EU trade ministers postpone decision on CETA

EU trade ministers postpone decision on CETA

EU trade ministers in Luxembourg failed to agree on the details on the free trade deal with Canada on Tuesday. The decision has been postponed until next week. While a number of countries had voiced their concern with regard to the controversial agreement, Slovakian trade minister Peter Ziga said that in the end it was Belgium which put a halt to the process with its reservations. Slovakia currently chairs the EU. Ziga added that he remained confident the deal with Canada could still be signed by October 27 during the EU-Canada summit – as was originally planned: “I can’t really imagine that Belgium will be the final stumbling stone,” Ziga said, referring to the country’s close linguistic ties with Canada. Observers expect, however, for details to be hashed out during the upcoming EU summit later this week. Leaders from across the bloc are due to meet in Brussels on October 20 and 21 for the annual summit, which will focus on trade policy. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström also said that she was hopeful that CETA could be signed in time. All eyes on Belgium Belgium’s regional parliament of Wallonia had earlier halted its executive from granting the federal government the go-ahead to support the deal. Belgium cannot sign up to CETA without backing from all five sub-federal governments representing its regions. Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders stressed that his government would continue to …

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