EU Commission surrenders approval of CETA to national parliaments. Sign of things to come?

D

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Bishop Berkley was almost right! To be perceived is to be!

Aye, is one among many within the EU's institutions that appears to have suddenly gained an acute appreciation for the moment of danger facing the EU.
He's happy "spending his European paycheck" too.
 


Cato

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Still- it is do-able though and we still have plenty of mechanisms for bilateral agreement. In some ways it might be easier in the end for Canadian negotiators to trade with countries who want something different than another member state and it might actually strengthen resulting agreements.

There can't be much motivation in Poland to protect a trade agreement with Canada where the terms only suit France and Germany. Sometimes I think a built in and upfront level of complexity makes an agreement stronger rather than a cookie-cutter with no visible benefits for individual member states. May prevent issues later.
The difficulty is that the EU is supposed to be a single trade block: individual deals are against the principle of that and it is difficult to see how any side deals of any significance to trade can be tolerated in the block. The UK however ...
 

Cato

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He's happy "spending his European paycheck" too.
Yeah, he's not actually the worst of them and a damn sight more clued in than the leaders of the EPP or the PES. As I said, they all need to lay off the UK-kicking. While it might give them some immediate satisfaction, those citizens watching it in other countries are not finding it edifying.
 

Dame_Enda

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I think Brexit is a factor as trade is one factor turning the working classes against Europe.
 

GDPR

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The hardliners reaction of Juncker et al to Brexit was very predictable, a slap in the face of the EU project and the path it was on. Yet the reaction showed on one hand as to how out of touch this was to rising concerns across Europe to the anointed EU path and more importantly how quickly events change the political winds of change now shown on the apparent volte face with this Canadian deal. It may be just the laying down of a marker, it is like Brexit, too early to be jumping to conclusions. Top OP.
 

Cato

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I think Brexit is a factor as trade is one factor turning the working classes against Europe.
In fairness to Lumpy, he's probably right: the events around CETA are connected to Brexit only by a coincidence of timing, not one of causality. Trade was a factor in Brexit, but Brexit was probably not really a factor in CETA trade decision.

The only tangental relation might be that Junker's credibility took a blow in the Brexit vote and that made the CETA decision easier to achieve, but even then, the writing was probably on the wall before the British voted.
 

Dame_Enda

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Trade deals in future should contain protections for workers rights.
 

subic

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In fairness to Lumpy, he's probably right: the events around CETA are connected to Brexit only by a coincidence of timing, not one of causality. Trade was a factor in Brexit, but Brexit was probably not really a factor in CETA trade decision.

The only tangental relation might be that Junker's credibility took a blow in the Brexit vote and that made the CETA decision easier to achieve, but even then, the writing was probably on the wall before the British voted.
The decision, taken during a meeting of the EU’s commissioners in Strasbourg, represented a surprising volte-face because the Commission had hoped to treat the accord as an EU-only deal, meaning it would require approval only from the European Parliament and national governments in the Council.
The tortuous path to approve the deal will sound alarms in London, where politicians are pinning their hopes on a quick settlement with the EU after Brexit. Debates in national parliaments could potentially add years of delay to the Canadian accord, which has already taken seven years to finalize.

‘Can’t wait’

In an even more sobering signal for the British, Romanian politicians have threatened to oppose the deal because Bucharest is not receiving visa reciprocity from Ottawa. Many British parliamentarians insist that they will be able to disentangle the question of immigration and access for EU workers from any trade arrangement with Brussels.

“This decision clearly gives more leverage to national governments and parliaments,” said Romanian Social Democrat MEP Sorin Moisa. “They could also use it to put pressure on potential trading partners, like the U.K. if it left the EU, to settle delicate issues, for example on migration.”
Who are they trying to kid here? This was clearly a case of Germany and France protecting their interests in the UK market and throwing Canada under the bus.

Yet again in the bizarre world of the EU two countries managed to put pressure on the Commission to relinquish some authority.

Negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement started in 2009 and were concluded in February this year after Canada accepted last-minute changes to the investor-state arbitration clause, which was improved to respond to public criticism about a potential lack of democratic accountability.
 

gleeful

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Presumably the UK will have to vote for this. Will they use it as a bargining chip against rEU?
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Presumably the UK will have to vote for this. Will they use it as a bargining chip against rEU?
The sequence in which CETA revolves around member states for ratification could be interesting. I wouldn't foresee any problem with the UK signing up to a trade agreement with Canada but what might happen depending on timing is that France might wish to disrupt the smooth progression of the UK agreeing with Canada as they may see it as a way of putting pressure on and blaming the UK for the deal having to be dealt with at member state level in the first place.

So without the UK wishing to have CETA entangled in the whole Euro/Brexit issue it may well become the victim of deeper European politics.

Last year it might have passed via the Commission without too much attention beyond the business pages but this year CETA could easily stumble on internal EU politicking which is why Cato is very astute and observant to foresee it as a possible unintended battleground for factional EU interests.

The Canadians won't be happy but I think it all depends on timing. If I wanted to see CETA through I'd be hoping that France and Germany ratify before the UK Parliament does as the sequence the other way around may tempt France to play politics with it as a way of putting pressure on the UK.

Having said that the easier way around might be for member states to agree a sequence at trade Committee level and put forward an already agreed document to all governments simultaneously.

Great opportunity for some of the peripheral or second-tier member states to holdout for a concession for them which might look minor to most states but could cause issues with the Canadians though.
 

Sister Mercedes

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The Brexiters argued the EU was too inward looking and not interested in trade with the rest of the world. This would seem to bolster that view.
 

Dame_Enda

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The Brexiters argued the EU was too inward looking and not interested in trade with the rest of the world. This would seem to bolster that view.
Well the Labour Leave group that includes Kate Hoey MP for Vauxhall would take the opposite position regarding TTIP.

Consider this. The EU refused to increase anti dumping duties on Chinese steel imports. The plans for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant have had to be shelved because of dangerous defects in the steel.
 

RasherHash

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The other highly significant feature of this is that it has now set the precedent by which the far more controversial TTIP trade deal (with the USA) will be ratified. It will run into severe difficulty in several EU states and this may well signal the death knell for that deal in the absence of significant alterations to its content.
It'll run into difficulty because the democratic majority are opposed to it...surely that's a good thing?
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
It would be very much in the UK's interest to take an active part in seeking agreement with other member states on CETA.

There is possibly an opportunity here for the UK to make the right noises and demonstrate that it is eminently possible to deal with Europe without having to operate through European Union mechanisms alone.

The danger is though that it could become a political football between London on the one hand and Paris and Berlin on the other.

Just for devilment if I were on the UK embassy with Brussels side of things I might be innocently inclined to suggest that the matter be taken forward at European Economic Area level and have CETA attached to it for ratification at member state level.

It would put Germany and France in a hard place if they wanted to be difficult about it and be seen as the two member states who fouled its progress for political reasons.

If CETA went through via this route it would also neatly make the UK's point that trade accommodation can be reached with Europe and not necessarily via a full European Commission mechanism.

It would also allow the UK to sound out the peripheral or second tier countries on an alternative way forward rather than via Junckers' railroad.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Paris and Berlin are already playing political football with CETA in pressurising the Commission to turn ratification into a member state issue.

If the UK could pick up the ball and secure ratification of CETA with the Canadians around Europe then Paris and Berlins' pressure on the Commission would have backfired spectacularly.

Even if Paris and Berlin tried to stop any UK initiative on this they would be exposed as the ones playing political football with trade deals and not the UK.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
One further thought. There might be an opportunity here, supposing Irish leadership had the appetite for it, to play a bit of ball as well.

Suppose Ireland were to suggest an early 'aquis' on CETA in conjunction with the UK and offered to take the aquis around to member states for ratification instead of the UK we might be doing our major trading partner a favour and earn some credit with Canada, the UK and signal as well to Paris and Berlin that the peripheral countries can still play a part in the game.

We don't owe Paris and Berlin much when you consider Lisbon II and the blank wall on bank debt renegotiation but it could put us in a place where we might more readily leverage concessions.

I don't think the Irish leadership has the nuts or the alacrity but a proposed aquis from us on CETA and a bit of sherpa work in Europe might not be such a bad thing. And even if France and Germany responded by telling Kenny to eff off out of it via the European Parliamentary Party channels it wouldn't look so good to other peripheral nations who want the trade deal with Canada.
 

Aindriu

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There's a fundamental deficit of leadership at the top of the EU right now, including among the heads of government of the key states. Most of them seem stuck in the 'more Europe as the only solution' frame of mind with a kind of terror if anything that lies outside of that. The main features missing are clarity of vision for what the mission and destiny of the EU might be, a vision that must speak in some way to the European peoples, but, more than that, there is a failure of courage.

That being said, the penny appears to be dropping for some of them:

[video=youtube;mTyPtEAqGxk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTyPtEAqGxk[/video]

Watch past the kicking he delivers to the Brits at the start*. Once you get to the meat of it, he starts talking about the urgent need to reconnect with the priorities of EU citizens or else prepare for further exit referendum in other states. (However, his assertion that EU peoples want an EU army would certainly be something that would doom any new treaty in Ireland.)

*This kind of thing needs to stop. While it may give them some satisfaction, ultimately its just irking those, and not just Brits, who are dissatisfied with the EU - it's only confirming their reasons for feeling disconnected with the EU institutions.
The whole EU army thing was covered under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty - it's buried in its depths somewhere. Ratification of the Lisbon Treaty automatically made the creation of an EU army possible without consent from member states. Furthermore, member states are bound to allowing their forces to be part of the EU army. It is one of the main reasons for the BREXIT referendum succeeding - serving and retired officers lobbied serving and retired service people to vote Leave.
 

statsman

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The other highly significant feature of this is that it has now set the precedent by which the far more controversial TTIP trade deal (with the USA) will be ratified. It will run into severe difficulty in several EU states and this may well signal the death knell for that deal in the absence of significant alterations to its content.
Which, I suspect, is the plan.
 

daveL

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The other highly significant feature of this is that it has now set the precedent by which the far more controversial TTIP trade deal (with the USA) will be ratified. It will run into severe difficulty in several EU states and this may well signal the death knell for that deal in the absence of significant alterations to its content.
This suits France does it not... Haven't they generally not been a fan of TTIP (in it's current form anyway)
 

jman0war

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from the wikipedia article it seems Canada still has regulatory sytems to put into place in advance of ratification.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceta

Seems this trade deal is still some ways off.
 


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