- Title: Belgian talks on EU-Canada trade break, to go on Wednesday
- Date: 25th October 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 25, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** JOURNALISTS OUTSIDE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY SECURITY OFFICERS AT ENTRANCE EXTERIOR OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY PEOPLE WALKING CARRYING FOOD WINDOWS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY BELGIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER, DIDIER REYNDERS, LEAVING REYNDERS TALKING TO JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (French) BELGIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER, DIDIER REYNDERS, SAYING: "I haven't asked the question of whether we could sign an agreement or not. What I wanted to do this afternoon and this evening was to put all the texts in order so we can tell our European colleagues 'This is what we want to discuss.' And that is what we will do in the next hours again. So the next meeting is at 08:00 (0600GMT) tomorrow. The dialogue committee will resume and I hope that we can then give a signal to our European colleagues that we are ready to start the talks at a European level on the basis of Belgian propositions, which means that talks at a European level will resume. But we are not there yet. I think everybody has seen that we worked well today. We have now defined the two or three difficulties that remain to be solved by tomorrow morning and I hope that we can solve them tomorrow morning so we can resume the European debate and come back to our 27 colleagues." REYNDERS TALKING TO JOURNALISTS JOURNALISTS OUTSIDE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY (SOUNDBITE) (French) WALLOON PREMIER, PAUL MAGNETTE, SAYING: "I'm not saying we made progress, and neither am I saying it is blocked. We have always negotiated in good faith, we already said it, but our demands are clear, they have been clear for a very long time. So we feel that we are beginning to be heard but we have to continue negotiating." VEHICLE IN COURTYARD / PEOPLE WALKING VARIOUS OF REYNDERS TALKING TO COLLEAGUES VEHICLE LEAVING REYNDERS TALKING ON PHONE
- Embargoed: 9th November 2016 21:19
- Keywords: Wallonia CETA trade EU deal Canada Reynders Magnette
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA00155I9OW7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Belgian negotiators failed on Tuesday (October 25) to break a deadlock between federal and regional authorities that is blocking a free trade deal between the European Union and Canada, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said.
Feuding Belgian politicians, keeping Canada and the European Union waiting, will resume talks on Wednesday (October 26) with hopes fading that they will unblock a Transatlantic free trade deal in time for a planned signing summit.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was due to fly to Brussels to ink the CETA trade pact with EU leaders on Thursday (October 27).
But Belgium's federal government failed in six hours of negotiations on Tuesday to overcome a veto from the region of Wallonia that is stopping the European bloc from signing up.
Didier Reynders, the Belgian foreign minister who chaired the talks, said he hoped that his liberal-led federal government could forge a common position with Socialist-led Wallonia, one of five devolved authorities whose agreement it needs. It would then go back to EU negotiators trying to conclude the accord.
"I hope that we can then give a signal to our European colleagues that we are ready to start the talks at a European level on the basis of Belgian propositions," Reynders told reporters late on Tuesday.
Paul Magnette, the Wallonia premier, has said it could take some weeks to agree a deal that has been seven years in the making.
He repeated on Tuesday that his French-speaking region, less than 1 percent of the EU's 507-million population, could not agree to an arbitration system in CETA that he said favoured multinational corporations over existing national courts.
EU and Canadian officials have said that even if Trudeau does not come to sign the accord, they will keep talking.
Canada, with much to lose from failing to gain easier access to such a big market, says the ball is in Europe's court.
All 27 other EU states are ready to sign up, as is Belgium's federal government and its biggest region, Dutch-speaking Flanders.
Critics accuse the French-speaking Socialists, pushed out of federal power for the first time in over 20 years by the current coalition, of exploiting its veto for domestic ends.
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