EU-Canada Trade Treaty on Hold: French Minister Defends Ceta Benefits Amidst Controversy and Delay

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

On Tuesday, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester announced that the draft ratification of Ceta, a free trade treaty between the EU and Canada, will not be transmitted to the National Assembly before the European elections. The treaty has been applied provisionally since 2017. This decision comes after an embarrassing disappointment for the executive, as the Senate opposed the ratification of the treaty on March 21. A left-right alliance in the Senate caused a setback for the government just before the European elections.

In an interview with Le Figaro, Minister Riester stated that he defended the benefits of Ceta agreement which eliminates most customs duties between the EU and Canada and is favorable for France. He criticized a political scheme between communist group and some LR senators in Senate which harms businesses, farmers, wine growers, cheese producers and all those working in French companies exporting to Canada.

However, this decision was met with opposition from some political parties who felt that it was an attempt to delay a vote by one week before European elections. They argued that this move would only allow opponents to exploit any debate on Ceta as an electoral tool. Despite their efforts, Minister Riester stood his ground and reiterated his position that there would be no transmission of Ceta’s ratification bill before European elections are held in order to prevent any negative consequences for businesses operating across Europe.

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