Delayed Ratification of Ceta Free Trade Treaty between EU and Canada: What it Means for France

Franck Riester announces no vote in National Assembly before European elections on Ceta

The Ceta free trade treaty between the EU and Canada has been provisionally applied since 2017, but the draft ratification will not be transmitted to the National Assembly before the European elections. This decision was announced by Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester on Tuesday after an embarrassing disappointment for the executive.

The Senate opposed the ratification of the treaty on March 21, causing a setback for the government just before the European elections. A left-right alliance in the Senate caused this opposition. However, communist deputies planned to include the text in their reserved parliamentary time, scheduled for May 30 in the Assembly, just ten days before the European elections.

However, it seems that Minister Riester wants to delay this process and place it on a later date. In an interview with Le Figaro, he stated that he would transmit it at an appropriate time but not before European elections to allow for peaceful debate. He emphasized that opposition groups should not exploit this debate for electoral purposes.

Riester criticized the alliance between communist senators and some LR senators as a political scheme that harms businesses, farmers, wine growers, cheese producers and all those working in French companies exporting to Canada. He defended Ceta’s benefits that eliminate most customs duties between EU countries and Canada and are favorable to France.

In case of rejection by the National Assembly, France will face a complex situation with potential consequences for provisional application of treaty in all Europe.

It is important for France’s future economic growth to have a favorable trade agreement with Canada as both countries share common values such as democracy and human rights.

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