05:04 GMT +319 January 2020
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    The European Commission seeks to temporarily activate the pending EU-Canadian Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to avoid waiting for the lengthy ratification procedure, an EU source told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The European Parliament has already begun looking over the agreement, while the European Council is set to start the process in early September, the source added.

    "The European Commission wants the agreement to be deemed temporarily in force without waiting for the ratification process to be completed by EU member states' parliaments. In the case of a similar agreement with South Korea, this took four years," the source said.

    CETA aims to establish a free trade zone between Canada and the European Union. In 2013, Ottawa and Brussels reached an agreement on key elements of the deal. European critics of CETA claim it would undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health and safety and workers' rights. The agreement has been likened to the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    The agreement is expected to be signed during the next EU-Canada Summit in October, after which it will have to be ratified by the European Parliament and the European Council. The European Commission, pressured by France and Germany, has stated that the agreement will also have to be ratified by all 28 EU member states.

    In April, the government of the French-speaking Belgian region of Wallonia refused to ratify the agreement despite earlier approval by the Belgian cabinet.


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    Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), European Parliament
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