After seven years of intensive negotiations, Members of the European Parliament have today approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA).
After the vote, the leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt said: "By backing the free trade agreement with Canada today, we have shown that the European Union is a credible and reliable trading partner.”
“President Trump has given us another good reason to intensify our links with Canada - while Trump introduces tariffs, we are not only tearing them down but also setting the highest progressive standards.”
While Trump introduces tariffs, we are not only tearing them down but also setting the highest progressive standards. #CETA— Guy Verhofstadt (@GuyVerhofstadt) February 15, 2017
Marietje Schaake MEP, the ALDE Group's spokesperson on trade, added: “Canada is the most European country outside of Europe, especially under the liberal government of Prime Minister Trudeau. After seven years of intensive negotiations, the European Parliament has finally approved a progressive agreement, which fulfils our high European standards with regards to consumer protection, to the environment and to healthcare."
"National governments have already approved the agreement. It is now their job to defend the agreement in front of their own parliaments. I expect ministers to do so and to make sure they fully inform parliamentarians and citizens about the benefits of CETA."
Today at 14:00 CET the European Parliament will hold a press conference together with Liberal Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström. Following the vote at the European Parliament, she said in a statement issued by the European Commission: "This vote is the start of a new era in EU-Canada relations - together we are sending a strong signal today. By building bridges rather than walls, we can face the challenges that confront our societies together. In these uncertain times, with rising protectionism around the world, CETA underlines our strong commitment to sustainable trade.
Canada is a close ally of Europe. We share values and ideals, and a commitment to open markets and fair social policies. Canada is an important economic partner, with yearly trade between us worth nearly a trillion euros. Once the Canadian parliament has ratified this agreement, the next step is to put it provisionally in place, which I hope can be done swiftly and effectively. Citizens and companies on both sides of the Atlantic should start reaping these benefits very soon."
After a long and emotional debate EP voted in favour of CETA with 408 yes, 254 no. Now looking forward to swift provisional application.— Cecilia Malmström (@MalmstromEU) February 15, 2017
Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday at 11:00 CET.
Reported by ALDE Group in the European Parliament