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EU, Canada to decide Monday on trade pact signing summit

AFP | 23 October 2016

EU, Canada to decide Monday on trade pact signing summit

BRUSSELS (AFP) — The European Union and Canada will decide on Monday whether to gather for a summit later this week to sign the imperilled CETA trade pact, a European source told AFP.

The source said that European Council President Donald Tusk would on Monday afternoon or evening call Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel with "one simple question: will Belgium be in a position to sign the agreement on Thursday, yes or no?"

Plans to sign the CETA trade pact at a summit scheduled for Thursday were thrown into doubt Friday when the parliament of the Belgian region of Wallonia rejected the deal, leaving Belgium the only EU state unable to sign the pact, the fruit of seven years of talks.

The European source said that on Monday Tusk would first call European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker "to share an assessment of where we are," then Michel and lastly Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "to decide whether to maintain the summit," and

"Regarding Thursday, if Belgium is not in a position to say that they guarantee they can sign, it’s very clear for Tusk that it doesn’t make sense to have a summit, and there will be no summit, and there will be no date set for a new summit," the source said.

The source added that any decision would be made jointly by Tusk and Trudeau.

"The decision will very much depend on what Michel tells Tusk," the source said.

 source: France 24