Friday afternoon the Canadian trade minister Chrystia Freeman gave up negotiations with Wallonia and went back to Canada. Tusk asked Belgium to clear its position before tonight in order to know if the EU-Canada summit will take place this Thursday. This summit was scheduled to sign the CETA agreement. – Sunday, the Commission made a new proposition to Wallonia but the Belgian region rejected it: according to European officials, the text answered to Walloon’s preoccupations. However, this proposition is less progressive than the one before that was already rejected says Walloons. Paul Magnette, president of the Region, said that giving an ultimatum is not compatible with democracy.
– André Antoine, the president of the Walloon Parliament said there are still four areas preventing any type of agreement. For him, changes agreed upon in e-mails need to be translated in official texts, imbalances related to agriculture matters in favour of Canada need to be negotiated and rules related to trade arbitration and products with designation of origins need to be clarified.
– Saturday, 8000 protesters gathered in Amsterdam to support Wallonia’s decision. Several anti-globalisation organisations, such as Greenpeace, also support Paul Magnette’s position.
– If Belgium doesn’t agree to sign, the summit will be postponed but a source close to the European institutions says that there is not yet a new date foreseen for a new summit.
– Belgian PM, Charles Michel, gathered a concertation committee with the principal federal minister and representatives of the Regions to find a compromise to the crisis. The federal government is in an uncomfortable position since it is favourable to the CETA but can’t sign it without the approval of the Regions. This meeting lasted less than an hour but no agreement was found.