETA negotiations to justify the Walloon veto. He also said that the non-respect of socio-economic rights and the environment also justify it.
Wallonia’s position has not changed since Friday, the Walloon government spokesman added. A coordination meeting between the Federal government and federal authorities will take place on Monday. They will prepare for the Trade Council on the 18th of October. The meeting was organised by the DGE (General Direction for Coordination and Foreign Affairs, part of the Foreign Affairs SPF).