Franck Riester announces that there will be no vote in the National Assembly before the European elections on Ceta.

Since 2017, the draft ratification of Ceta, a free trade treaty between the EU and Canada, has been in provisional application. However, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester announced that he would not transmit the bill to the National Assembly before the European elections. This decision was made after the Senate rejected the ratification of the treaty on March 21, causing embarrassment for the executive in the lead-up to the elections.

In response to this rejection, communist deputies planned to include the text in their parliamentary time in May 30. However, it appears that the government is delaying transmitting the bill. Minister Riester stated that he would transmit it at an appropriate time but not before the European elections to allow for a peaceful debate. He emphasized that he does not want certain opposition groups to exploit this opportunity for electoral gain.

Riester believes that the Senate’s alliance between communist groups and some LR senators was politically motivated and harmful to French businesses, farmers, and exporters. He defended Ceta agreement by highlighting its benefits for France and distinguishing it from unfavorable trade agreements. If rejection by National Assembly is imminent, Riester faces a complex decision: either notify Brussels of non-ratification or risk backlash from opposition parties.

The government’s decision to delay transmitting Ceta bill has caused controversy among opposition parties who argue that it should be ratified immediately so as not to harm French businesses further. On one hand, proponents of Ceta agreement argue that it will bring economic benefits such as increased job opportunities and lower tariffs on goods traded between EU and Canada.

On another hand, critics argue that it will lead to job losses due to outsourcing and lower wages in Canada for workers involved in these industries.

As election day approaches, tensions continue between government officials and opposition parties over whether or not Ceta should be ratified before then.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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