Minister Riester Puts Ceta Ratification on Hold Amidst Senate Opposition and Election Concerns

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.

The Senate’s opposition has caused a setback for the government just before the European elections. A left-right alliance in the Senate blocked the ratification of the treaty. The communist deputies planned to include the text in their reserved parliamentary time, scheduled for May 30 in the Assembly, just ten days before the European elections. However, Minister Riester stated that he wants to delay this process and place it on hold until a later date. He argued that doing so would allow for a peaceful debate without any political manipulation from opposition groups who wish to use it for electoral purposes.

Minister Riester criticized this alliance between communist senators and LR senators in particular as an unethical political scheme that harms businesses, farmers, wine growers, cheese producers and all those working in French companies exporting to Canada. He defended Ceta agreement which eliminates most customs duties between EU and Canada and is beneficial for France.

If rejection by National Assembly occurs then government will face a complex situation with potential consequences for provisional application of treaty throughout Europe.

In conclusion, Minister Riester’s decision is aimed at preventing any political interference with Ceta agreement’s ratification process while allowing sufficient time to debate its merits peacefully before sending it to Parliament after European Elections are over.

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