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EU summit ends without Canada trade deal

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EU summit ends without Canada trade deal

May - Hollande - Tusk - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - The signing of the EU's comprehensive trade deal with Canada continued to be held up at an EU summit in Brussels Friday by objections from Belgium's tiny region of Wallonia.

Concluding the two-day summit, the EU's leaders called for further talks to solve remaining issues and agree on signature and provisional application of the EU-Canada trade deal.

"Our citizens are increasingly concerned whether trade deals we negotiate are in their best interests," said Donald Tusk, the EU Council president, after the summit.

He added that he was increasingly concerned about not only a good trade agreement with the EU's close partner and ally, but also for Europe's reputation.

"I am afraid we will not be able to continue to negotiate FTAs if we do not prove in practice that we are very serious about protecting European consumers, workers and companies," he said.

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the Commission had worked throughout the night to try to iron out the problems.

However he was scathing about continued criticism of the CETA trade deal. "I am amazed that nobody raises any objection when the EU concludes a commercial accord with Vietnam which is well-known around the world for applying all possible democratic principles, while when we make a deal with Canada, which is an accomplished dictatorship as we all know, everybody is getting excited that we are not respecting human rights," he said.

Nevertheless, Mr Juncker said he remained confident that a solution agreeable to Wallonia could be found, and said the deal with Canada was the best that could be concluded.

at the summit the leaders reiterated their support for free and fair global trade and said that the defence of European environmental and social standards was part of EU trade interests.

They also insisted on the need to fight "efficiently and robustly" against unfair trade practices and stressed that the draft rules that would modernise all EU trade defence tools should be agreed by the end of 2016.

In their discussions on migration, EU leaders focused on the Central Mediterranean route. They stressed the need for cooperation with African countries of source and transit for migrants to reduce illegal migration and improve return rates.

European Council conclusions, 20-21 October 2016


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EU summit ends...

Posted by Demir Arabaci at 25 October 2016, 21:42 CET

Wallonia must be congratulated for sticking up to it's
citizens and their rights to protection.
Afterall who wants to be swallowed up by giants producing thousands of tons of cheap and tastless dairy products???
Keep it up Wallonia.