European Commission President welcomes approval of controversial CETA trade deal

The European Parliament voted in favour of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada,

The move concludes the ratification process of this deal at the EU level of the controversial and wide-ranging trade deal, which has provoked widespread protests in many EU countries.

Welcoming the outcome of the vote held in Strasbourg, President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Today's vote by the European Parliament is an important milestone in the democratic process of ratification of the agreement reached with Canada and it also allows for its provisional entry into force.

"As a result, EU companies and citizens will start to reap the benefits that the agreement offers as soon as possible.

"This trade deal has been subject to an in-depth parliamentary scrutiny which reflects the increased interest of citizens in trade policy.

"The intense exchanges on CETA throughout this process are testimony to the democratic nature of European decision making.

"This progressive agreement is an opportunity to shape globalisation together and influence the setting of global trade rules. The best example of this is the work that we are already doing with our Canadian friends to establish multilateral rules to deal with investment issues.

"I now call on all Member States to conduct an inclusive and thorough discussion at national level with the relevant stakeholders in the context of the national ratification process of the agreement".

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: "This vote is the start of a new era in EU-Canada relations - together we are sending a strong signal today.

"By building bridges rather than walls, we can face the challenges that confront our societies together. In these uncertain times, with rising protectionism around the world, CETA underlines our strong commitment to sustainable trade.

"Canada is a close ally of Europe. We share values and ideals, and a commitment to open markets and fair social policies. Canada is an important economic partner, with yearly trade between us worth nearly a trillion euros.

"Once the Canadian parliament has ratified this agreement, the next step is to put it provisionally in place, which I hope can be done swiftly and effectively.

"Citizens and companies on both sides of the Atlantic should start reaping these benefits very soon."


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