CETA, the free trade agreement between Canada and Eu, has been blocked thanks to the opposition of Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. This is great news because the treaty would have been approved in a provisional mode without the consent of the National Parliaments. Belgium, being a Federal State, could not sign without the approval of Wallonia. That was enough to stop the process but the fight is still not over.
“Free trade game is over – Dr. Vandana Shiva said – Democracy trumps corporate lobbying; Wallonia leads the way for trade based on Peoples Freedoms not Corporate Freedom”. (Also read: Vandana Shiva: we have to stop CETA and Free Trade Agreements).
— Act against FTAs (@o11DoA) October 25, 2016
Bart Staes, MEP for the Green Party, declared: “The No from the Walloon government is – so far – very good news for Europe. Those who want a reboot of European policies on international trade and many other issues, can only applaud the fact that a corporate driven Free Trade Treaty like CETA is under democratic attack. It also shows that, although many governments were ready to sign, we still have too many unanswered questions on CETA. How is it then possible that all those heads of State and governments wanted to sign? The situation with Wallonia shows that the negotiation process for trade agreements has to be changed. We need a real European and transparent process as we have for other European laws. The secrecy must end. It is urgent to consult with the European Court of Justice of the European Union to verify if CETA is compatible with European Treaties, especially the chapter on ICS.”
We should allow time for a real debate on the this trade treaty and EU trade policies in general. A question is for example how the EU thinks to have trade policies contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that they agreed upon just one year ago?”
Hans Van Scharen, from the office of Bart Staes, MEP for the Green Party, explains this process during the People’s Assembly at The Hague on 15th October 2016: “This kind of trade agreements are in their essence undemocratic and the provisional mode they were trying to impose overtaking the national Parliaments is just another proof”.
The propaganda is now trying to reverse the results accusing Wallonia: “Our national media are accusing Wallonia for blocking an important agreement, saying all of Europe is in favor of CETA except for the Walloons. But that was actually a democratic process based on information for which they declared themselves anti Ceta”.
The anti trade agreement movement can, on the opposite, win and create a new model of European Union, the Union that people want: “There are a lot of protests going on in Europe and this anti free trade agreement movement is actually a positive European story because is uniting Europe in a moment in which there are division at political level. Europe is falling apart but this movement is really putting together consumer associations, trade unions and farmers”.