Walloon parliament stops dodgy CETA trade deal

This video says about itself:

CETA: An assault on democracy

2 September 2014

Should the EU and Canada sign the CETA treaty, it threatens to turn democracy into a pawn in the games of multinational corporations:

Companies could sue via their Canadian subsidiaries when public policies lead to a reduction of their profits. Private arbitration panels, operating behind closed doors, could award billions in compensation to corporations – to be paid for by taxpayers’ money.

Signing CETA would pave the way for the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US to enter through the back door. Both agreements threaten to weaken existing laws that restrict the use of genetic engineering in agriculture or prevent the contamination of drinking water through fracking. Privatisation of public services would no longer be reversible.

Please help to stop CETA!

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Walloons stand firm: no CETA for Belgium

Today, 14:32

The Walloon parliament sticks to its guns against the CETA trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. The Walloon lawmakers refuse to sign it. In Belgium, the agreement must be approved by all five regional governments. …

CETA is known as the little sister of TTIP – the proposed trade agreement between the EU and the United States.

Belgium has both a national representation and five member parliaments: Wallonia, the French-speaking community, Flanders, the Brussels Capital Region and the German-speaking community. These parliaments have to transfer their competence in international treaties to the federal Parliament. But because Wallonia refuses to do so, the federal government can not sign CETA.

Flemings [mainly right-wing pro-Big Business Flemish politicians] in particular are angry. Prime Minister Bourgeois of Flanders believes that the Walloons are acting irresponsibly. …

To make CETA effective, all individual countries must approve the treaty. The European Union Council of Ministers and the European Parliament have yet to approve it.

Harsh judgment

In Belgian politics particularly the socialist party PS is judged harshly. They govern in Wallonia, but are in opposition in the federal parliament. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said: “I conference about this with five socialist ministers in Europe, they have never expressed concerns about this.”

So, it looks like the Walloon social democrats are a bit less hostages of Big Business than their colleagues in, eg, the Netherlands. The Dutch social democrat party PvdA in parliament supports CETA; even though the trade union and environmental movements oppose it. There will be a trade union anti-CETA demonstration in the Netherlands on 22 October, 13:00 on the Museumplein square in Amsterdam.

However, the Walloon Prime Minister Magnette is not going to change his position. “We do not give permission to the federal parliament to sign. There won’t be an agreement,” said the Prime Minister of Wallonia.

EU Ministers of Trade will arrive Tuesday in Luxembourg to discuss the situation.

In this October 2016 Dutch video, Friends of the Earth explain why CETA and TTIP are bad for the environment; and calls on people to come to the 22 October demonstration in Amsterdam.

Belgian anti-TTIP and CETA site: here.

This video from Belgium says about itself:

Tuesday, September 20 2016, up to 15 000 people descended on the European Union’s area in Brussels to express their opposition to the transatlantic treaties being negotiated by Europe with the United States (TTIP) and Canada (CETA). This exceptional protest against the trade treaties on Tuesday evening, organized by trade unions, NGOs, environmental and consumer rights groups took place to put pressure on European leaders ahead to decide about CETA.

10 thoughts on “Walloon parliament stops dodgy CETA trade deal

  1. Pingback: Walloon parliament stops dodgy CETA trade deal — Dear Kitty. Some blog | Indiĝenaj Inteligenteco

  2. Pingback: European Union promoting Third World privatisation | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Monday 17th October 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    HUNDREDS of people protested in the streets of Warsaw at the weekend against free-trade agreements that the European Union is pursuing with the US and Canada.

    A rally organised by non-governmental group Akcja Democracja, with backing from trade unions and several small opposition parties, forecast that they will harm Polish farmers and consumers.

    The protesters argue that the TTIP and CETA deals will allow an influx of food from North America that will destroy local farming and allow entry of genetically modified food.

    Rallying in front of the Agriculture Ministry before marching to the prime minister’s office, they urged the government to reject the deals.

    EU trade ministers are scheduled to vote tomorrow on whether to approve CETA. If approved unanimously, the deal could be signed with Canada on October 27.

    Environmental activists and trade unions across Europe have expressed fears that the deals could worsen local standards for food, work and industry.

    However, tomorrow’s vote has to be unanimous and Belgium may prove a fly in the ointment in this respect.

    The French-speaking Belgian region of Wallonia rejected the CETA deal on Friday and, under Belgium’s constitutional rules, one region can effectively veto such a deal for the whole country.

    The EU claims that the CETA deal with Canada will improve trade, create jobs and remove almost all tariffs and custom duties while guaranteeing European standards on anything from food and health quality to trade-union rights.

    CETA paves the way for TTIP, an even bigger deal being negotiated with the US.



  4. Wednesday 19th
    posted by Peter Lazenby in World

    Ceta can’t be ratified without region’s assent

    EUROPEAN governments failed to sign off the European Union-Canada trade deal known as Ceta (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) yesterday.

    Campaign group Global Justice Now welcomed the delay to the deal, which it claims will lead to an increase in the power of big business over food standards, public services and decision-making.

    But EU chiefs will meet for a two-day summit from Thursday that will seek to “settle final reservations” over signing off the treaty, Slovakian Foreign Trade Minister Peter Ziga said.

    The delay was largely due to Belgium, where the parliament of French-speaking Wallonia has voted against ratifying the deal.

    Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders says that “divisions remain” over whether his country should sign.

    The EU cannot ratify the agreement without backing from all 28 member states, and Belgium can only agree if all its regions do.

    The race is on as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is due in Brussels on October 27 to sign it.

    EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom — who famously snapped that she “did not take my mandate from the European people” when confronted about popular hostility to TTIP — claimed there was still time to “overcome” Belgium’s reservations.

    Ceta has generated protests throughout Europe and Canada, along with its better-known sister deal TTIP, which involves the EU and the United States.

    Guy Taylor, trade campaigner at Global Justice Now, said: “The serious setback of Ceta in the EU council today is a testament to the strength of opposition to Ceta and the US deal TTIP, which has galvanised millions of people to take action over the last three years.

    “No wonder, given that Ceta is the opposite of what Europe needs. We need more democracy, not liberalisation and deregulation.

    “Never before in history has a trade deal experienced such difficulties in the EU council. Today Ceta suffered a massive body blow and is now in perilous danger of joining TTIP on the scrapheap of failed corporate power grabs.

    “But the deal isn’t dead yet.”



  5. Pingback: Big anti-TTIP, CETA demonstration in Amsterdam | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  7. Pingback: English anti-CETA solidarity with Wallonia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  10. Pingback: Anti-CETA demonstration in London, England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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