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Belgium: Wallonia's 'yes' to CETA deal is 'meaningful' - Schulz says02:24

Belgium: Wallonia's 'yes' to CETA deal is 'meaningful' - Schulz says

Belgium, Brussels
October 27, 2016 at 20:55 GMT +00:00 · Published

President of European Parliament Martin Schulz called an agreement reached between Belgian federal government and five regional parliaments on the CETA trade deal with Canada "meaningful," speaking from Brussels, Thursday.

Schulz expressed hope that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, after it will be ratified by all EU member states, will set up "a standard for future international trade agreements."

Schulz also commented on differences between Belgian government and five regions, including Wallonia, that had been blocking the treaty but which have been finally overcome. He said: "Wallonia’s government is for sure representing very small part of European citizens but the worries they expressed are also worries in my country, in Germany, and another countries of the European Union. Therefore, they maybe a small government but they expressed big worries and big concerns and we answered to the concerns."

All 28 EU member states approved the CETA agreement on Thursday afternoon, while Belgium’s regional parliaments are expected to sign the treaty on Friday.

Along with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), CETA would create the world's largest free-trade zone, encompassing some 800 million consumers and standardising trade regulations between the EU, North America and Canada. Both have faced fierce criticism for being undemocratic and for placing too much power in the hands of multinational companies at the expense of consumers and workers.

Belgium: Wallonia's 'yes' to CETA deal is 'meaningful' - Schulz says02:24
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President of European Parliament Martin Schulz called an agreement reached between Belgian federal government and five regional parliaments on the CETA trade deal with Canada "meaningful," speaking from Brussels, Thursday.

Schulz expressed hope that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, after it will be ratified by all EU member states, will set up "a standard for future international trade agreements."

Schulz also commented on differences between Belgian government and five regions, including Wallonia, that had been blocking the treaty but which have been finally overcome. He said: "Wallonia’s government is for sure representing very small part of European citizens but the worries they expressed are also worries in my country, in Germany, and another countries of the European Union. Therefore, they maybe a small government but they expressed big worries and big concerns and we answered to the concerns."

All 28 EU member states approved the CETA agreement on Thursday afternoon, while Belgium’s regional parliaments are expected to sign the treaty on Friday.

Along with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), CETA would create the world's largest free-trade zone, encompassing some 800 million consumers and standardising trade regulations between the EU, North America and Canada. Both have faced fierce criticism for being undemocratic and for placing too much power in the hands of multinational companies at the expense of consumers and workers.

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