Rudy Demotte, the Minister-President of the French Community of Belgium, doesn’t want CETA signed as is. He says, “We are studying this with the government with all the ways and means so that CETA is not signed in its current state.” The Community has its own 94-seat parliament, government (headed by Demotte) and administration. The French Community of Belgium represents 4.5 million people, the majority of whom live in the Walloon Region of the country. Demotte is a member of the Socialist Party.
In addition, the Minister-President of Brussels Rudi Vervoort “affirmed that he could not mark his agreement on CETA if some elements like arbitration against public decisions of the ISDS type find themselves in the agreement. He will put this point on the agenda during the next government.”
Unfortunately, Gert Bourgeois, the Minister-President of Flanders, has simply taken note of the concerns being raised about CETA. And Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Kris Peeters supports CETA. We are awaiting word of the positions being taken by Paul Magnette, the Minister-President of Wallonia, and Oliver Paasch, the Minister-President of the German Community of Belgium.
In addition, Gert Bourgeois, the Minister-President of Flanders, has taken note of the concerns being raised about CETA. We are awaiting word of the positions being taken by Paul Magnette, the Minister-President of Wallonia, and Oliver Paasch, the Minister-President of the German Community of Belgium. Unfortunately, the Minister-President of Brussels Rudi Vervoort supports CETA as does the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Kris Peeters.
CNCD-11.11.11 reports this as: Le Ministre-Président bruxellois Rudi Vervoort a affirmé qu’il ne pourra marquer son accord sur le traité CETA si des éléments comme l’arbitrage contre les décisions publiques de type ‘ISDS’ se trouvent toujours dedans. Il mettra ce point en discussion lors du prochain gouvernement. Le Ministre-Président de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles Rudy Demotte s’est voulu rassurant : « Nous étudions avec notre gouvernement toutes les voies et moyens pour que le CETA ne soit pas signé en l’état ». Le cabinet du Ministre-Président Bourgeois nous a reçus et a pris note de nos revendications. Quant au Ministre Peeters, il s’est dit en principe favorable à un traité de libre-échange vaste et ambitieux mais sensible à un certain nombre d’éléments que nous avons soulevés. Nous rencontrerons les Ministres-Présidents Magnette (17h aujourd’hui, 25/9) et Paasch (10h le 29/9 à Eupen). Nous rendrons compte de ces rencontres via les réseaux sociaux, à suivre donc sur https://twitter.com/cncd111111/lists/ttip-ceta-actionbe
In May 2015, RTL reported that the Socialist Party (the second largest party in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives) is opposed to ISDS. At that time, they introduced a motion in the Walloon parliament calling for a suspension of TTIP talks if ISDS is not excluded from the deal. The president of the party, Elio Di Rupo, says, “This mechanism is similar to a real privatization of justice. Specifically, with this mechanism, a US company could sue a European country that increases its minimum wage, saying that it affects its profits! Unacceptable.” Di Rupo was the prime minister of the country between December 2011 and October 2014.
The governments of Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Slovenia have also expressed concerns about ISDS. It is also believed that Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg and Italy have concerns about the ISDS provision. For more on that, please click here and here.
This November, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be on a 14-city speaking tour to promote opposition to CETA in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Spain, Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland. More on that soon.
For information on the Council of Canadians campaign to defeat CETA, please click here.
Photo: Rudy Demotte, the Minister-President of the French Community of Belgium, is concerned by CETA.