European Union heads of state will attempt to breathe new life into flagging free-trade deals with Canada and the United States at a two-day summit in Brussels beginning Thursday.
The controversial trade pacts are slated for discussion on Friday amid rising public opposition and demands for concessions from some E.U. member states.
“If Europe wants to remain a champion of free trade in the future, we must address people’s concerns now,” a high-ranking E.U. diplomat told Handelsblatt.
The summit comes after E.U. trade ministers on Tuesday postponed a vote on the E.U.-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA. Belgium’s regional parliament of Wallonia rejected the trade pact last week despite approval by the federal government, while Romania and Bulgaria demanded visa-free travel to Canada for its citizens in return for supporting the deal.