In response to an FT article by Wolfgang Münchau on 24th October 2016, entitled ‘Ceta debacle heralds a period of disintegration for the EU’
‘Do not underestimate the Walloons. The No vote by the francophone region of southern Belgium to the EU-Canada trade agreement is neither a cry for help nor an effort in rent extraction. They simply do not want it. A combination of EU voting rules and the Belgian constitution allows this rather small European province to cast an effective veto. I applaud them…The overriding problem with Ceta is the proposed creation of arbitration tribunals, with judges funded by the EU and Canada, that are not part of any country’s legal system. Ceta establishes a parallel legal universe for multinational investors" - Wolfgang Münchau
Correct Mr. Münchau – and well said. Ceta, along with TTIP and TPP have very little to do with ‘free trade’. They represent ‘corporatism’ and crony capitalism, which is why they are locked up in basements and ‘safe rooms’ where elected representatives have to make an appointment to see them and are not allowed to make copies.
“It is not clear what part of the No the EU authorities did not understand, but their reaction has always been to try to patronise the Walloons into submission”
I think it is pretty clear that both of those letters are beyond the comprehension of Mr. Juncker, particularly in that combination. He appears to think he knows what’s best for millions of people, but doesn’t like to check if he can possibly avoid it. But… I don’t think the same is necessarily true of ‘the EU’ as a whole. It is increasingly clear that a growing number of people and ‘peoples’ want a Europe of co-operation and free trade, but they do not want it on the pre-determined terms of a bunch of deluded ideologues.
I suspect there will be an agreement eventually…and it will doubtless look much more like ‘free trade’ – at the very least it will not contain these ‘tribunals’. The Walloons have not said ‘no’ to trade; they have said ‘no’ to a corporatist stitch-up. Good for them.