What value an EU/Canada agreement if Wallonia has to be coerced to accept it?

It is reported that the EU is putting intense pressure on Belgium and its regional parliament of Wallonia to coerce them to accept the trade deal with Canada (CETA). Maybe they will suicceed, but it only emphasises for me that the EU is built on oppression of minorities “for the greater good” as defined by Brussels.

EU democracy has degenerated to be the oppression of minorities – and whole countries can constitute such minorities. Minorities are coerced wherever there is a majority even if it is a majority of fools. If Brexit succeeds in putting a break on this rampant disregard for local opinions it would have achieved a great deal for the future of Europe.

France24:

Pressure has mounted on the Belgian government to save a landmark EU-Canada free trade agreement after the small French-speaking region of Wallonia essentially torpedoed the deal by voting to reject it. …. 

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel was left scrambling to find a solution after Wallonia’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to reject the agreement on Friday, but officials stressed that it was local governments rather than parliaments that would have the final say. Under Belgium’s complex political system, the government cannot approve the deal without support from assemblies representing the country’s three regions and three linguistic communities.

“I will not give powers to the federal government and Belgium will not sign CETA on October 18,” Paul Magnette, the Socialist head of Wallonia’s government, declared on Friday. “I do not intend this as a burial but as a demand to reopen negotiations.”

The move has threatened to derail CETA, which is backed by Canada and all 28 EU national governments, including Belgium’s. The deal is due to be voted by European trade ministers on Tuesday, who must unanimously approve it before it can be officially signed by EU leaders and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

France also stepped up pressure on its neighbor to the north by inviting Magnette to talks in Paris later on Friday with fellow Socialist, President François Hollande. After the meeting, Magnette hinted he was ready for a solution. “I am a natural optimist and very willing. What we are asking for is very reasonable,” he said.

Personally, I think CETA is a good thing but many people don’t. It is the EU method of suppressing minority views that I find despicable. Far better if Wallonia/Belgium could opt out and make their own agreement.

CorporateeuropeBehind the PR attempts by the Canadian Government and the European Commission to sell CETA as a progressive agreement, it remains what it always has been: an attack on democracy, workers, and the environment. …… Over the past weeks, to salvage CETA’s ratification process, the European Commission, the Canadian Government as well as some EU governments and MEPs had gone into a massive propaganda mode. …….  The latest PR move is a “joint interpretative declaration” on the trade deal hammered out by Ottawa and Brussels and published by investigative journalist collective Correctiv last Friday. It is designed to alleviate public concerns but in fact does nothing to fix CETA’s flaws.


 

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