04:36 GMT26 May 2020
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    European Commission President, European Council President, Canadian and Belgium Prime Minister are going to discuss the upcoming EU-Canada Summit.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel are expected to discuss later on Monday the prospects of the upcoming EU-Canada Summit, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

    On Thursday, the 28-nation bloc and Ottawa were expected to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) at the joint EU-Canada Summit. However, Belgium’s region of Wallonia is not giving the country its approval to sign the deal as under the Belgian federal laws, every region has a right to reject the agreement.

    "There will be contacts at the end of the day today between President Juncker and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and President of the European Council Tusk and President of the federal government in Belgium Charles Michel and after that, that issue will be tackled of course and after that we will know more about it," Schinas told reporters commenting on the prospects of the summit.

    He added that the European Commission had exerted a lot of efforts to contribute to the signing of the agreement between Canada and the bloc, but Belgium's position has been voiced within the bounds of the law and the position should be respected.

    CETA aims to establish a free trade zone between Canada and the European Union, scrapping more than 98 percent of the existing tariffs between Ottawa and Brussels. Opponents fear it would undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health, safety and workers' rights.

    The Walloon government voted against the trade deal for fear it would water down EU labor, consumer and environmental protections, and give too much power to multinationals.


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