On October 30th, the European Union (E.U.) and Canada officially signed a long-delayed free-trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). As soon as the treaty was signed, both parties shared their enthusiasm; European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker designed the CETA on its Twitter account as “the new golden standard in trade agreement” when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised also on social media “This modern and progressive agreement that reinforces links between Canada and the E.U., and creates new opportunities for the middle class.”
These reactions express the relief felt by both parties after eight years of talks; ever since the negotations ended in 2014, the treaty was highly contested in many European countries such as Belgium, Germany, France etc. Protestors design this free-trade agreement – just like its cousin the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which plans to settle similar measures between the E.U. and the United States – as a “Trojan Treaty”. To make things clearer, Voicing Realities sums up CETA’s stakes and causes of contestations in an infographic you may find on this link.
Featured image: Global demonstration in Germany against CETA, TTIP and TISA – Berlin, April, 18th 2015, © Cornelia Reetz via Flickr