Franck Riester Delays Ratification of Ceta Amid Senate Opposition and Political Pressure

Franck Riester announces no vote in National Assembly before European elections on Ceta

Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester announced on Tuesday that the government has decided not to transmit the draft ratification of Ceta, a free trade treaty between the EU and Canada, to the National Assembly before the European elections. The treaty has been provisionally applied since 2017. This decision comes after an embarrassing disappointment for the executive, as the Senate opposed the ratification of the treaty on March 21. A left-right alliance in the Senate caused a setback for the government just before the European elections.

Following this opposition, 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, it appears that Minister Riester wants to delay this process and place it on hold until a later time when there will be less political pressure around it. He stated in an interview with Le Figaro that he believes it is important to have a peaceful debate and prevent opposition groups from exploiting this issue for electoral purposes.

Riester also criticized those who have opposed Ceta, calling it a political scheme that harms businesses, farmers, wine growers, cheese producers and all those working in French companies exporting to Canada. He defended its benefits by stating that it eliminates most customs duties between France and Canada and is favorable for our country’s economy. In case of rejection by Parliament, France would face a complex situation with potential consequences for provisional application of this agreement throughout Europe.

Overall, it seems like Minister Riester is taking steps to ensure that Ceta is ratified by Parliament at an appropriate time rather than rushing through its approval without careful consideration of its impact on our country’s economy and businesses.

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