CETA Breakdown

Watching Free Trade Die

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Even some critics of free trade consider the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement deal between the E.U. and Canada to be the most progressive and best that the European Union has ever negotiated.

  • Facts


    • E.U.-Canada relations are in a rocky state after the Canadian trade minister walked out of talks with the Wallonian government on Friday after failing to reach an agreement over the CETA treaty.
    • All 28 E.U. governments support CETA but Belgium cannot give assent without backing from five sub-federal administrations. French-speaking Wallonia has steadfastly opposed it.
    • On Tuesday, Wallonia’s premier said the Belgian region was not opposed to an E.U.-Canada free trade deal in itself but that an arbitration scheme needed to be dropped and public services protected.
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Thousands of people have protested against TTIP and CETA in Germany. Photo: DPA

There once was a dream. A dream of Europe, a continent with a multitude of states joining together to be able to compete in an increasingly complex world.

Europe gave itself a common market to be able to keep up economically with the ever-stronger major powers. It opened up its borders for people, goods and capital to create not just more long-term prosperity but also a uniform prosperity for all. Finally, Europe gave itself a single currency to be able to trade more simply within and without the single market and above all to allow reliable trade.

The Continent was meant to be a global model of openness, freedom and rule of law. Its policies were supposed to be guided by the ideas of unity and solidarity, its political discourse by rationality.

You don’t have to be a euroskeptic to realize that this dream is over.

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