Brussels, 26 October, 2016
Co-Chair Reinhard Bütikofer offers a three step proposal for a pragmatic alternative the CETA negotiations:
“The CETA Trade agreement between Canada and the EU seems three quarters dead. The European Commission is panicking and in the public CETA is being used as a punching ball for competing narratives over the ills and the woes of the EU.
Fact is: instead of lamenting and decrying the blockade by the Walloon regional parliament the Commission could offer an easily defined exit from the mess.
Here is a three step proposal for a pragmatic alternative:
1. Stop bullying and denouncing those who are resisting the passage of CETA as is. Railroading tactics have failed often enough to stop repeating the same mistake over and over again.
2. Let the Commission propose a new mandate for a Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement. This new mandate should consist of what had been agreed in CETA minus those elements which do not fall under the exclusive competencies of the EU. Practically, that would contain everything which the Commission and the Council have planned to include under the foreseen provisional application of CETA. Delete the rest, including privileged protection for foreign investors.
3. Offer Canada the signing of such a “CETA minus” agreement in November as well as decisive votes in the European Parliament and the European Council in December.
Or else, of course, we could continue whining.”
- ENDS -
Head of Communications and Press