19:18 GMT17 February 2020
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    On Tuesday night, thousands of Europeans took part in protest rallies in Brussels to voice their disapproval of TAFTA, a proposed Transatlantic Free Trade Area between the EU and the US, also known as the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

    About 15,000 people participated in Brussels protests against TAFTA, a proposed Transatlantic Free Trade Area between the EU and the US, also known as the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

    In an interview with Sputnik, Belgian MP Zakia Khattabi who co-chairs the Belgian Green Party "Ecolo," underscored the importance of continuing to put pressure on the EU in order to prod it to stop the negotiations.

    "I think that now the time is right for exerting pressure on the governments of the EU countries so that a movement in the opposite direction can be created and the talks on these agreements be halted," she said.

    A Brussels protest  rally against the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US
    © Sputnik /
    A Brussels protest rally against the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US

    She was echoed by an unnamed Greenpeace activist, who told Sputnik why he'd decided to come to the streets.

    "Why? Because these agreements are simply anti-democratic documents which run counter to pressing modern-day environmental problems. Also, the agreements may affect the public in terms of its social aspects," the activist said.

    A Brussels protest  rally against the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US
    © Sputnik /
    A Brussels protest rally against the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US

    In September 2014, the European Union and Canada announced the conclusion of the CETA agreement.

    Brussels and Ottawa hope that CETA, which seeks to lower trade barriers and create more jobs, will be signed this fall and implemented in early 2017.

    As for TTIP, it intends to establish a free-trade zone encompassing the United States and the European Union.

    A Brussels protest  rally against the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US
    © Sputnik /
    A Brussels protest rally against the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US

    Washington and Brussels began negotiations regarding the agreement in 2013. However, details of the deal, including rules on market access, haven't been made public.

    The TTIP has already drawn criticism for the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations and for the power it would potentially give multinational corporations.

    Related:

    Over 1,000 Rally Against CETA, TTIP Free Trade Deals in Berlin
    Activists Plan to Hold 100,000-Strong Anti-TTIP Rally in Berlin - Police
    Next Round of TTIP Talks Set for October 3 in New York
    EU-US TTIP Agreement Talks Unlikely to Progress Before June 2017
    Tags:
    rallies, people, agreements, protests, TAFTA, CETA, TTIP, Belgium
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