In this special edition of Talking Europe, we’re taking a closer look at the CETA free trade deal between Europe and Canada. After years of negotiations, CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) was finally signed last autumn. Once implemented, it will remove 98% of tariffs between Canada and the EU, in everything from industry to agriculture.
Our focus on the CETA deal is on one of the most sensitive areas: agriculture, where Canada and the EU have very different priorities. Farmers on both sides of the Atlantic have expressed concern that the deal will upset the delicate balance in their sectors.
In this second part of the show, we take a look at the deal from a European perspective. The CETA deal wasn’t signed without controversy: protesters complained that it could undermine European norms and protections, while the deal was almost derailed by the Wallonia region of Belgium.
We interview Paul Magnette, the Minister-President of Wallonia, about why he almost scuppered the deal.
And our reporters look at the potential impact in Europe, as we visit some French specialty cheese-makers innovating their product to make the most of the deal, and Belgian cattle farmers concerned that their Canadian rivals have an unfair advantage.
Presented by Eve Irvine.
Produced by Luke Brown and Anaïs Guérard.
Co-financed by the European Commission. This programme reflects the views only of the author, and the commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained.
Minister-President of Wallonia Region, Belgium
Bruno HENRY DE FRAHAN
Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Louvain, Belgium