- Title: Germany's Steinmeier hopes CETA will still go through
- Date: 24th October 2016
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (OCTOBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER ARRIVING AT "CITIZENS' DIALOGUE" EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, SAYING: "It is a mixed agreement and I don't know if there will be similar mixed agreements in the future because this one has meant that in the dispute between the European Commission and the member states it is difficult to make decisions. Hopefully they will still be made, that is to say that Wallonia will still be persuaded." STEINMEIER ON STAGE / AUDIENCE PANEL DISCUSSION IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 8th November 2016 10:53
- Keywords: Frank-Walter Steinmeier CETA Canada EU trade Wallonia
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA00155D6OUF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday (October 24) that he was hopeful a planned EU-Canada free trade deal would still be ratified despite opposition from the Belgian region of Wallonia.
"It is a mixed agreement and I don't know if there will be similar mixed agreements in the future because this one has meant that in the quarrel between the European Commission and the member states it is difficult to make decisions. Hopefully they will still be made, that is to say that Wallonia will still be persuaded," Steinmeier said at a panel discussion in Berlin.
All 28 EU governments support the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), including Belgium, but the latter can only sign up to it if it has the consent of five sub-federal authorities and Wallonia has steadfastly resisted.
The European Union has given Belgium until late on Monday to overcome that opposition or an EU-Canada summit on Thursday (October 27) to sign the pact with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be cancelled.
The president of the Walloon parliament, Andre Antoine, said on Monday that the French-speaking region would not yield to the ultimatum.
Walloons have concerns about the threat of surging pork and beef imports from Canada and an independent court system to settle disputes between states and foreign investors, which critics say allows multinationals to dictate public policy.
CETA supporters say it would increase trade between the partners by 20 percent and boost the EU economy by 12 billion euros ($13 billion) a year and Canada's by C$12 billion ($9 billion).
Given the dispute over the deal, Steinmeier said the European Commission may in future try to exclude EU member states from the decision-making process on similar agreements.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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