The Government of Wallonia is threatening to block the ratification of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
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.”
That article highlights, “In his book, titled CETA: When Europe Derails, Mr. Magnette offers a candid assessment of how Canadian and EU officials [including then-trade minister Chrystia Freeland and CETA envoy Pierre Pettigrew] tried to pressure Wallonia, using emotional pitches and blunt threats. …[Pettigrew told Magnette] that Wallonia’s refusal to back CETA would be a punch in the stomach for Mr. Trudeau and that there would ‘inevitably be heavy repercussions for relations between Wallonia and Canada’.”
If Wallonia refused to ratify CETA, the deal would collapse.
That’s because, as The Globe and Mail points out, unanimity is required among all 38 national and regional parliaments in the European Union and any one of those parliaments could veto the agreement.
Undoubtedly, the Trudeau government will use “emotional pitches and blunt threats” against Magnette again to get CETA passed.
To send a message to Magnette and the people of Wallonia that says the Trudeau government does not speak for you:
Paul Magnette, Ministre-Président
Rue Mazy, 25-27
Fax: 011-32-81-331-366 (leave out the dashes when dialing)