All That On-Off Excitement About CETA Last Year? It's Happening Again
from the mostly-about-corporate-sovereignty,-of-course dept
Remember last year when CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, was on, then off, then on again, then off again, and finally on again? After that, CETA was ratified by the European Union, and now needs to be approved by all Member States' parliaments before it is definitively in force. Well, guess what? One of those parliaments -- in the French-speaking Belgian region of Wallonia, which has already derailed CETA before -- could be about to block it again. As an article originally in The Globe and Mail reports:
The trade deal between Canada and the European Union is facing a new challenge from the Belgium region of Wallonia which is threatening to block final ratification of the agreement. Wallonia First Minister Paul Magnette said in an interview that his government will not support the CETA trade deal when it comes up for ratification unless changes are made to how disputes are resolved. Mr. Magnette also said his government is challenging the legality of the dispute resolution mechanism in the European Court of Justice, which could take at least two years to rule.
Yet again, the problem is mainly the corporate sovereignty chapter, which is emerging as a real trade deal killer (hint to governments: why not drop it?). But it's not just Wallonia that might stymie CETA. According to a post from the Council of Canadians, the final ratification of CETA also faces challenges in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. If one or more of those do halt the deal, another question arises:
If the full ratification of CETA is blocked, will the provisional application be undone? Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey comments, "The German constitutional court has already ruled that provisional application can be undone. And in the country statements adopted by the European Council (the EU institution comprised of the heads of state or government of the member states, which sets the EU's overall political direction and priorities) many countries reiterated their right to undo provisional application."
It seems that as far as CETA is concerned, it ain't over until, well, it's completely over.