- Title: Belgium closes in on deal to save EU-Canada trade pact
- Date: 27th October 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 27, 2016) (REUTERS) **** WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **** HORSES IN PARADE OFFICE OF BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER, CHARLES MICHEL BELGIAN FLAG MINISTER-PRESIDENT OF WALLONIA, PAUL MAGNETTE, ARRIVING FOR MEETING, SURROUNDED BY JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) MINISTER-PRESIDENT OF WALLONIA, PAUL MAGNETTE, SAYING: "We have many results in terms of the protection of social and environmental norms and public services, the absence of a private court and the fact that the court must be fully public and give the highest jurisdictional guarantees. And now we have some elements of legal consolidation to discuss." (SOUNDBITE) (French) BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, DIDIER REYNDERS, SAYING: "I hope now we will have a response from the judicial analyses we were promised. And that beyond that we will be able start again at 11 o'clock, during the day, the debate with our 27 colleagues. We must not kid ourselves, it's not just a debate within Belgium, it's a debate also with 27 European colleagues, to confirm at some point a position to Canada." REYNDERS WALKING OFF TO MEETING
- Embargoed: 11th November 2016 09:01
- Keywords: Belgium EU Canada CETA trade European Union Trudeau Wallonia
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA00155S662V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Belgian politicians appeared on course on Thursday (October 27) to break a deadlock over a planned EU-Canada free trade agreement that all 27 other EU governments support but has been rejected by the French-speaking south of Belgium.
Failure to find a breakthrough on Wednesday evening prompted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call off plans to fly to Brussels for a summit at which the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was to have been signed.
"We have many results in terms of the protection of social and environmental norms and public services, the absence of a private court and the fact that the court must be fully public and give the highest jurisdictional guarantees. And now we have some elements of legal consolidation to discuss," Paul Magnette, Socialist premier of the Walloon region who has led opposition to the deal, told reporters as he arrived for a third day of talks with the federal and other sub-federal governments in Brussels.
Prime Minister Charles Michel gathered heads of Belgium's regions and linguistic communities to produce a common text to allay concerns about agricultural imports and a dispute settlement system that critics say could be abused by multi nationals to dictate public policy.
CETA, seven years in the making, is backed by all other EU countries, but its rejection by French-speaking south of Belgium means federal Belgium as a whole cannot sign it.
Any Belgian deal would still have to be put to the other 27 EU members for approval before CETA itself could be signed.
An EU official said the EU-Canada summit had been postponed, with no new date set.
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